Good fences make good neighbors — but when things get really bad, sometimes only a legal filing will do.
“The Leftovers” star Justin Theroux has fired that latest shot in his ongoing legal battle with his neighbor in New York, filing blistering legal papers accusing his neighbor, Norman Resnicow, of attempting to “disentangle himself from his own damning conduct by inventing a demonstratively fictional narrative.”
The papers, filed in New York Supreme Court on Wednesday, also say that Resnicow has “commenced a campaign of harassment regarding every possible issue he could find.”
The legal brawl kicked off in May, when Theroux sued Resnicow for $350,000, claiming that Resnicow engaged in a harassment campaign when the actor refused to install sound-proofing in his Greenwich Village co-op. The sound-proofing that Resnicow wanted Theroux to install would have cost up to $30,000 more than Theroux’s choice in sound-proofing, the actor’s suit says, and would have made it “virtually impossible” for Theroux to preserve aspects of the original flooring in his apartment, as Theroux had a “strong interest” in doing.
The actor accuses Resnicow of an array of “petty and disruptive conduct,” including shutting off Theroux’s access to a water line servicing his outdoor terrace, killing the ivy between their portions of the roof deck “because he knew that Mr. Theroux enjoyed the aesthetic provided by the ivy,” and demanding that Theroux replace the original, century-old radiator in his apartment.
The suit also says that Resnicow substantially delayed Theroux’s renovation of his property by, among other things, “baselessly accusing Mr. Theroux’s contractors of damaging the marble in the Building’s entranceway, and demanding that Mr. Theroux’s contractor make repairs.”
According to Theroux’s suit, Resnicow threatened to generate bad press for Theroux and his wife Jennifer Aniston, should Theroux decide to sue Resnicow.
“If Justin’s misguided advisors lead him to court, Justin would be ‘opening the door’ (as the lawyers say) to a broad range of allegations that would become publicly available, and which would not please Justin or his wife or their respective publicists,” Resnicow allegedly threatened.
Resnicow filed a counterclaim against Theroux, and on Thursday the actor filed his answer to the counterclaim.
In the answer, Theroux says Resnicow has accused the actor of being a “noisemaker,” but was only able to provide two alleged instances of Theroux disturbing Resnicow with noise in the 13 years that Resnicow has been the actor’s downstairs neighbor.
Theroux also says that Resnicow has complained of “yowling dogs” and implied “that Theroux was operating his own informal shelter out of his apartment, which is totally false.”
In truth, Theroux asserts, Theroux hasn’t had dogs in his apartment since at least 2011 — years before Resnicow made his demand for sound-proofing.
Theroux’s answer to the counter-claim also raises “the disturbing possibility that … Resnicow was staying home during weekdays, lurking around and spying on the comings and goings of the building’s guests.” In late September, the new court documents say, Resnicow “climbed out of his second floor window wearing pajamas and brazenly trespassed onto Mr. Theroux’s property to confront Mr. Theroux’s workers performing a probe of the Building’s parapet … once again creating a nuisance.”
Contrary to Theroux being a noisemaker, the answer says, “the real reason that … Resnicow demanded sound-proofing was not because of noise emanating from outside his apartment, but rather to keep concealed from his neighbors his own volcanic and abusive outbursts emanating from inside his apartment, resulting in the police being summoned to his apartment on more than one occasion. The Court will hear proof of these outbursts at trial.”
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.