As a ridiculously petty legal battle continues to play out in a California courtroom between Bill Gross and his neighbor, the billionaire bond king offered a proverbial olive branch on Monday—and was immediately rejected for his “stunt.” In a Monday open letter, Gross, 76, offered to “end all hostilities” with his Laguna Beach neighbor, tech entrepreneur Mark Towfiq, and settle their dueling harassment lawsuits, stating the two men should calculate how much money they’ve spent in lawyers’ fees and donate the proceeds to charity. “Or, if he would prefer, just the proceeds of estimated future legal and court costs. I also propose that we can individually select charities, or in a spirit of resolution and future goodwill toward each other, come up with a jointly agreed-upon list of recipients to receive contributions in the name of his choosing,” Gross added.
Towfiq, however, immediately rejected the billionaire’s offer, calling it a “stunt to stem the tide of negative press the public exposure of his actions has produced.” “This is just billionaire Bill Gross trying to buy his way out of accountability for his horrible behavior,” Towfiq’s lawyer Jennifer Keller said in a statement. “He is losing the trial badly and is literally on the eve of being cross-examined about his harassment and lies, which he is desperate to avoid.”
Towfiq, who moved to Gross’ neighborhood in 2015, sued the billionaire and his girlfriend for harassment after the pair allegedly blared various tunes—including the theme to Gilligan’s Island—on repeat at all hours in an attempt to get Towfiq to drop a complaint about a glass sculpture. In retaliation, Gross and 51-year-old Schwarz countersued for harassment, arguing the software company exec was the original harasser and a “peeping Tom” who installed a backyard camera to spy on them. Both sides have requested Judge Kimberly Knill grant restraining orders against one another.