Thursday, September 28, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Thursday, September 28, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Coke bottling heir’s mental health in ‘downward spiral,’ lawyer says

Alki David owes tens of millions of dollars in judgments against him. He took to Instagram during an asset examination Wednesday to say he won't pay.

(CN) — Coca-Cola bottling heir Alki David was, once again, a no-show at Thursday's hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court.

"The order couldn’t have been more clear," said Judge Yolanda Orozco. "He was ordered to appear here at 10 a.m."

Given David's behavior the previous day, she may have been lucky. David's own attorney suggested as much.

"Your honor, you’re too nice a person to be subjected to that," the lawyer, Dana Cole, said to her.

On Wednesday, David showed up at an office to be examined by the attorneys of Chastity Jones. A jury awarded Jones $11.1 million — later reduced to $8.4 million — after suing David for sexual harassment and sexual battery. The examination, which was supposed to help determine the value of David's assets, didn't get very far.

David began filming retired Judge Gerald Rosenberg, who was there as the referee of the examination, and launched into a long monologue, phrased as a question and peppered with conspiracy theories. David later posted the video on Instagram.

"Esteemed judge," David can be heard saying, "knowing that all of these judges in this city are corrupted, deeply corrupted by Tom Girardi, you are willing to let me sit here and be trafficked once again by a man" — now pointing to an empty chair once occupied by Jones's attorney — "who had somebody break into my house with a mask and nearly cause a major incident in my home. And you are sitting here after me having told you that there is an FBI investigation happening. And you are allowing this man to continue. Is that correct, judge? Your thought was just to carry on with the debtor's examination?"

"I think we're done," says Rosenberg calmly.

Joseph Chora, Jones's attorney, summarized the incident thusly: "Mr. David went on a tirade, accusing the retired referee of being corrupt, then went on Instagram insulting the referee."

David's lawyer, Dana Cole, struggled to defend his client's actions.

"Unfortunately, over the last couple months I’ve seen a downward spiral in Mr. David," said Cole, adding that David's condition was "akin to a mental health crisis."

Cole has suggested, both in court and in a written declaration filed last month, that David's mental health issues may stem from an automobile accident when he was 20 years old, in which he suffered a head injury that left him in a coma for four days.

"It certainly is possible that he has frontal lobe issues that control his impulsivity," said Cole.

The lawyer added there have been talks over the possibility of placing David in a conservatorship.

"It does seem like the appropriate thing to do here," said Cole.

David, a Greek heir to a Coca-Cola bottling fortune and entrepreneur, has at least four judgments against him, worth tens of millions of dollars. In an Instagram "story" (a video that disappears after 24 hours) uploaded Wednesday, David said he would refuse to pay the judgements, referring to two attorneys that had represented plaintiffs suing him — Gloria Allred and her daughter, Lisa Bloom.

"How much money has Gloria collected from me?" he asked, talking to the camera. "Zero. And Lisa Bloom? Zero. How much are they gonna get? Zero. Why? Because they’re criminal fucking thugs who are getting caught with their pants down and it’s disgusting."

The issue of David's wealth is the subject of some dispute. He is often referred to as a 'billionaire.' But at Wednesday's hearing, Cole said that label was "complete and utter nonsense. He loves to use that moniker, but I’ve seen no evidence of that."

Judge Orozco was unsure of what actions she could take against David.

"There’s a limit to what I can do," she said. "A conservatorship — that might be an avenue to pursue. I can’t opine on that. It certainly would be a way of getting a handle on his behavior and advance these proceedings."

She added: "I think it is completely unacceptable for him to thumb his nose at the court. I believe he knew he was supposed to be here today."

The judge ordered David to appear in person at hearing next week. If he doesn't show up, he may be held in contempt.

Follow @hillelaron
Categories / Business, Health, Media

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.