Amidst the depressing news, there is some good news.
Here are two. 😀
(1) Cindy Adams reports for Page Six, July 7, 2020, that NYC’s tony Madison Ave. stores are suing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for not protecting the businesses against looting.
The plaintiffs, Domus Design Center aka DDC, 134 Madison Ave., have filed a class action lawsuit with the Court of Claims for an estimated $400 million, against Cuomo, NY mayor Bill de Blasio, the NYPD, Commissioner Dermot Shea, NYC, the state of New York “and others.”
The looting took place on the night of May 29, 2020, when George Floyd #BLM rioters terrorized the city, and vandalized and burglarized shops.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer Sal Strazzullo said:
“Cuomo should have worried about hospital reform instead of bail reform. Getting a free pass, some criminals were not able to be detained pending trial and now we have looters. Who’d have imagined we’d have to board up our stores? We’re not in Afghanistan. Places like Saks Fifth, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Rolex being bombed out?
Where are our tax dollars going? Rocks, bricks thrown? Glass smashed? Merchandise stolen? Thrown out? People hurt? Millions lost? Businesses destroyed? Lives crushed? Not protecting commercial properties is negligence of duty. It’s looters against New York City and state. Paying taxes that help pay the salary of the NYPD, we expect protection in return. Where was the city? The state? Officials failing to protect their residents? Government is responsible to protect its citizens and businesses against criminals who want to do bad.
Not every lawsuit is for money. This type of suit — about the city’s acts and omissions in failing to control or otherwise restrain violent protesters, which caused destruction to claimant’s retail store — is for a point. This will be a class-action lawsuit. Costly. Because the others will come on board.”
(2) Rabid anti-Trump actor Robert De Niro said the COVID-19 coronavirus had “decimated” his finances.
Priscilla DeGregory reports for Page Six, July 9, 2020, that appearing in a Skype call in his divorce case against Grace Hightower, De Niro told the court the coronavirus had “decimated” his finances.
De Niro has a thing for black women. In 2018, he filed for divorce from Hightower, with whom he had been on-and-off since 1997.
Hightower is asking for an emergency order to to raise her monthly American Express card credit limit from $50,000 to $100,000. She claims De Niro had unfairly cut the allowance, and hat she and their two children had been banned from an upstate compound where De Niro is staying during the pandemic.
De Niro’s lawyer Caroline Krauss said he cut Hightower’s credit card limit because he’s taken a huge financial hit as the restaurant chain Nobu and Greenwich Hotel, both of which he has stakes in, have been closed or partially closed for months with barely any business:
In the case of Nobu, the restaurant chain lost $3 million in April and another $1.87 million in May. That led to De Niro having to pay investors $500,000 on a capital call, for which he had to borrow money from his business partners “because he doesn’t have the cash.”
Krauss said that under the terms of their 2004 prenuptial agreement, De Niro is only required to pay Hightower $1 million a year as long as he’s making $15 million or more in income. If his income declines, his payments to her would proportionally decline as well. But Krauss said De Niro is “lucky if he makes $7.5 million this year” because:
- Proceeds from the Netflix movie, The Irishman, have mostly already been paid out and De Niro is likely to get just $2.5 million in 2020 and 2021. (If you subscribe to Netflix, be sure to not watch The Irishman!)
- A movie project that De Niro was scheduled to begin filming this summer in Oklahoma has been put on hold.
Krauss said that De Niro has begun “dramatically” cutting back spending, and that people like him, “in spite of his robust earnings, have always spent more than he has earned so this 76-year-old robust man couldn’t retire even if he wanted to because he can’t afford to keep up with his lifestyle expense.”
Hightower’s lawyer, Kevin McDonough, pooh-poohs the notion that De Niro’s finances are decimated and that “the idea that Mr. De Niro is tightening his belt is nonsense.”