Bond billionaire Bill Gross is entangled in a messy feud with his Laguna Beach neighbor over a $1 million sculpture and the 'Gilligan's Island' theme song

Avery Hartmans
·3 min read
FILE PHOTO: Billionaire investor Bill Gross listens during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo
The billionaire investor Bill Gross. Reuters
  • The billionaire investor Bill Gross is embroiled in a contentious legal battle with his Laguna Beach, California, neighbors, according to a new report from the Los Angeles Times.

  • The dispute stems from a $1 million outdoor sculpture, around which Gross and his partner, Amy Schwartz, have installed netting to protect it from the elements. Their neighbor Mark Towfiq filed a complaint with the city, alleging the netting blocked his view.

  • The complaint sparked a quarrel between the neighbors, with Towfiq and his wife filing a temporary restraining order alleging Gross and Schwartz blared the "Gilligan's Island" theme song at all hours to get them to drop the issue.

  • Gross and Schwartz allege in a suit of their own that their neighbors are obsessed with them and have spied on the couple.

  • Representatives for Gross and Towfiq did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. 

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The billionaire bond investor Bill Gross and his tech-entrepreneur neighbor are embroiled in a legal battle over a $1 million sculpture.

According to a report from the Los Angeles Times' Laurence Darmiento, the Pimco founder and his partner, the former professional tennis player Amy Schwartz, have been accused by their neighbor Mark Towfiq of harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The disagreement stems from a 22-foot-long sculpture on Gross' property in Laguna Beach, California. The sculpture, created by the artist Dale Chihuly, consists of dozens of blue glass stems that reach nearly 10 feet high. It was installed by Gross as a gift to Schwartz in 2019 and cost $1 million, according to the Times. 

Schwartz told the Times the glass pieces "are like my babies" and that she and her mother pray to them. 

But after the sculpture sustained thousands of dollars in damage, Gross and Schwartz installed netting around it to protect it from the elements, which Towfiq and his wife said blocked their view. The couple filed a complaint with the city of Laguna Beach, which led to the city inspecting the property and informing Gross that he lacked the proper permits, the Times reported.

The issue has now sparked a bitter quarrel between the neighbors. According to the Times, Towfiq and his wife allege that Gross and Schwartz have been blaring the "Gilligan's Island" theme song, among other music, at all hours of the day and night, including turning the music on remotely when they're not at home, in attempt to get them to drop the issue.

Gross and Schwartz allege in a lawsuit of their own that their neighbors are obsessed with them and have spied on the couple while they swim and pointed security cameras at their house, according to the Times. 

Towfiq has been granted a temporary restraining order, and a hearing has been set for November 2 to determine whether it will be converted to a civil-harassment order, the Times reported. 

Representatives for Gross and Towfiq did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. 

Gross has been involved in legal disputes in the past. In 2016, his ex-wife Sue Gross filed for divorce, which resulted in a high-profile and contentious legal battle that stretched over the course of several years. And in 2014, Gross was fired from Pimco, leading him to file a suit alleging wrongful termination and breach of contract. The suit resulted in an $81 million settlement in 2017. 

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