Attorney Claims Reality Star Defamed Him

SANTA MONICA (CN) — A New York attorney sued a star of “Orange County Housewives” and “Botched,” claiming she and her husband defamed him as a “con artist, thief, and scammer” in a relentless barrage of emails and on social media.
     Steven Czik and his law office sued Terry Dubrow, Heather Dubrow, and Arthur Barens and Baren’s law office on May 24 in Superior Court.
     Czik claims the defendants’ “harassment campaign” against him began in December last year, when Heather Dubrow broadcast worldwide on social media posts and podcasts that “Our accountant, a prominent attorney [plaintiff] and THIS woman scammed us and many others out of millions of dollars.” (Brackets in complaint.)
     Czik says Dubrow posted this allegations on Instagram, Twitter and her podcast.
     “This woman” is Jennifer Bell, who is not a party to this lawsuit, Czik says, though Terry Dubrow sued her and him in a previous case.
     Terry Dubrow then sent numerous “belligerent” emails to extort and harass Czik, the attorney claims.
     Among those messages, Czik says, were that he and Bell would be the “main storyline” of “Orange County Housewives,” and would “be famous all over the world.”
     On Dec. 20 last year, Czik says, Terry Dubrow sent him this email: “Mr. Czik is part of a large con involving millions of dollars obtained by personally guaranteeing loans to multiple individuals including Heather and Terry Dubrow of Bravo television’s ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’ and E! Network show ‘Botched.’
     “Times up for you [plaintiff].”
     Terry Dubrow, a plastic surgeon, and his wife Heather allegedly were scammed out of $1.75 million in a South American real estate deal before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Terry Dubrow sued accountant Gary Hoffman, Czik and Bell in January this year, in L.A. Superior Court, after failing to recoup on the investment.
     In a Dec. 23 email, Czik says, Terry Dubrow emailed him that Czik’s photo would “be published in every magazine and all over Instagram if you don’t pay us the personal guarantee you promised.”
     According to the complaint, that email continued: “(H)ow stupid are you really Are you going to allow this to completely and totally destroy you and your legal career? If you had any reasonable brain cells left you should realize this will unfold in the next 2-3 months. We are starting Season 11 of ‘Orange County Housewives’ in mid January. Once that is filmed you are going to become internationally famous for this. Are you just going to sit back and attempt futile legal wranglings that will expose you to a black stain on the rest of your life or are you going to make it right? You’ve made incredibly bad decisions up to this point. Are you going to continue that pattern and nail your career coffin closed forevermore or do something smart and save yourself. [Plaintiff], how fucking stupid are you?” (Brackets in complaint.)
     Dubrow continued in a Dec. 27 email, Czik says: “BTW don’t even consider offering me a paltry settlement amount. I will absolutely have you fucking disbarred. If you don’t pay me what you owe me you will end up disbarred, publicly shamed and in every living room across the world known for what you did to me.”
     The lawsuit cites more than 30 such emails, many of them with even more insulting terms.
     It also quotes from two emails that Dubrow’s attorney, defendant Barens, allegedly sent to Czik.
     None of the parties could be located for comment Thursday.
     Czik seek $5 million in damages for extortion, harassment, libel, slander, and tortious interference with contract and prospective economic advantage.
     He is represented by Alejandro Herrera with Hess, Hess & Herrera, of Santa Monica.

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