It's crazy, the lengths some deep-pocketed dudes will go to keep their alleged jones for Latin ladies secret.
Up in Palm Beach, probably the single most bizarre legal saga to hit the court system is currently underway. It concerns among the largest landowners in Boca Raton and allegations of tax fraud, brothel visits, and an alleged "voracious sexual appetite for latin women." In the strangest twist, the moneybags center stage for all these allegations has filed lawsuits trying to muzzle the press about the lawsuits.
James Batmasian is one of the biggest commercial real estate owners in the county with about $100 million dollars of the local Monopoly board, including Boca Raton's Royal Palm Place. He's also a convicted felon: in 2008, he was sentenced to a short spell in federal prison for failing to pay more than $250,000.
But according to the Palm Beach Post, Batmasian's latest trouble began in June, when his former employee Karla Sotomayor sued the developer, his wife, and Daron Tersakyan, an employee. In her June filing for discrimination and harassment, Sotomayor, a leasing agent, says Batmasian made numerous come-ons to her, commented frequently on her breasts, frequented a number of "jac shacks" (aka massage parlors with happy endings) he owned, and dealt with prostitutes on a regular basis. And those are just the filing's greatest hits.
In July, the developer was hit with another legal round-house, according to the Post: his former chief financial officer, James Baker, filed a suit alleging rampant fraud in Batmasian's business dealings.
This is where the twist comes: as the Post was preparing articles on both suits, Batmasian filed a lawsuit against the paper, trying to get a judge to halt publication . . . except it looks like no one told the paper. The couple filed a secret lawsuit claiming the paper should be kept from printing the suit because it "violates constitutional and legal privacy rights" of the couple and would "cause substantial and irreparable harm" to the couple.
Last week, a judge failed to buy the argument, and the Post went ahead and published their coverage of the suits.
In another twist, late last week the Batmasians responded to the allegations with a press release. In the statement, they not only deny outright Sotomayor and Baker's claims, but allege that some kind of conspiracy seems to be afoot.
According to Mr. Batmasian, "The timing of the lawsuits from the three individuals, two of which are living together and the third of which is their close friend, came only after my wife and I refused to succumb to their respective demands."
Upon learning of the lawsuit prior to recent press coverage, the family's primary concern was preventing harm to people who were not sued, but were nevertheless named in the lawsuits. Proceeding swiftly under the law, the Batmasian's were successful in obtaining the sealing of the records. "We were shocked that the media would report these claims without seeking prior approval from the Court. The public has been ill served and misled by publication of these allegations, and innocent people have suffered," said Mr. Batmasian.
Stay tuned for more updates.
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