Bright lights shone by TriBeCa resident Suellen Epstein into her Manhattan neighbour’s apartment. Photo / Frey & Kozak LLP
TriBeCa resident Suellen Epstein.
A New York
woman became so enraged at the glare from her neighbour’s television that she bought Broadway spotlights to shine into his apartment in revenge, a court in Manhattan has heard.
Suellen Epstein, 67, enjoyed a peaceful existence for 25 years in the exclusive TriBeCa district of Manhattan – home to Beyonce and Jay-Z, Taylor Swift and Gwyneth Paltrow.
But, she argued, her peace was shattered when Rich Miele, 46, moved in to the US
$8,000-a-month unit opposite her home.
Miele, who founded a television company called Fight Sport, installed a 127cm high definition television in his living room. The married father-of-two would spend the evenings with his young family in front of the television.
She demanded that Miele draw the blinds in the evening. He refused, and instead offered to pay for high-tech blinds on her windows. She turned down his offer – and instead decided to give him a taste of his own medicine.Epstein found the light from the screen, beaming across the 15m air shaft between their apartments, unbearable.
“The spotlights caused my entire living room to spectacularly fill up with bright light every single night,” said Miele in court documents.
He accused her of “serial harassment” and attempting to turn his living room into a disco.
When Epstein went on holiday she put the lights on a timer, and at one point she installed a large nightclub-like strobe light and “began shining those spinning colour lights into my apartment – in addition to the spotlights.”
He also accused her of installing a “large Broadway-style spotlight,” which she shone into his flat. He said it posed a threat to his 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son.
“There have been times when my daughter will emerge from the bathroom without any clothing and will be exposed to anyone looking into the windows,” he said. “I am now fearful for the well-being of my young children.”
Zachary Kozak, Miele’s lawyer, said the lights shone until well after midnight, sometimes until 3am.
The apartment building in New York. Photo / Google
Epstein, who runs a children’s gymnastics company from her home, could not be reached for comment.
Arlene Bluth, Manhattan supreme court judge, ordered Epstein to stop shining lights directly into Miele’s flat, ahead of a hearing scheduled for Friday.