A businessman who sued a woman, alleging she duped him for financial reasons into thinking he was dating a fashion model will have to redo only a few portions of his lawsuit for all of his claims to move forward, a judge ruled Thursday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Steven J. Kleifield ruled that there were enough details in Stephen J. Cloobeck’s causes of actions against Stefanie Gurzanski for fraud, exceeding authorized use of his credit card, theft, money had and received, invasion of privacy and civil extortion, leaving him having to shore up only his claims for trespass, restitution and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The judge gave Cloobeck 10 days to file a revised suit.
Cloobeck, 59, brought his original suit on Jan. 8. The defendants included matchmaker Katherine Abigail Le, the then-23-year-old Gurzanski and Gurzanski’s friend, Adrianna Suchor. Le was dropped as a defendant in February and other defendants were added in an amended complaint filed March 8.
In his court papers, Gurzanski attorney Arthur H. Barens urged the judge to dismiss the suit.
“Like the original complaint, it is clear from the reading of the (amended complaint) that Cloobeck is simply an angry and petty man that has nothing better to do with his money than to pay multiple lawyers to do their best to fabricate a lawsuit against innocent parties out of a set of facts that are unlikely to ever be able to sustain any cause of action in front of a court,” Barens wrote.
According to the suit, Cloobeck is a “single, successful businessman” to whom Le represented herself as a matchmaker for men like him.
“Le told Cloobeck that she could find him a woman that would take care, love and cherish him for the rest of his life,” the suit states.
Cloobeck accepted Le’s invitation and last summer Le introduced Cloobeck to Gurzanski, telling him she was “a prominent fashion model,” a “good girl” and a “woman of his dreams that would be with him forever,” the suit states.
“Instead, she (Gurzanski) is a grifter, looking for her next mark from whom she could take as much property as possible while pretending to be in love,” the suit states.
“As the result of Gurzanski’s fraud, Cloobeck’s heart was broken and he was duped out of significant assets.”
Gurzanski said in her declaration she was the one fooled by Cloobeck after they met July 30 at his home.
“I told him about my successful modeling career and businesses in which I was engaged,” she said. “Stephen also talked about his life.
“I felt Stephen and I had chemistry and I grew interested in spending more time with him. At the end of the night, Stephen invited me to go out with him the next day.”
Early in the relationship, Cloobeck gave Gurzanski a credit card and told her she could buy whatever she wanted, she said. He also began buying gifts for her and said, “Now you can never leave me” and “You’re going to be dealing with me forever” and “I will haunt you for the next 10 to 20 years,” according to Gurzanski.
“These statements made me feel uncomfortable,” Gurzanski said.
Cloobeck began harassing Gurzanski about her modeling career on Christmas Eve, she said.
“He started telling me that I was no longer allowed to publish pictures on Onlyfans.com,” she said, referring to the content subscription service. “I told him that I was going to keep doing my work as it is a source of income.”
On Christmas Day, Cloobeck asked her to marry him, but she declined and told him she wanted to end their relationship, Gurzanski said.
“Starting the day after I told Stephen that I no longer wanted to be in a relationship with him, he became unhinged and began abusing and harassing me,” Gurzanski said.
“He began attacking me and everyone around me with the intent of hurting me, isolating me from my friends and family, and he also began to try and destroy my financial independence.”
Gurzanski said she hired a security guard “because I am scared of being harmed.”