Good fences make good neighbors, but bad relations between neighbors can make for some pretty juicy lawsuits.
Comedian Kathy Griffin has been hit with a lawsuit by her neighbors, KB Home CEO Jeffrey T. Mezger and his wife Sandra, alleging that Griffin and her boyfriend, Randy Bick, made “repeated and demonstrably unfounded” complaints against the Mezgers, and spied on them.
In the suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on July 20, the Mezgers say that Griffin and Bick moved in next to them in July 2016 and almost immediately “began to lodge a series of noise complaints with the Bel Air Crest guard gate staff, later escalating their complaints to the HOA board and the Los Angeles Police Department.”
The Mezgers say that complaints were lodged “virtually every time” the Mezgers or their family or guests used the backyard pool area of their home. According to the suit, Griffin and Bick “undertook a campaign of secret electronic surveillance and recording almost immediately after taking up residence.” first with their iPhones, then with an audio-video surveillance system that was pointed directly into the Mezgers’ backyard “in order to spy on and record them.”
The suit says that Griffin and Bick “illegally captured hundreds of hours of audio and video from the Mezgers’ back yard” and that the Mezgers only learned about it in September 2017, months after the secret recordings began, when Griffin and Bick leaked one of the recordings to the media.
At that time, the Huffington Post published audio that it says was provided by Bick, in which Mezger is purportedly heard calling Griffin a “f–king bald dyke” and a “c-t.”
A KB Home spokesperson told Huffington Post in a statement that Mezger “regrets losing his temper.”
“Mr. Mezger regrets losing his temper over a supposed noise complaint involving his three young grandchildren in his swimming pool around 8 p.m. on Saturday, while they were being supervised by their mother and grandmother,” the statement read. “He apologizes for the language he used, as it does not reflect who he is or what he believes.”
Even so, the suit says that the Mezgers “were left to constantly monitor their sound levels, and tiptoe around the yard” for fear that “even ordinary use of the property” would trigger a complaint. The complaint also alleges that the release of excerpts of the recordings have damaged the Mezgers “in their reputation, remuneration, employment” and community standing, among other ways. The suit adds that KB Home cut Mezger’s bonus payment by 25 percent in 2017 because of his “personal dealings with a neighbor,” and that he was told he would be fired if another similar incident occurred.
TheWrap has reached out to Griffin’s legal representative for comment on the suit, which alleges invasion of privacy and other counts, and seeks unspecified damages.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.