Surely you remember the story: Two realtors (pictured above) were supposed to be selling a house. Instead, they were using the house to meet up and have sex. This went on for a long time, such that the house did not sell. They were caught on camera.
The owners, who lived elsewhere while this was going on, were understandably perturbed. They were especially bothered by what they perceived as ill treatment by Coldwell Banker, the real estate company that worked with the two realtors. The couple filed a lawsuit.
Let me digress. There are two kinds of people in the world. There is the kind of person who experiences public adversity and can’t wait until the public part ends. There is the other kind of person who experiences public adversity and embraces the visibility as if they’re gunning for a reality TV show. These are just generalities. I speak of no one in particular.
Back to the case at hand. The story went mini viral because people like me published headlines that included the words SEX and REALTOR and CAMERA. And Richard Weiner kept us abreast of the lawsuit developments. He also appeared on Inside Edition, Nancy Grace and 20/20. Today, he writes to me, "Media Exec," to say the exposure tells only part of the story.
I would summarize his letter to me, Media Exec, but I feel it's best to simply present it, in its entirety.
As a Media Exec, I have little advice for Richard Weiner. But as fellow Jew, I will remind him of the words of Torah scholar Resh Lakish: "Anger deprives the sage of his wisdom, a prophet of his vision." Granted, Resh Lakish never dealt with realtors sexing in his home, but I believe the words may still apply. And that is the miracle of the Torah!
Dear Media Exec,
You may have seen me on 20/20, Nancy Grace, Inside Edition or perhaps read about me in the media (perhaps your own?)
My name is Richard Weiner and my wife and I were the victims of the "Coldwell Banker Sex Scandal" (for lack of any better term to call it for the moment).
I'm writing to you today because the media has only picked up on part of the story and I think it's important for you as media professionals, to understand the full, detailed story.
When all of this initially happened, we went to Coldwell Banker for help. We wanted to deal with this quietly and not to hurt anyone else. Coldwell Banker slammed the door in our faces and threw us down the stairs.
Before initiating our lawsuit against them, we tried again. We got nowhere very quickly. In my mind, this was going to be a huge media sensation and all of the parties would get sucked right into it. When the first "nanny cam" incident occurred, it was a huge thing. Hence, who would expect anything less from the world's first "realtor cam"?
The Courthouse News Service picked up the Court filing and on its own, the story went viral around the world in days.
Shortly thereafter, the other defendants in the matter and their attorneys "ran to the media" with false claims of "extortion". This backfired on them as nobody had sympathy for 2 "professional realtors" breaking into a client's home with a stolen key. The Judge in the matter, recently threw out their claims - there never was any "extortion".
To clear my own name (which was tarnished by their false claims), I had to go to the media. It wasn't what I wanted to do - it was what I HAD to do.
Coldwell Banker, and its parent, Realogy are holding all of the cards here. Instead of taking responsibility for everything that happened, they seem to be under the false belief that THEY are somehow "victims" themselves. This "belief" has halted them from an amicable settlement and continued this "fight".
I have many realtor friends and they believe that this "fight" has hurt all realtors. For that I am truly sorry. However, my wife and I have been deeply injured by this and I refuse to allow this to happen to us.
What would you do if this happened to you and your family?
Hence, the fight continues. If the folks at Coldwell Banker/NRT/Realogy continue to do what they are doing, there will most likely be more media attention and as I predict, the trial will be a media zoo.
I don't see how any of this benefits Coldwell Banker/NRT/Realogy - but I believe they are stuck in their "strategy" of "frustrating" plaintiffs to "go away" (or considerably weaken their demands). I've offered tremendous compromises to them, but they don't want to accept them.
As you've probably figured out, I'm not going to allow them to "beat me and my wife up" and I will continue to "fight back" as long as they hold this terrible attitude.
In preparation for the next "blitz", I've built two web sites (which list details you can't get in a 4 minute "sound bite" or newspaper column:
This will probably be the first time that you've seen the rest of the story come to light - but I think it's important as media leaders in your respective communities that you read all of this.
Please start with the "Our Story" on the www.coldwellbankerstinks.com site and then go from there.
My apologies in advance for having to send this to you, it's not a "pleasant" matter. However, you might appreciate how easily some of these things can happen in the industry and perhaps by reading through this it may help you in you better understand and appreciate what we've been through.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you and best regards,