PIMCO founder Bill Gross allegedly threatened to hold “nightly concerts” if his next-door neighbors didn’t drop their code enforcement complaint, according to testimony in Orange County Superior Court on Monday.
Laguna Beach resident Mark Towfiq said he and his wife Carol Nakahara returned home around 11:30 p.m. on July 31 after spending the evening with friends. At that time, they could hear music playing from Gross’ home from within nearly every room inside their house.
Towfiq read a text message exchange with Gross’ girlfriend Amy Schwartz, asking her to turn the music down that night. Schwartz did not respond but he received a text back allegedly signed by Gross.
“You sure enjoyed the Kenny Loggins concert last night. What’s the problem? Bill Gross.”
“Are you kidding me? We’re trying to sleep,” Towfiq replied.
“Peace on all fronts or we’ll have nightly concerts here, big boy.”
In the latest civil harassment hearing before Judge Kimberly Knill, Towfiq said it was distressing to be subjected to loud music at any moment that could be heard from inside their cliffside house with the doors and windows closed.
Towfiq’s attorney played multiple videos his client recorded of speakers on the Gross property blasting the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song on a loop, “In da Club” by 50 Cent, and “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen.
Text messages asking Schwartz to turn down the music went unanswered. Gross’ house manager responded to other complaints from Towfiq but the music continued.
The ongoing feud drove Towfiq to call Laguna Beach police to respond to alleged noise ordinance violations, he said.
“I just felt helpless that nobody was responding to us and that we’re being completely ignored,” Towfiq said.
After a couple of days of listening to the music throughout the day and night, Towfiq and his wife were forced to move from their master bedroom to a less impacted bedroom.
Through their attorneys, Gross and Schwartz to deny any harassing behavior, adding that Towfiq and Nakahara have “weaponized” Laguna Beach police and code enforcement officers in a “personal vendetta.”
“He and his attorneys, using this litigation as a thinly-veiled publicity stunt, then set out to embarrass Mr. Gross in the media, knowing full well that Mr. Gross’ name would attract widespread press attention, and allow Mr. Towfiq his own 15 minutes of ill-gotten fame,” Attorney Jill Basinger wrote in response to the civil complaint. “Rarely before have so many resources of law enforcement, the Court, private attorneys, and the media been devoted to what is otherwise a glorified noise complaint by Mr. Towfiq.”