Bill Gross’s Girlfriend Denies Playing Music to Harass Neighbor
(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Bill Gross’s girlfriend Amy Schwartz testified that she “loves” the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song but denied playing it so loudly as to harass their Southern California neighbor.
Schwartz, a former professional tennis player, took the stand Monday in a monthslong legal feud in which the neighbor, tech entrepreneur Mark Towfiq, claims Gross and Schwartz began playing loud music, including theme songs from sitcoms, to harass him after he complained about netting installed over a million-dollar sculpture in Gross’s yard.
“I don’t play loud music,” Schwartz said repeatedly at a hearing in Santa Ana state court Monday. “Do I play music? Yes. I don’t play music loud.”
Each of the neighbors wants a restraining order, with Towfiq seeking to end the music. Meanwhile, Gross and Schwartz claim Towfiq harassed them by recording and photographing them, and they it want to stop.
Towfiq’s lawyer, Chase Scolnick, played a series of recordings his client made in which the “Gilligan’s Island” theme can be heard playing repeatedly. Towfiq testified the music began booming from Gross’s beachfront home after he filed the complaint with Laguna Beach officials about the netting over the art in late July.
“‘Gilligan’s Island,’ I love that song,” Schwartz said after one of Towfiq’s recordings was played. “But I already told you, I was sleeping. It might have been a mistake that the play list played over.”
She also questioned the reliability of Towfiq’s recordings.
“This is from his recording,” Schwartz said. “I don’t know what he’s done to it. He could have enhanced it. I have no idea.”
Schwartz was asked if she and Gross played the music on a loop -- that is with one song playing repeatedly.
“I don’t know how to work a loop,” she said.
Asked if the music had gone off accidentally, Schwartz said, “I don’t control it.” Gross “controls the audio and TVs,” she said.
Schwartz contradicted the testimony of a Laguna Beach police officer and a city official who testified last month the couple told them they’d stop playing the music if Towfiq dropped his complaint.
After Scolnick read excerpts from the witnesses’ testimony, Schwartz replied, “You read that correctly, but that’s not what I said.”
“Are you saying that testimony is not accurate?” Scolnick asked.
“Correct. It’s not accurate,” Schwartz replied.
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