Billionaire Bill Gross found guilty of contempt in a harassment case with his neighbors involving a $1 million sculpture and the 'Gilligan's Island' theme song
Bill Grossand his wife were found guilty of violating a restraining order by playing loud music.
- The billionaire bond investor and his wife must each pay a $1,000 fine and serve five days in jail.
- Their quarrel with their Laguna Beach neighbors began last year over a $1 million outdoor
Billionaire bond investor Bill Gross and his wife Amy were found guilty of violating a temporary restraining order, Bloomberg reported Friday.
The ruling is the latest development in a months-long legal feud with their next-door neighbors in Laguna Beach, California.
The couple has been embroiled in a legal battle with their neighbors, Mark Towfiq and Carol Nakahara, since last year after the Grosses installed white netting in their backyard to protect a $1 million outdoor sculpture from the elements, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Towfiq filed a complaint with the city, claiming the netting blocked his view. The complaint sparked an ongoing fight between the neighbors, with Towfiq and his wife filing a three-year restraining order against the Grosses, alleging they blared the "Gilligan's Island" theme song at all hours as a response to the complaint, the LA Times reported.
In turn, Bill and Amy Gross, who were married in April of this year, filed a suit saying that their neighbors were obsessed with them and that the show's theme song wasn't played specifically to annoy their neighbors.
Gross claimed the "Gilligan's Island" theme song has a special meaning for him because the title sequence of the show looked like the view outside his house, according to a CNBC report.
"I could look at the TV and look outside the window, and there were the same palm trees of 55 years ago," Gross said, citing the report. "I said, 'This is incredible!'"
On Friday, Judge Kimberly Knill admonished the Grosses for flagrantly violating the restraining order, which prohibited them from playing loud music, calling him "contemptuous" and saying he acted as an "instigator." Knill handed both Gross and his wife a $1,000 fine each and five days in jail, according to The Daily Beast
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the judge allowed two of the five days to be served as community service, barring further infractions. The court has yet to impose a judgment on how the other three days of their sentence will be spent, The Daily Beast reported.
In a statement Friday, the retired billionaire bond investor called the sentence "a travesty of justice and a black mark on the Orange County judicial system," and plans to appeal the decision.
Chase Scolnick, attorney for the Grosses' neighbors, said his clients were "pleased with today's result."
"We hope the court's order will finally cause Bill and Amy Gross to modify their behavior so our clients can live in peace, which is all they ever wanted," Scolnick said, citing a report by the Los Angeles Times.
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