The CEO of KB Homes won a round Thursday in his legal battle with Kathy Griffin when a judge dismissed the comedian’s countersuit alleging that her neighbor caused her emotional distress with a pattern of behavior that included calling her a homophobic name and warning her that “War’s happenin’.”
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Holly Fujie granted a motion by Jeffrey Metzger to dismiss Griffin’s complaint, which contained a single cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress and alleged a series of actions leading up to Metzger’s alleged threatening rant in September 2017.
The judge ruled that Metzger’s behavior was not “extreme and outrageous.” Fujie also noted this was Griffin’s second amended countersuit and that despite the evidence of loud parties, broken beer bottles and foul language, the elements for her claim had still not been shown.
Mezger and his wife, Sandra, who live next door to Griffin and her now-husband, Randy Ralph Bick Jr., filed the first legal volley by bringing an invasion-of-privacy suit against the couple in July 2018, alleging that Griffin and Bick illegally recorded the Mezgers on audio and video from their back yard.
Griffin, 59, and Bick, 41, began dating in 2011 and were married in a New Year’s Eve ceremony Tuesday officiated by Lily Tomlin.
The Mezgers say Griffin and Bick moved in next to them in July 2016 and soon thereafter lodged noise complaints against them with the Bel Air Crest homeowners’ association board and the Los Angeles Police Department. According to Griffin’s countersuit, she and Bick encountered problems with the plaintiffs not long after they after moved into their home south of the Metzger house.
“Over the next six months, Mr. Mezger repeatedly hosted activities in his back yard which were excessively noisy and intruded significantly on Ms. Griffin’s quiet enjoyment of her new home,” the countersuit stated. “In many cases, there would be multiple events in a single week, with loud shouting and the playing of loud music through outdoor speakers well into the night.”
In June 2017, Griffin spent more than $130,000 on security along the boundary with the Mezger property, including a wall built bordering the side of her property facing the Mezgers’ home and 17-foot-tall trees, according to the countersuit.
“Ms. Griffin never had the need to install similar security and privacy measures on the other side of her home, which was directly adjacent to the home of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West and their children,” the countersuit stated. “That family never harassed Ms. Griffin and they never created any intrusive noise problems, even though their house and their backyard were the same distance from Ms. Griffin’s home as the Mezgers’ home was.”
In early September 2017, Griffin shaved her head completely bald in sympathy with her sister, who had been suffering from cancer, the countersuit stated. Her sibling died later that month, leaving the comedan traumatized at the same time she was caring for their elderly mother, according to her countersuit.
Griffin’s attorney, Adam Siegler, argued that Metzger’s alleged homophobic slur and statement that “War’s happenin”’ amounted to extreme and outrageous conduct because he knew that the comedian was especially susceptible at the time to suffering emotional distress because of the loss of her sister. Siegler said Griffin’s sister was gay and that the entertainer is a longtime champion of LGBT rights.
Siegler said Metzger also knew that Griffin had been under fire for a May 2017 photo shoot of her holding up a Halloween mask of President Trump that looked like a severed head but was “unquestionably a political satire, and not a real threat.”
The fallout cost Griffin numerous commercial endorsements and other sources of work, as venues around the country canceled her shows.
“Mr. Metzger targeted these vulnerabilities,” Siegler alleged.
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