Billionaire Bill Gross Guilty of Contempt for Harassing His Neighbor (Again)

It was déjà vu in Orange County court docket on Friday, because the billionaire Bill Gross awaited possible punishment for allegedly harassing his Laguna Seaside neighbor with loud music (once more.) As she took the bench, Choose Kimberly Knill admonished Gross for violating an current restraining order, calling him “contemptuous,” then handed down her ruling: no extra out of doors music, a $1,000 high quality, and 5 days in jail. Gross’ spouse, Amy, acquired an an identical sentence.

The Grosses could not really serve any of that point as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. The decide is permitting them to carry out group service for 2 of the times, whereas the opposite three are being stayed for a 12 months. Barring additional infractions, they received’t should serve them.

Attorneys for the Grosses’ neighbors, Mark Towfiq and Carol Nakahara, had lobbied for jail time.

In an announcement on Friday night, Gross known as the choice “a travesty of justice and a black mark on the Orange County judicial system.” He added that the decide had an “apparent bias” and claimed she was “utilizing the case to advance her promotion to a better court docket.” He plans to enchantment her ruling.

The feud between Towfiq and Gross started final 12 months, after Gross put in white netting above an out of doors sculpture in his yard. When Towfiq complained to native authorities, Gross allegedly retaliated by blaring music in any respect hours, together with the Gilligan’s Island theme tune on repeat.

The pair quickly landed in court docket, and Choose Kimberly Knill sided with Towfiq. “There is no such thing as a authentic objective to this habits,” she declared. Knill issued a restraining order that barred the Grosses from enjoying loud music or approaching Towfiq and Nakahara for 3 years.

Then, this July, Towfiq known as the police to complain that Gross had violated the order and was as soon as once more blasting his audio system. When the cops arrived, Gross refused to exit the pool to talk with them. He later claimed in court docket filings that he was involved about being caught on digicam with out his shirt on.

“That’s the kind of folks they’re,” one of many annoyed law enforcement officials grumbled, in feedback that had been caught on physique digicam footage. The officer later testified that he was referring to the Grosses’ intransigence, whereas their lawyer, Patricia Glaser, prompt in court docket that his feedback had been anti-Semitic. (Amy Gross is Jewish.)

Glaser has beforehand represented different controversial purchasers, together with Harvey Weinstein in his swimsuit in opposition to his firm, and Papa John’s founder John Schnatter.

No prices had been filed in July. Gross’ attorneys have argued that Towfiq has been “exploiting” the restraining order and utilizing it as “a weapon in his perverse obsession with Invoice and Amy Gross.”

It has not been enterprise as normal within the courtroom. Final month, at Gross’ urging, the decide took a field trip to the Laguna Seaside properties. Donning her formal robes, and accompanied by a horde of attorneys and court docket employees, she spent 100 minutes inspecting audio system and taking decibel readings.

Throughout testimony, Choose Knill’s demeanor has been laborious to gauge, although Gross could not have accomplished himself any favors following final 12 months’s proceedings. In a public letter revealed in January, he poked enjoyable on the complete affair, and the decide.

“She crinkled her eyes (of that I am certain), each time the plaintiff’s legal professional performed his pre-recorded Gilligan’s Island video tapes…he being in his mid 50’s and oblivious to Gilligan’s Island reruns,” he wrote.

“The decide being even barely youthful appeared extra inclined to love music by 50 Cent or Usher, so she dominated I could not play Gilligan’s louder than I wasn’t [supposed] to play it earlier than. Hmm, Laguna Seaside justice I suppose. A bona fide ‘hanging decide’ on the shore.” way of=rss | Billionaire Invoice Gross Responsible of Contempt for Harassing His Neighbor (Once more)


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