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Image / Living / Culture

Not even celebrities like Justin Theroux can avoid terrible neighbours


By Sarah Finnan
02nd Mar 2022

IMDb

Not even celebrities like Justin Theroux can avoid terrible neighbours

The actor has been embroiled in a nasty legal battle with his neighbour for several years now – as one New York court put it, they “do not get along, to put it mildly”.

We’ve all heard horror stories about terrible neighbours. It’s an oft-discussed topic amongst friends, family members and coworkers and everyone probably has at least one anecdote they could recount. Living in close proximity to people who don’t share your views on certain things (e.g. practising guitar or yelling repeatedly at their TV screens at 1 am in the morning) can be difficult, to say the least. 

To quote the “crying girl” in Mean Girls, I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school… but sometimes not even a rainbow-filled cake is enough to quell the drama. Some disagreements go beyond that as Justin Theroux has learned. In fact, he’s been battling (legally, not physically speaking) against his neighbour for years now. 

Basically, Curbed states it all started back in 2017 when Theroux filed a lawsuit against Norman Resnicow, a real estate attorney who lived just beneath him in the same building. According to Theroux – who was living there with his now ex-wife Jennifer Aniston –, Resnicow had orchestrated a “targeted and malicious years-long harassment campaign” against him that devolved while the couple was renovating the Washington Place apartment. 

“In the past six months, Mr Resnicow has demonstrated a bizarre, troubling obsession with my life and my property and has proven unwilling or unable to stop himself from entering my property, in direct violation of my rights – despite my lawyer’s written demand that he cease doing so,” Theroux said in an affidavit made public in late 2017.

Resnicow retaliated by inviting a Daily Mail camera crew into the building for an interview… one in which he claimed that he was “under siege” by Theroux’s dogs, later adding “loud yowling”, Theroux’s choice of footwear (he apparently liked to “walk around in his biker boots”) and a basement filled with “Justin’s junk” to his list of grievances. 

That essentially sparked a five-year-long tit-for-tat clash between the two involving restraining orders, alleged water leaks and physical divisions being erected to divide their shared patio. Resnicow was also photographed trespassing on Theroux’s property. Things got even pettier still when he decided to rip up the ivy on their shared patio for no other reason than because “he knew that Mr Theroux enjoyed the aesthetic provided by the ivy.” 

On Tuesday, Theroux’s Greenwich Village co-op filed a lawsuit to kick Mr Resnicow and his wife Barbara out of their apartment on account of “verbal abuse, threats and offensive language” towards residents/employees, trespassing on shareholders’ properties and bringing the tabloids into the building. This lawsuit comes after Resnicow brought his own case against the board, saying that it was trying to make his life “as miserable as possible”. He also accused the board of turning against him only after Theroux became a member in 2018.  

The board supposedly voted to terminate his lease, but Patch subsequently reported that neither Norman nor Barbara have left the building yet. 

Naturally, Resnicow has much to say on the matter and maintains that he is the one being harassed by Theroux who “dominates the co-op board”, purportedly shines bright lights in his window and has a “too big” deck umbrella on their shared patio. 

“Each encroachment of the fully-opened canopy upon the Resnicow portion of the second-floor roof terrace constitutes a trespass,” the Reniscow’s countersuit reads regarding the small matter of the umbrella. “The repeated trespasses were performed with actual malice, or alternatively amounted to a wanton, willful, or reckless disregard of the Resnicows’ rights.” According to their legal team, the Reniscows are entitled to compensation for the “trespassing”… by which they mean the umbrella opening up to extend onto their part of the patio. 

The New York County Supreme Court has not yet made a judgment on the new lawsuit filed on Tuesday, so it remains to be seen how this will play out but one thing’s for certain; even famous people have to put up with terrible neighbours.