While much of America struggles with the economic fallout of the pandemic, rich people are having problems too, including tech entrepreneur Mark Towfiq, who says a neighbor tormented him with the theme tune from Gilligan's Island. The Los Angeles Times reports that the dispute began when billionaire financier Bill Gross, Towfiq's Laguna Beach neighbor, installed netting to protect a $1 million, 22-foot lawn sculpture by renowned glassblower Dale Chihuly. In a lawsuit, Towfiq says that after he complained the netting spoiled his view and a city inspector found that Gross didn't have the necessary permits, his neighbor retaliated by playing music at all hours, including the theme tune on a loop.
Towfiq, who obtained a temporary restraining order Oct. 15, says that when he complained about the noise, Gross sent him a message reading: "Peace on all fronts or well [sic] just have nightly concerts big boy." In his lawsuit, Towfiq calls Gross a "76-year-old billionaire used to getting his way no matter what," adding: "As proven by their behavior here, Gross and his decades-younger-girlfriend, defendant Amy Schwartz, are bullies." In his own lawsuit, Gross accuses Towfiq of "peeping Tom behaviors," saying he "appears to have a particular fascination not only with Mr. Gross but also Ms. Schwartz, particularly when the pair are swimming and thus wearing minimal, if any, clothing." MarketWatch reports that Gross says the netting only went up after a rock was thrown at the sculpture, causing $50,000 in damage. (Read more California stories.)