According to actress and comedian Kathy Griffin, KB Home CEO Jeff Mezger continues to press forward with years-old litigation even after the case was thrown out by courts in early July. In a social media post from August 9th, Griffin, who is currently recovering from cancer-related surgery, wrote. "Ugh. Like I need this now…Just found out my former next door neighbor, Jeffrey T Mezger, the CEO of @kbhome, who has been suing me unsuccessfully for years, is now petitioning The CA Supreme Court. My Nest camera captured this threat & I sent it to @HuffPost b/c I was scared. We even moved out. Listen 👇"
Griffin also reposted the original video with the update.
The lawsuit, which Mezger is now allegedly trying to take to the California Supreme Court, stems from a series of incidents that happened years ago when the two were neighbors. As soon as Griffin and her husband Randy Bick moved into the luxurious Hollywood Hills neighborhood, they began complaining to authorities of excessive noise and loud parties at the Mezgers.
In September 2017, after numerous noise complaints, the contention reached a breaking point and Mezger went on a profanity-laced tirade following another reported noise complaint and police visit. It was captured on Griffin's nest camera and she subsequently posted the recording on social media. Mezger can be heard ranting and calling Griffin a homophobic slur. Griffin ending up using a clip as part of her stage act and the recording went viral.
It was that one profanity-laden tirade made public that reportedly resulted in KB Home punishing Mezger by taking 25% from his annual holiday bonus. Mezger was also reportedly threatened with termination by the mega home-builder, "If in the future there is any similar incident, he will be dismissed," the company said in a regulatory filing.
Ultimately, he issued a statement of apology, "Mr. Mezger regrets losing his temper over a supposed noise complaint involving his three young grandchildren in his swimming pool around 8 p.m. on Saturday, while they were being supervised by their mother and grandmother," the statement said. "He apologizes for the language he used, as it does not reflect who he is or what he believes."
This did not cool the situation as days later, Griffin obtained a restraining order against the executive and Mezger responded by obtaining an order of his own against Griffin,
Fast forward to July 2018 when Mezger filed a lawsuit against Griffin and Bick for "violation of Penal Code section632, invasion of the common law right of privacy, invasion of the California constitutional right of privacy, invasion of privacy, false light, and nuisance in violation of the municipal code." Mezger claimed that Griffin illegally recorded them (Mezger, his wife Sandra, and their family) and invaded their privacy by doing so.
The lawsuit came to a conclusion in July of this year when Mezger lost and the case was thrown out. However, according to Griffin's tweet, Mezger has not taken this loss well and is now trying to escalate the case to a higher court.
As the CEO and public face of KB Home, negative pr relating to his personal life, could affect sales for the company he leads. And with KB Home having considered harsher repercussions at the time involving threats of termination, one wonders what Mezger's end game is. Rehashing his vile tirade in a very public lawsuit will just put it front and center again. Whether or not he succeeds in having his case heard by the highest court in the State, the people who potentially buy his homes will continue to be reminded of what was said and recorded.