MANHATTAN (CN) – The New York Post called him the “Randy Rabbi,” and Long Island Rabbi Avraham Rabinowich has responded with a breach of contract lawsuit against the tabloid and his ex-wife, for publishing salacious documents, photographs and videos that allegedly caught him with prostitutes at a motel after Sabbath services.
Rabinowich and Amora Rachel Leah Rabinowich entered into a “Stipulation of Settlement” setting the terms of their divorce on Sept. 27, 2010, according to the rabbi’s complaint in New York County Court.
One of term stated: “Neither parent shall do anything or say anything to a third party, which might degrade or injure the opinion of the other parent or his/her family in the third party’s eyes,” according to the complaint. “Neither party shall do anything directly, indirectly or through third parties to hurt the reputation of the other in the community in which such parties work or reside. The parties acknowledge that this is a material provision of this stipulation and part of the stipulation for the best interests of the children.”
Under the agreement, neither party could hire an investigator to tape or photograph the other, and both should treat anything already captured in such an investigation as confidential, according to the complaint.
About a month later, the rabbi said, he and his ex added a provision that would prevent embarrassing leaks to the press: “Each party agrees that he/she will not directly or indirectly cause photographs, video or similar images of the other party to be disseminated to the media or any agent of the media or through third parties to hurt the reputation of the other in the community in which the parties work or reside,” the new stipulation stated, according to the complaint.
Rabinowich says that the Post knew of these terms before it printed its July 11 story under the headline: “The ‘randy’ rabbi – Prostitution sting in angry ex-wife’s suit.”
The Post reported that Rabinowich had been “caught with his dreidel out in a string of sordid sex tapes,” and published one of those videos online.
The article, which is still available on the Post’s website, showed a photo of Rabinowich in bed with two women, though the accompanying video appears to have been replaced with other news clips.
Rabinowich states in his complaint that the article had “no palpable, intrinsic or realistic newsworthiness or public interest other than their prurient, salacious nature, luridness and sheer sensationalism.”
And the rabbi say the Post “purposefully waited until Friday evening and several minutes before the commencement of the Jewish Sabbath before notifying the plaintiff’s representatives of their intentions to publish the article and the videotapes … thereby denying the plaintiff any opportunity to apply for an injunction or restraining order or pursuit of any remedies available to him under the terms of the aforementioned stipulation and contract.”
He says that he suffered “extreme humiliation, scorn, derision, humiliation” and “was summarily fired from his position as a local rabbi at a loss of his annual salary and that plaintiff’s reputation has been ruined such that he cannot find gainful employment and has suffered profound emotional damage.”
Rabinowich seeks damages for interference with contract, inducing breach of contract and emotional distress.
He is represented by Morrison & Wagner.