Easy come, Easy go! It seems like ever since Bethenny Frankel started rolling in the millions the lawsuits started coming at warp speed! In this latest lawsuit drama, the owner of a home that was used during the filming of Bethenny Ever After is suing the show and the network for illegally using his house!
For all of you fans (and some of you non-fans) who watched last season of BEA you’ll remember Bethenny’s fabulous Malibu beach house where Team Frankel celebrated Christmas. Well the owner of that house, Bijan Shahmoradi, has filed a lawsuit in L.A. County Superior Court claiming he did not authorize the house to be used for the taping of a show.
Apparently it all started when Bijan leased the 19936 Pacific Coast Highway property for a whopping $13,000-per- month, to “two people” who then “Illegally subleased” the home to NBC Universal (NBC owns Bravo) for the purposes of filming Bethenny Ever After! And when you film on location you must have permission from the property owner(s) if the site is private property. A photo of the house is below.
Bijan is now suing the tenant leaseholders for “allegedly violating their lease agreement” and also suing NBC Universal and Shed Media — the company that producers BEA and all the Housewives franchises. Mr. Shahmoradi claims that by showing the multi-million dollar property on television, it “invaded his privacy by exposing the mansion’s interior to millions of people across the world,” as he believes he has the right to keep his property out of the public eye.
In order to remedy the invasion of privacy he is seeking $25,000 in damages, plus “punitive damages and an injunction.” The injunction being that Bijan wants NBC to bar any further airings of Bethenny Ever After shows that feature his home! Yikes.
The question is: How exactly did a company as large as NBC Universal find themselves in trouble for what seems like a rookie mistake? According to The Hollywood Reporter it happens when the “producers sign a lease to use the property without sorting the tenant from the landlord.”
The lawsuit is claiming that NBC and Shed Media demonstrated “reckless disregard” by failing to practice due diligence to “inquire about the true owner of the property and publicly publishing the interior of the home without consent.” So basically they took the tenants’ word for it that it was their property and they had permission to use it however they saw fit!
As for how Bethenny is involved in this lawsuit — she is one of the producers of her own show! The suit does not implicate her or her wallet directly, but as a producer she is affiliated with the parties named in the suit. Of course, if Bijan is successful in blocking further airing of episodes featuring his home, Bethenny could possibly suffer financially as well. Who knows!
[Photo credit: WENN]
THOUGHTS ON THE LAWSUIT: FRIVOLOUS OR WITH MERIT? ARE YOU SURPRISED NBC AND BETHENNY EVER AFTER WEREN’T MORE CAREFUL ABOUT CHECKING WHO OWNED THE PROPERTY?