Reality TV Guys Face a Real Lawsuit
BROOKLYN (CN) - Reality TV producers rented, and trashed, a home in the Hamptons, and posted photos of half-naked women cavorting there, leading neighbors to think the owners run a whorehouse, a married couple claim in court.
Susan and Stuart Silverman sued Joshua Blackman, Vice Energy LLC, Philip Dade, and Vice Productions, in Federal Court.
They claim the defendants did $20,000 worth of damage to their house, ruined an expensive couch with sperm stains, and ruined their reputation in the neighborhood.
The Silvermans say they rented their house to Blackman in June last year. They say that notwithstanding "the explicit limitations" on his use of the house, "the defendants' specific intention was to use the home in connection with a commercial venture referred to as 'pArty of 5,' in which the exploits of a group are followed for five days of partying throughout the word."
The Silvermans say none of the defendants informed them or asked permission to use the house for commerce, nor for permission "to use images of the outside or inside of the home or the surrounding property for a commercial venture."
Dade told them he wanted to rent the home for "a family barbecue," the Silvermans say. "This was false."
Instead, the defendants "widely publicized, on the Internet and elsewhere," that the house was a "Vice Hamptons Crib," for parties, according to the complaint.
The defendants threw bacchanalias at the house on June 9, 16, and 23, and posted photos of "women in various stages of undress," according to the complaint.
"As a result of these connections, the Silvermans are now viewed by the members of the community as running a house of ill repute."
The Silvermans say the parties did $20,000 in damage to the house, silverware was stolen, and "a very expensive couch has to be replaced because, despite the Silvermans' best efforts to clean it, there were sperm stains that could not be removed."
After multiple calls from irate neighbors, "which continued even after Blackman assured the Silvermans that the "parties were small and that everything was under control," the Silvermans drove out on the afternoon of June 23 and found "about 50 cars in the road, security guards checking IDs" and "at least 100 persons all over their yard."
They drove straight to the police station, where they were told a man named Philip Dade, who was not on the lease, had applied "to the Town of East Hampton for a Mass Gathering Permit for the dates of June, 9, 16, 23 and 29," so police could not legally intervene, according to the complaint.
Then, the Silvermans say, they discovered photos of their home on the Internet, so they retained counsel.
They claim Dade had applied for the permit using a fraudulent lease "that was materially different from the lease that had been signed by Stuart Silverman," and they told the police so.
So the cops went to the house and told Blackman he was in violation of his lease "and suggested he not hold the party advertised for June 29, 2012 and he should vacate the home. He did so," abandoning his party equipment in the yard, according to the complaint.
The Silvermans seek punitive damages for fraud and breach of contract.
They are represented by Scott Korenbaum with The Law Offices of Jill R. Shellow.