I have sent an mail to Fishel Cohen seeking comment. Rabbi Baruch Gradon is the only rabbi mentioned by name in this lawsuit by Diane Polonsky, a single mother of four.
From page 48 of the Complaint: Verbatim quotes with spelling errors of some of Mr. Cohen’s texts and emails to Plaintiff Diane Polonsky:
I have been following this story since August of 2012 but have not published anything about it until now.
I know that the rabbi troubling Diane Polonsky’s life over the past couple of years has been Rabbi Baruch Gradon.
According to Diane Polonsky’s lawsuit, Fishel Cohen claims he controls many of LA’s top Orthodox rabbis.
Diane Polonsky emailed me May 13, 2013: “I would like to schedule an interview with you this week, one-on-one, to discuss issues of life and death, and guns and predators, and Rabbis how they helped or didn’t help a frum woman of a horrible violent and drugged husband who is a victim of domestic violence in the Los Angeles Orthodox Jewish Community.
“A woman who was a solid fundraiser, dedicated member of the shul, and was for 10 years involved in chessed committees. As well as her unheard plea for help from the Rabbi’s and the predator who to this day, continues to stalk her. How the leaders have ignored her, and how her ex husband is now a felon, as she risked everything to protect her children.. and how the Rabbis protected the stalker and harassment that is still happening to this day and her pleas to be helped and left along. And the Rabbis responded via showing her the door, and hiring attorneys to stand behind the man with the money, and offered her only intimidation tactics. I have papers, recordings, pictures, police report to to back everything up that supports how a victim continues to be ignored.”
I, Diane L. Polonsky complain and alleges against Philip Cohen ; Mansfield Equities, Incorporated, Willco Construction Co.,Inc. Ackman Ziff, Chazen Realty Advisors, LLC. Yachad Sports Program, as follows:
My general allegations against Rabbi Philip ‘Fishel’ Cohen, aka Philip Cohen
1. I am and was a resident of the County of Los Angeles, State of California.
2. Defendant, Rabbi Philip ‘Fishel’ Cohen, aka Philip Cohen, maintained a principal place of business at Mansfield Equities, Inc., and 1999 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1100, Los Angeles, CA 90067 and was my employer.
3. Mr. Cohen was and is a resident living in the County of Los Angeles in the State of California and at all times herein mentioned was my supervisor. Mr. Cohen is married to Ronit Cohen. Mr. Cohen told me that he obtained “Semikha” (rabbinic ordination in Jewish law) when he learned in a rabbinical seminary in Israel, and is an Orthodox Rabbi well-versed in Jewish law. As the holder of the privilege, I waive the privilege and disclose the facts about Rabbi Philip ‘Fishel’ Cohen in this complaint.
4. Willco Construction Co.,Inc is a Washington DC corporation. Mr. Cohen’s Mansfield companies et al were affiliates of Willco Construction Co.,Inc, of Wilco Residential, of Wilco Investments, and Wilco Business Center. I worked on all of these Willco files at Mr. Cohen’s Mansfield office. Mr. Cohen’s father is the president and owner of the Willco and Accent companies (and Mr. Cohen’s brother Gary) and he travels to Los Angeles to visit Mr. Cohen all the time.
5. Ackman Ziff,Inc is a Washington DC corporation. Ackman-Ziff. Mr. Cohen’s Mansfield companies et al were affiliates of Ackman Ziff,Inc and Ackman-Ziff Chazen Realty Advisors. I worked on all of these Ackman Ziff,Inc files at Mr. Cohen’s Mansfield office.
6. Chazen Realty Advisors, LLC is a Washington DC corporation. Mr. Cohen’s Mansfield companies et al were affiliates of Chazen Realty and I worked on all of these Chazen Realty files at Mr. Cohen’s Mansfield office.
7. Yachad Sports Program is a California corporation.
8. I do not know and am ignorant of the true names and capacities, whether individual, corporate, or associate, of those Defendants fictitiously sued as does 1 through 10 inclusive and so I sue them by these fictitious names. I am informed and believe that each of the Doe Defendants reside in the State of California and are in some manner responsible for the conduct alleged herein. Upon discovering the true names and capacities of these fictitiously named Defendants I plan to amend this complaint to show the true names and capacities of these fictitiously named Defendants.
9. Defendants, and each of them, were and are the principal, authorized agent, employee, co-conspirator, partner, joint venturer, and/or alter ego each of their co-defendants and in doing the things herein mentioned, were acting within the purpose and scope of such principal-agency relationship, employment, conspiracy, partnership, joint venture, and/or alter ego, and that all of the acts alleged herein have been done by each Defendant, and were authorized, approved and/or ratified by each of their co-defendants.
I was a vulnerable victim
10. After approximately 20 years of marriage, my husband Barry Polonsky tragically became a violent and dangerous alcoholic and drug addict, and he bought guns and live ammunition, brought them into my home, threatened to kill me and became physically and mentally and verbally abusive.
11. I have been the victim of abuse and alcoholic behavior (cocaine, marijuana and pills) at the hands of my husband throughout the last three+ years of our marriage. Throughout all of these years, my children and I lived in a constant state of fear for our emotional and physical well-being when in his presence. Barry was/is physically and emotionally abusive to me. I lived with an ongoing cloud of doom and impending threat that at any moment, he will explode, throw a fit, throw something at me, insult me, hit me, & kill me. Years and years of fighting, fear, his hangovers, his alcoholic and drug-induced mood swings, and abuse have caused us irreparable damage.
12. His unstable fits of rage got worse and worse, he swings wildly, kicking and tripping, breaks doors and punches holes in the wall of our house in fits of rage. He breaks doors and chairs leaving them broken. He locks me in rooms in my home preventing me from leaving (getting past him), trapping me for hours on end – yelling and screaming profanities at me 1-inch at my face, verbally terrorizing me. When I tried escaping or leaving the conversation, he will stalk me and follow me giving me no escape. I have to lock myself in the bathroom for hours to escape his abuse. When I tried to escape he dragged me across the carpet of our floor giving me horrible rug burns on my body that I would cover up with clothes. He has been hitting strangers on the street, knocking them unconscious and then driving away in front of me and my children.
13. I tragically became a victim of domestic violence and was forced to seek a restraining order and file for divorce and obtain a Jewish Get of divorce. I obtained multiple civil and criminal restraining orders against Barry who has been physically and financially awol for many months since. I was escorted to court with the undercover LA County drug and gang units who came to my home regularly. Our family business went bankrupt, our home is in foreclosure, I am now on welfare with four beautiful kids.
14. Because I live in the Orthodox Jewish community of the Pico Robertson area of Los Angeles, I tried my best to adhere to what I thought was Jewish Law. I did everything my rabbis told me to do. An orthodox rabbi offered us marriage counseling and instructed me to go back to my abusive husband, only to be beaten to pulp by Barry thereafter. Barry’s physical abuse almost killed me.
15. After I obtained my civil and criminal restraining orders, and after the undercover LAPD (gang and drug units) arrests of Barry, and after we were forced into welfare and our house went into foreclosure, I went to this orthodox rabbi with my hand out asking for some help, and he showed me the door and would not take any responsibility for my continued abuse at the hands of Barry.
Rabbi Fishel Cohen’s entry into my life
16. During this horrible ordeal, a married man name Philip ‘Fishel’ Cohen, (who manages my son’s all-boys orthodox Jewish sports league “Yachad” on Sundays) entered my life. Mr. Cohen knew all of the above problems that I was facing with Barry, and pressured me constantly to open up and confide in him to unload and share my personal problems with him. He told me that he was an orthodox rabbi and that I could trust him and that I could open up to him. In fact, Mr. Cohen instructed me to ‘make a record’ of Barry’s abuse of me and had me document my problems of Barry’s drug and gun use and physical abuse and I videotaped them to show Mr. Cohen. And Mr. Cohen was the one who instructed me to go back to that orthodox rabbi who sent me back to my abusive husband. Mr. Cohen advised me to take Torah lectures with ‘his rabbi’ and to go see a third rabbi for help and to get a Get.
17. Mr. Cohen started with offers to help me with my son’s baseball skills, came to my home to take my son out for ice cream, something he admitted to me “no way!” that he had never done this before. This led Mr. Cohen to offering and hiring me to do work for him and his companies as his administrative assistant.
My work for Philip ‘Fishel’ Cohen’s businesses
18. I began working for Mr. Cohen and his companies from June of 2009 until I was forced to constructively terminate in October – November of2012. During my employment with Mr. Cohen and his companies I was not compensated for a single hour of work. We negotiated my salary and I have Mr. Cohen’s written confirmation of my $12 an hour compensation offer, and numerous documents and emails evidencing the hard work I performed for Mr. Cohen and his company. There are witnesses to me showing up at Mr. Cohen’s offices and performing work for him.
19. I maintained Mr. Cohen’s office, the companies’ office files, discussed real estate ventures, scouted out properties, ordered supplies, etc., spending hundreds of hours for him doing his mission statements, his advertising, his hiring, and his plaques for his companies, etc.
20. My primary tasks were to organize Mr. Cohen’s Mansfield and personal files. When I first started working for Mansfield, his office was totally unorganized with many stacked piles of paper on the floor and on the credenza and on the desks and in his drawers. In order to organize his files/papers, I had to discuss each one of his businesses with him at great length to understand a way to organize and divide his files accordingly, as Mr. Cohen had no idea how to organize his companies’ files. Mr. Cohen described his businesses to me so that I could get a sense of what needed to be organized in order for them to work together.
21. Mr. Cohen explained his different businesses for his family owned business Axent aka Wilco Companies and, Ackman Ziff, as well as his joint ventures with Osborne Ventures and others. My first order of business was always to hear him out, file his many documents of the files for Mansfield Equities and the related family companies. He decided that the best way to organize Mr. Cohen’s files was per property. I went through pile after pile of papers and divided his papers per property. I created approximately 15-20 files of property related documents, and created separate folders for at least 12+ properties.
22. Mr. Cohen spoke to me about everything about his businesses. He asked me to be his sounding board, telling me that he valued my opinions, for literally everything about his business goals, etc. He spoke to me about his marketing needs, his professional image, his websites, his billing problems, his client generation, his problems and tensions with his father’s businesses and the problems he had with his wife. He boasted to me about his need for more financial success and praised and complimented me and pounded me constantly encouraging my creative thinking and ideas.
Philip ‘Fishel’ Cohen’s new 2nd office and his separation from his wife
23. There was a 2nd location where Mr. Cohen had me work for him on Crescent Drive in Beverly Hills. Mr. Cohen told me that he used this 2nd office location because he told me that he was separated from his wife and was not living at home with her. The 2nd office was closer to his children, as he complained all the time about what a pain it was for him to commute to Century City. Since he was always sleep-deprived, Mr. Cohen slept there and had many hours of brainstorming lunches with me there as well. When Mr. Cohen had me meet him at Crescent, Mr. Cohen always had me pick up lunch from the Fish Grill on Pico and Beverlywood as he was a regular there and asked me to bring him the receipt so that he could reimburse me for the cash outlay – which he did. During these lunches, Mr. Cohen consumed beer after beer.
24. While at Crescent, while I’m there trying to work, Mr. Cohen kept awkwardly bragging to me about his father’s adulterous affair while married to his mother and how his father stayed married by playing controlling mind games with his mother. At the time, I had no idea why he was telling me this and why I needed to know about the infidelity in his family.
25. While at Crescent, while I’m there trying to work, Mr. Cohen kept reminding me how his father bailed him out from every trouble that Mr. Cohen got himself into (ie, Jill), which was the driving force why Mr. Cohen was forced to move to Los Angeles and be far away from his family.
26. While at Crescent, while I’m there trying to work, Mr. Cohen also bragged to me that he loaned a lot of money in the community to various prominent orthodox Jews and orthodox Rabbis and to the rabbis of the bes din, and told me that he was untouchable and above the law and could pay off any of these rabbis and had “resources” and could get away with doing whatever he wanted, how he has these people “tucked away in his pocket” who would do whatever he requested and issue whatever rabbinic ruling he needed because they all owed him money. Mr. Cohen taunted me over and over and reminded me “one day you will need the orthodox rabbis for your bar mitzvas, bas mitzvas and weddings and you and everybody esle better be nice to me.” Mr. Cohen mocked his orthodox rabbis as having small minds. Mr. Cohen said that no rabbi can go after him because he’s got the dirt on all of their marital affairs and sex lives. At the time, I had no idea why he was telling me this.
27. While at Crescent, while I’m there trying to work, Mr. Cohen told me that he consulted other Orthodox rabbis in the community about sexual issues all the time and that he became an expert in these issues. Mr. Cohen told me stories of sex in the Bible and how premarital sex was ok, and how sex with a divorced man was ok.
28. While at Crescent, while I’m there trying to work, Mr. Cohen told me that he had a 5-year affair while being married to Ronit with his former girlfriend Jill who could only orgasm while Mr. Cohen gave her oral sex. He also told me that he was in Spain after he was married to Ronit and that he had sex with twins who slept with him only because of his dimples and that he hooked up with them in Los Angeles.
29. While at Crescent, while I’m there trying to work, Mr. Cohen would constantly accuse me of sleeping with prominent orthodox rabbis and attorneys in Los Angeles. I of course ignored his weird comments. But when Mr. Cohen would bring up the accusation again, he would accuse of me of sleeping with prominent orthodox rabbis and attorneys in Los Angeles because he didn’t hear me deny it. I started to feel intimidated and scared that Mr. Cohen would extort me at a later date by making these false allegations again.
30. While at Crescent, while I’m there trying to work, Mr. Cohen told me that he was not intimate with his wife Ronit, and that she was frigid and dry. He asked me what I thought about his wife going to a Torah class by a rebbetzin seeking sex advice.
31. While at Crescent, I started catching Mr. Cohen in various lies and made up stories. For example, he would tell me that he went out of town, when he wasn’t. He told me that his son was in the hospital when she wasn’t. He told his father that he was working on a specific project for him and then told me that he really wasn’t and that I needed to build up his file so that he could show his father that he worked on the file and that we could get paid. He told me that he slept with his friend Jay Ptashnik’s wife and then admitted later that he didn’t. He told me that Ronit had an affair and cheated on him and left him, and then seconds later she called the office minutes later asking him to pick up food for dinner. He told his wife on the cellphone on the speaker on the eve of Rosh Hashana that he was at the Mikveh and couldn’t pick up his son who was waiting for him at Monte Carlo suits, when he was standing right in front of me.
32. While at Crescent, while I’m there trying to work, Mr. Cohen would be looking at hard-core pornography, telling me that his friends sent it to him.
My employer (Mr. Cohen)’s sexual perversions and harassment at me
33. After being hounded by Mr. Cohen to come back and work for him, I agreed to the reinstatement of my employment for Mr. Cohen and companies.
34. At this point in time, Mr. Cohen’s behavior became forced. He became a stalker.
35. Mr. Cohen refused to leave me alone. Mr. Cohen’s sexual and offensive manners and contacts were not invited by me and were always repudiated by me. I protested and complained about these actions. I begged him and begged him to leave me alone but he wouldn’t listen.
36. Mr. Cohen called me 24/7 and showed up at my home at all hours of the day, begging to be let in. Mr. Cohen sat in his car in front of my home for long periods of time throughout the day ‘sexting’ me and calling me begging to come in. My kids would ask me why Mr. Cohen was parked outside my home for long periods of time and I felt that I had to go to his car to ask him to leave, when I saw him masturbating in the driver’s seat.
37. Mr. Cohen was so brazen with me that he just forced his way into my home whenever he wanted and made himself at home. He forced himself into my children’s bedroom against my wishes and wouldn’t leave. My children and housekeeper saw him do this all the time. He boasted that he was not afraid of Barry, yet, he devised an escape plan how to run out of my back door if Barry entered the front of the house.
38. Mr. Cohen’s obsession as a sex crazed predator became worse and more out-of-control, taking advantage of my vulnerabilities, and relentlessly pursued me.
39. Mr. Cohen appeared at my home throughout the day at all hours of the day (3:am, 4:am, 5:am, 6:am) and throughout the day, several times a day, within hours of each other, parked in front of my home waiting for me to come out. Each time that I came out to his car to placate him (to make him go away), he would unzipper his pants to expose his penis and masturbate. He would force me to watch him ejaculate threatening me that unless I did, he would make my life miserable.
40. Sometimes he would just sucker me to get into his car with fraudulent inducements that he needed to talk about Mansfield to me, and when I entered his car, he would lock the doors and I was not allowed out of his car until after he forced me to listen to his apologies, pleadings of how much he needs me, and get a good hard thrush of him pushing himself of me and grabbing me for sex. While Mr. Cohen came over to apologize for his bad behavior, and I had no idea, he was going to try it again. I do not like bruises, and him grabbing me, and forcing himself upon me was met with fight, and I had to push him off of me, and yell at him to open the car door so I could get out.
41. Mr. Cohen would forcibly enter my house unannounced and un-welcomed, would follow me to Ralphs market in the Pico Robertson area and block my car in the underground parking lot to force me to talk to him and watch him masturbate. Once I was forced to come into his car, as he blocked me, he would lock the car doors and start rubbing his penis through his pants, and then take it out and masturbate in front of me climaxing within seconds. And then apologize.
42. Mr. Cohen emailed and texted me sick perverted double entendres in the work related emails laden with perversions – non stop with sexual advances and propositions. He continues to do this to this very day, by himself and through his partners. He forced me to change my phone number twice threatening that his wife will come after me unless I do.
43. Mr. Cohen visually harassed me – he used his cell phone and took a picture of himself inside his car, with his mouth open and tongue sticking out, inferring his need to have oral sex and soliciting oral sex, and forwarding it to me from his cell to my cell phone. See attached picture.
44. Mr. Cohen visually harassed me – he emailed and sexted me throughout the day and night. Mr. Cohen emailed me nearly a dozen offensive and disgusting pictures of large breasted young woman wearing only a skimpy small top and underwear, positioned with their legs open, hands inside their legs, and lewd comments on their shirts which are attached at the end of this complaint. See attached.
45. Mr. Cohen would call and ‘sext’ me at all hours, from predawn to midnight. Mr. Cohen would tell me he was coming over, or say sexually things he wanted me to do to me, or have me do to him, and that If I responded to his text with a text or a call, his wife would have reason to cause me great harm to me. Mr. Cohen told me that I had to change my cell number because he called me at night, and he told his wife the number belonged to his attorney “Jay Ptashnik.” I was promised I would have no problems as long as I follow his rules and go along. (For example: He told me he would “XX” me and that I should “OO” him as a response and for me to “XX” him and he will “OO” me as a response, as he has used this system with another girl before).
46. Mr. Cohen visually harassed me – he refused to refrain from using sexually explicit words causing me undue hardship when trying to work, and caused hostile and quid pro quo work environment. I had made repeated after repeated request to Mr. Cohen asking him to not speak about his wife, his friends, comments his friends make to him about me such as a MILF, or about my looks, obscene language, sexual favors, demeaning, and sex words, and anything of a sexual nature, and of a physical interference nature.
47. Even my innocuous and innocent emails to him regarding building his website; Mr. Cohen emailed me back that the secret password was “orgasm.”
48. Below are Mr. Cohen’s verbatim quotes with his spelling errors, of some of Mr. Cohen’s inappropriate sexual texts and emails to me:
“You shoukd know something I’ve had sex with # girls.”
“Yachad at its best I want to love you so so hard and have no conflict with making ur ass cum as well”
“tell me something erotic“
“pinning u against the wall french kissing did you like that?”
“I was just thinking of you in my car — erotic as ever — You are home along today”
“Love ur mind creative smart passionate like your pussy and breasts”
“Luv u I’m here and want to dance “
“Imagine our text history got out. Oyiiii.”
“I have so much emotional energy bottled up over you”
“I just want to hold you again—“
“I had a dream that I was sucking on your wet clit — in cresent during my lunch break— You were shirtless — And seemed to be enjoying it…”
“Would you like some more pain??”
“Accident—you are so squeezable—and lickable— Sometimes in close quarters things get messy. At least you weren’t slapped or pinched”
“I think It would be easier—from a community perspective being in public together“
“But next time I’d like to fuc???”
“Shabbos kodesh sitting on my face rubbing your breasts —chullent singing— crawling behind you—oh my”
49. Mr. Cohen harassed me by interrogating me all day asking me how my sex was with prominent orthodox rabbis and members of the community. It got to the point where Mr. Cohen was delusionaly telling me of his crazy-making scenarios. Mr. Cohen is obsessed and delusional about me and a non-existent sexual relationship with others.
50. I was forcibly subjected to severe and daily sexual harassment and stalking by Mr. Cohen. When I refused his advances, I was subjected to threats of severe retaliatory actions like: (1) threatening to show up at my house when my abusive husband was home and slander me to my husband to put me in danger of getting beaten up again, or (2) threatening to tell his wife – accusing me of breaking up his marriage (“God forbid my crazy wife should ever find out about you she would go after you and kill you.”); (3) threatening to defame me to the community – accusing me of breaking up his marriage; (4) forcing me to come to his parked car outside of my home just to get in his car and talk to him as he masturbated; (5) sent me numerous sexual pictures; (5) excessively bombarding me with sick sexual text messages to me; (6) forcing me to have sex with him; (7) physically slapping and grabbing me and manhandling me in a rough manner, causing me serious and visible bruises on my legs; (8) he grabbed me to masturbate him and when I refused he masturbated himself by his own hand in front of me. When I tried he leave, he grabbed my arm and twisted my wrists forcing me to watch. He told me to just watch – or he will have “blueballs” and come to my house and masturbate in front of my house.
51. Mr. Cohen manipulated me to satisfy his sexual obsessions. Mr. Cohen refused to pay me unless I let him in my house and made him breakfast and he wouldn’t leave my home unless I succumbed to his sexual advances.
52. And when I refused, Mr. Cohen physically manhandled me, grabbed me abusively, threw me down to the floor, pushed me against the wall, and bruised me by digging his fingertips into my thighs, and had his way with me and then apologized afterwards. Mr. Cohen played me on my good nature and took total advantage of me. Mr. Cohen would not leave me alone, and hounded me to spend time with him. See attached.
53. Mr. Cohen physically harassed me – he made unwanted sexual advances and; sexual advances that resulted in assaults, bruises, physical interference with normal work and movement, impending and blocked my movement in my car, while shopping, at work, and at my home. He stalked me and impeded my freedom of movement, and would keep me under surveillance. He confined me to his locked care and keep his locked door as a physical barrier, apprehending me by the force of his large body being leaned on top of me, not allowing me to move.
Mr. Cohen’s verbal and physical and psychological threats to me and my family
54. Mr. Cohen told me that he could only text me and that his wife Ronit should never know. Mr. Cohen told me that his wife has a friend that would investigate me and find out where I lived and where my children attends school, and the physical address. Mr. Cohen after information his wife where my children went to school, and after his “what if” turned what was already threatened as a “probable assailant” to have his wife and her two buddies, (actually under his eye and protection) had my daughter and I attached by them and run for safety in our own domicile, our own school playground.
55. Mr. Cohen told me that his wife will come after me and publicly humiliate me and attack me. Mr. Cohen told me that his wife had a very loud mouth, frequently yelled in public, and would yell to her children and have her mob-like Persian brothers go after me.
56. Mr. Cohen told me that he was physically and mentally abusive to his last girlfriend Jill that he made her life so miserable for breaking up with him. Mr. Cohen told me that if I ever leave him that he would do to me what he did to Jill.
57. At my request, Mr. Cohen went for counseling several times to take reasonable steps to stop his uncontrollable behavior obsessive behavior as a effort to help him to stop coming and needing to come to my home, not stalk me anymore, and leave me alone, and not knock on my door at all hours of the night (‘C’mon Diane, let me in.’). To let our business relationship remain.
58. I was literally emotionally and physically trapped and terrified by Mr. Cohen having me be in a no win situation, and I was, and had no choice but to acquiesce to his threats and physical demands as he threatened me further and reminded me all the time that I should trust him, he is loyal to me and that “I had to trust” him, “I have no choice but to trust him and he has clarity and that I needed to trust him.
59. Mr. Cohen preyed on me because he knew I was struggling to get away from my violent husband and feared for my safety. He said that he knew that I had a paralyzing fear of death at Barry’s hands.
60. At this point in time, I was so terrified by Barry’s abuse and by Mr. Cohen’s mental games with me and stalking, that I went into survival mode out of desperation and just hoped and prayed that things would be ok and I would get out of this mess.
61. I tried desperately to get Mr. Cohen to leave me alone, and to just let me do my work for him. I begged him to get counseling to pull his life together and to go back to his wife and fix his marriage and leave me alone. Mr. Cohen went to counseling to two different therapists at this time.
62. Nevertheless, Mr. Cohen’s obsession with me was relentless and continued unabated. He would promise his therapist that he would leave me alone and would drive to my home immediately thereafter pressuring me and forcing me to have sex.
63. After I received my Get from Barry, Mr. Cohen panicked and told me that I could not date anyone else, that I can only date him. Mr. Cohen’s obsession with me became worse and worse. He came to my home numerous times a day, imposing himself on me sexually as usual, buying me flowers, built my Sukkah for me, and romancing me with daily marriage proposals. He told me that he went to see a divorce attorney in the Valley and a rabbi to allow him to marry me (he is a Kohen).
Mr. Cohen’s manipulative sweet-talk, apologies, and mind-games
64. When I complained of his abuse, Mr. Cohen sweet-talked me with heartfelt words of apology, begged me to forgive him, told me how much he loved me, and how much he wants to divorce his wife Ronit and marry me, bought me candies and flowers and somehow, he managed to sweet-talk me into forgiving him.
65. Mr. Cohen knew that Barry was no longer in my home and that we were physically separated. Mr. Cohen represented to me that he is an orthodox rabbi well-versed in Jewish law and that since Barry & I were no longer sexually intimate, and that since Mr. Cohen was going to marry me, that we could have pre-marital sex together, and that it would not violate any Jewish laws. I am a Baal Teshuvah, an admittee to Orthodox Judaism and knew little of Jewish law at the time.
66. One of his ways of sweet-talking me into having sex with him was his telling me how much he loved me, how much he loved my kids, how much is family would love me, how much he is my protector, and how he reminded me again on how much G-d loves me and how our sex was premarital and therefore ok, since we were meant for each other and were ultimately going to be husband and wife.
Rabbi Fishel’s hand-written marriage proposal to me on Yom Kippur
“Dear Diane, three things I love most: Torah, my children, and you.”
67. Eventually, without a husband to protect me, feeling afraid, alone and vulnerable, I felt like I had no choice and succumbed to Mr. Cohen’s non stop pressure and propositions; because Mr. Cohen told me that he would divorce his wife Ronit, proposing to marry me – in writing on the eve of Yom Kippur (he wrote me: “Dear Diane, three things I love most: Torah, my children, and you”) – and buy a home and move to the Valley together, he would support me and my four kids, promises of partnership in his family business, and even promised to share in his father’s inheritance, and that he would protect me from my physically abusive ex husband.
Rabbi Fishel & his wife threatens me
68. After Yom Kippur, Mr. Cohen’s wife Ronit discovered a few of her husband’s emails to me, questioned him about them and Mr. Cohen pointed the finger of blame to me accusing me of instigating the relationship and soliciting him. Mr. Cohen subsequently called me in a fit of sheer panic to scare me that his wife Ronit seeks revenge and wants to get me in trouble and thrown out of the community. Instead of protecting me and my kids, by telling his wife the truth of his own twisted and sick perversions and of his written marriage proposal to me, Mr. Cohen scapegoated and blamed me and identified me and where my kids go to school.
69. Mr. Cohen told his wife and my friend/speech therapist, and his Rabbi who is a prominent Jewish Leader within our tight knit Los Angeles Orthodox community that I was divorced woman who came onto him offering him sex so that he will let my boys play free for his Sundays boys orthodox sports league. Mr. Cohen also has shown others a picture that he claims to be me.
70. Mr. Cohen told his wife and my friend/speech therapist, and his Rabbi who is a prominent Jewish Leader within our tight knit Los Angeles Orthodox community that I was the aggressor, and the problem, and has actively engaged in continuing to make lies and defamatory statements about me to people and maliciously put me in false light. He has compromised my good name, my long standing good reputation, my shidduchim (Jewish matchmakers), my social standing, my freedom on privacy, freedom to move without fear, my right to worship without being unwelcomed, my right to even be heard or be treated kindly by a leading Rabbi in the community.
71. As a result of Mr. Cohen’s efforts to discredit me and his defamation of me: access to Community tzedakah funds have been cut off by malicious and slanderous, defamatory, menace lies of me being initiated and fed by Mr. Cohen’s own mouth. Mr. Cohen told my friend/speech therapist, and his Rabbi who is a prominent Jewish Leader within our tight knit Los Angeles Orthodox community that I was an “evil lady”. Thus, causing community funds and assistance to become extinct to me and my family. Thereby, having the trickle down effect, as being unwelcomed vis –a vis in the community, shuls (place of worship),social gatherings and learning, social functions and networks, etc. In short, being ‘excommunicated’ from my own native place of living and means of worshiping. Every door has been closed to me that was opened before. Mr. Cohen has strategically maneuvered a covert plan of action. He and his family have systemically raised over a half a million dollars that were donated to the Rabbinic Leader, while bombarding the community relentlessly with false light malicious and disgraceful brutal lies and with the intent to humiliate and discredit me.
Mr. Cohen’s manipulative and retaliation threats to me
72. Mr. Cohen reminded me of the extreme methods his father used to control his mother from exposing his adultery and said to me that he inherited his father’s adulterous dna and will be as controlling as his father.
73. In an effort to cover-up and conceal his adultery from his wife Ronit, Mr. Cohen changed the caller ID for me on his cell phone and disguised it with the name of his attorney Jay Patashnik of New York and called me late at night threatening me that unless I cooperated with him and Mr. Patashnik to further fool his wife, Ronit will come after me and hurt me and my children.
74. Efforts were made to assure me that Mr. Cohen & Ronit would not harass me, attack me, gossip and slander me. Attorney Dana Cole and Rabbi Baruch Gradon got involved to help Mr. Cohen & Ronit stay married. Promises and assurances were made by Dana Cole and Rabbi Gradon that I would be left alone. However, since then, Mr. Cohen has been “accidentally” (intentionally) emailing me several times through Linkedin and the internet, and even most recently had his business partner Reeves Benaron stalk me by driving by my property staring at me as I come in and out of my home.
75. Thereafter, me and my four children were guests at a community-wide large public gathering invited Bar Mitzvah, the bar mitzvah boy is a classmate of my oldest son). The party was at the outside courtyard of the school where my children go to school. There was one large table at the rear of the courtyard where all the food was at. I was standing at the Kiddush table with my daughter, when I was startled to notice Ronit Cohen standing relatively near me, at the adjacent side of the Kiddush table, directly across from me, staring at me with intense hostility. When Ronit saw that I saw her, she bolted at me head on, forcing me to run away. I tried maneuvering away from her to the left, and she followed me to the left. When I tried to maneuver away from her to the right, she followed me to the right. I managed to outrun her to the exit to avoid any confrontation with her. Mr. Cohen saw all this from afar and hovered near us and smiled and smirked as it happened.
76. Like my ex-husband Barry who to this day refuses to leave me alone and continues to get arrested for being on my property and violating the restraining orders, Mr. Cohen also refuses to leave me alone and to this day, continues to stalk me, emails me, drives by my home, has his friends drive by my home and call me to this day, and will not stop leaving me once and for all alone.
77. All of the foregoing and following actions taken towards me that are alleged in this complaint were carried out by Mr. Cohen, who was acting in a deliberate, cold, callous, malicious, oppressive, and intentional manner in order to injure and damage me.
78. As a result of being subjected to harassment, retaliation and termination of employment by Mr. Cohen, I suffered severe emotional injuries. Further, as a result of all of the foregoing and following actions taken towards me as alleged herein, I have incurred loss of earnings and benefits in an amount not yet ascertained.
Mr. Cohen’s bad-faith settlement and mediation
79. Thereafter, further efforts were made to execute stay away no contact agreements to protect me for over a year.
80. I was so eager and distressed to settle and have Mr. Cohen leave me alone, that I even offered a no-money stay-away settlement agreement. The no-money stay-away settlement agreement was on one condition and that was a liquidated damage ticket of $50,000.00 if Mr. Cohen continued to violate the stay-away agreement.
81. Mr. Cohen’s own rabbi poskened (ruled on Jewish law grounds) and instructed Mr. Cohen that he must sign the agreement – which Mr. Cohen never did.
82. Mr. Cohen’s attorneys asked me to waive “Marvin” claims against him and even something about paternity blood tests. His attorneys also tried to sneak in clauses asking to return Mr. Cohen’s written marriage proposal to me that is being held in escrow.
83. After one year, I was ready to sign away anything, that they presented (except the liquidated damage clause) so long as Mr. Cohen agreed to stay away from me and stop slandering me and stop harassing me – or get penalized for it. After 1-year of Mr. Cohen playing games with me, and protecting his client’s interests, Mr. Cohen’s lawyers never gave me anything, and instead, went the route of extortion, threats, defamation, smear campaigns and intimidation.
Mr. Cohen’s continued extortion, threats, defamation smear campaigns and intimidation
84. During the mediation process, Mr. Cohen descended into the gutter and tried to make my life so unpleasant and unbearable, that he accused me publically day after day and week after week and month after month of sleeping with prominent orthodox rabbis and attorneys in Los Angeles (eg extortion). I was forced to write Mr. Cohen a cease and desist letter demanding that he stop slandering me and stop tampering with my witnesses.
85. Mr. Cohen taunted me and reminded me “one day you will need the orthodox rabbis for your bar mitzvas, bas mitzvas and weddings and you and everybody else better be nice to me.”
86. Mr. Cohen went after every contact that I had to libel me. He scared them away from having anything to do with me, by slander of me, by threats to them about their standing in the orthodox Jewish community and their need to be within the good graces of the orthodox rabbis, and intimidation of losing their orthodox rabbi available for their children’s bar mitzvah and weddings.
87. Mr. Cohen’s ongoing intimidation resulted in my having to have to file this complaint on my own, without the assistance of counsel. In fact, when I hired a labor lawyer to represent me, Mr. Cohen harassed my attorney with threats and intimidation, which resulted in him discontinuing my representation. Again, I was forced to bring this lawsuit on my own, based on my own research, at great hardship, fear, pain, isolation and suffering because Mr. Cohen’s oppressive and abusive course of stalking conduct continues.
Mr. Cohen’s ongoing stalking of me – after he swore to his rabbis and lawyers and wife that he would stop contacting me
88. My home has been in foreclosure for over a year. I have been in negotiations with my bank to do a short-sale. In the recent months of October and November 2013, Mr. Cohen continued stalking me through his proxies, partners and associates Reeves Benaron and John Curley. Mr. Cohen arranged for Benaron and Curley to drive by my home several times a day, to contact me through phone calls, texts and emails, all under the false of pretenses of making me believe that Benaron and Curley are serious buyers of my property, requested to come into my home and talk to me about selling my property. Benaron and Curley did not disclose at first that they were working for Mr. Cohen in an attempt to induce me to open my doors to them and have them invade my privacy. They tried to further induce me to sell my home to them by offering me a cash offer. However, Benaron and Curley recently admitted to me that they were working for Mr. Cohen all this time – remember that Mr. Cohen swore to his wife Ronit and to his rabbis and to his attorneys that he would cease contacting me – when all along it was yet another lie, and he is continuing to stalk and harass me. I am still afraid of Mr. Cohen’s ongoing and continuous course of conduct and intent towards me.
1st Cause of Action – Mr. Cohen’s Labor Code Violations
89. I was manipulated and strung along by Mr. Cohen for years, based on the promise that Mr. Cohen and his companies would pay me for my work in a time where I was desperately in need of funds. I never received a single pay check for any of the work I did. Not only is this a violation of the minimum wage laws, but also a violation of Labor Code section 1194.2 which provides “(a) In any action under . . . Section 1194 to recover wages because of the payment of a wage less than the minimum wage fixed by an order of the commission, an employee shall be entitled to recover liquidated damages in an amount equal to the wages unlawfully unpaid and interest thereon …” Labor Code sections 201, 202, and 203 provide that an employer must pay all compensation to an employee upon the culmination of employment. Pursuant to these sections, I am entitled to one day’s wages for each day I was not timely paid wages due on and after the end of my employment, up to a maximum of thirty (30) days’ wages.
90. I will also be entitled to thirty days’ wages under the Labor Code. Labor Code section 226(e) provides for a recovery of the greater of all actual damages or fifty dollars ($50) for the initial pay period in which a violation occurs and one hundred dollars ($1 00) per employee for each violation in a subsequent pay period, not exceeding an aggregate penalty of four thousand dollars ($4,000) (per employee).
91. Mr. Cohen and his company never gave me a pay check or a pay stub. Labor Code section 204 provides that all wages earned by any person are due and payable twice during each calendar month, on days designated in advance by the employer as the regular paydays. Because Mr. Cohen and his companies regularly failed to pay me the wages that were due on these days, Mr. Cohen and his companies violated Labor Code section 204. Labor Code section 210 provides, that in addition to the other penalties provided by the Code, every person who fails to pay the wages of each employee as provided in Sections 204, shall be subject to a civil penalty as follows: (a) For any initial violation, one hundred dollars ($100) for each failure to pay each employee, (b) For each subsequent violation, or any willful or intentional violation, two hundred dollars ($200) for each failure to pay each employee, plus 25 percent of the amount unlawfully withheld. Labor Code section 558 provides a civil penalty of $50 for any pay period in which an employee is underpaid, and $100 per employee for every subsequent violation, plus an amount sufficient to recover the underpaid wages i.e., attorney’s fees. This amount is to be assessed in addition to the unpaid wages. California Labor Code § 2699 provides in relevant part that “an aggrieved employee” can bring “a civil action” on any provision of the Labor Code “that provides for a civil penalty.” To be subject to the Act, the employee’s cause of action must allege a violation of one of the provisions listed in section 2699.5 (§ 2699.3, subd. (a)) and seek recovery of a “civil penalty” assessable by the LWDA (§ 2699, subds.(a) & (f)). Caliber Bodyworks, Inc. v. Superior Court (2005) 134 Cal.App.4th 365, 378. California Labor Code §2699.5 references multiple sections of the labor code including California Labor Code § 1102.5. Mr. Cohen and his companies and his partners will also be liable for penalties under 2699.
2nd Cause of Action – Sexual Harassment
92. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) prohibits discrimination and harassment motivated in any part by sex. California Government Code§ 12940, Hope v. California Youth Authority (2005) 134 Cal.App.4th 577, 587. Even if there is some legitimacy to the proffered reason for termination (work slowdown/reduction in force/performance, insubordination), a plaintiff can prevail by proving that discrimination was a motivating factor in the adverse action, even though other nondiscriminatory reasons may have been involved. 42 USCA § 2000e 2(m), Desert Palace, Inc. v. Costa (2003) 539 U.S. 90,91: 123 S.Ct. 2148, 2149 ["Plaintiff need only 'demonstrate' that an employer used a forbidden consideration with respect to any employment practice."], see also Sheffield v. Dept. of Soc. Serv., (2003) 109 Cal. App. 4th 153, 160 161. Cases have held that even a single incident of harassment can be sufficiently severe as to constitute harassment. Herberg v. California Institute of the Arts (2002) 101 Cal.App.4th 142, 149. Also see Birchstein v. New United Motor Mfg., Inc. (2001) 92 Cal.App.4th 994[leering may be sufficient], Fisher v. San Pedro Peninsula Hospital (1989) 214 Cal.App.3d 590, 607,610. Furthermore, “[ujnder FEHA and California case law, employers are strictly liable for the harassing conduct of supervisors, even though the employer did not know, and did not have reason to know, of the conduct. State Department of Health Services v. Superior Court (2001) 94 Cal.App.4th 14,31 32 (emphasis added).
93. This cause of action is based upon California statutes prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace including, but not limited to California Government Code §12940, et seq.
94. I have exhausted my administrative remedies under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and was issued a Notice of Case Closure - Right to Sue against defendants. See attached.
95. I am informed, believe, and allege that at all times I was employed by Mr. Cohen, he did the affirmative acts as described in the general allegations herein that constituted sexual harassment. Mr. Cohen knowingly and intentionally engaged in said unwelcome discriminatory and sexually harassing conduct towards me and made my employment conditional upon sexual acts.
96. As a direct, foreseeable, and proximate result of the conduct of Mr. Cohen, I have suffered, and continue to suffer emotional distress, losses in salary, bonuses, job benefits, and other employment benefits which I would have received from Mr. Cohen, plus expenses incurred in not being regularly employed all to her damage in a sum within the jurisdiction of this court, to be ascertained according to proof.
97. The grossly reckless, and/or intentional, malicious, and bad faith manner in which Mr. Cohen engaged in those acts as described in this cause of action by willfully violating those statutes enumerated in this cause of action and retaliating against me for refusing to comply with their willful violations of the above referenced statutes and discriminating against me in violation of the law, I am entitled to punitive damages against said Mr. Cohen, in an amount within the jurisdiction of this court, to be ascertained by the fact finder, that is sufficiently high to punish said Mr. Cohen, deter him from engaging in such conduct again, and to make an example of him to others.
98. I am informed, believe, and based thereon, allege that the outrageous conduct of Mr. Cohen described above were done with oppression and malice by Mr. Cohen. By reason thereof, I am entitled to punitive or exemplary damages against Mr. Cohen and his companies, for their acts as described in this cause of action in a sum to be determined at the time of trial.
99. I also pray for reasonable costs and attorney fees, as allowed by FEHA for my prosecution of this action in reference to the FEHA code violations described in this cause of action.
3rd Cause of Action - Sexual Assault & Battery
100. As described herein, Mr. Cohen touched my intimate parts without my consent, and certainly under the false pretenses of marriage, resulting directly in a sexually offensive contact with me. In doing so, Mr. Cohen acted with the intent to make a contact with my person.
101. Furthermore, the Plaintiff is informed, believes, and thereon alleges that Mr. Cohen’s company Mansfield Properties and Mansfield Equities and Yachad, are liable for Mr. Cohen’s acts as alleged herein as it failed to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent sexual battery and harassment in the workplace from occurring, especially since the corporate Mr. Cohens had prior knowledge of Mr. Cohen’s propensity to commit sexual battery and harassment.
102. As a proximate result of Mr. Cohens’ conduct, Plaintiff suffered injuries including extreme and severe anguish, humiliation, embarrassment, emotional distress, mental suffering, sleeplessness, depression, anxiety, nervousness, loss of appetite. Further, as a result of all of the foregoing and following actions taken towards Plaintiff as alleged herein, Plaintiff has incurred medical billings and expenses in an amount not yet ascertained.
103. The grossly reckless, and/or intentional, malicious, and bad faith manner in which all named Mr. Cohens, and each of them, engaged in those acts as described in this cause of action, the Plaintiff is entitled to punitive damages against said Mr. Cohens, and each of them, in an amount within the jurisdiction of this court, to be ascertained by the fact finder, that is sufficiently high to punish said Mr. Cohens, deter them from engaging in such conduct again, and to make an example of them to others.
104. Plaintiff is informed, believes, and based thereon, alleges that the outrageous conduct of said Mr. Cohens described above was done with oppression and malice and was ratified by those other individuals who were managing agents of the Mr. Cohens. These unlawful acts were further ratified by the Mr. Cohens and done with a conscious disregard for Plaintiff’s rights and with the intent, design and purpose of injuring Plaintiff. By reason thereof, Plaintiff is entitled to punitive or exemplary damages from Mr. Cohens for their acts as described in this cause of action in a sum to be determined at the time of trial.
4th Cause of Action - Retaliation for Complaints of Sexual Harassment
105. This cause of action is based upon California statutes prohibiting retaliation for protesting sexual harassment in the workplace including, but not limited to: California Government Code Sections 12940, et seq. which prohibits employers from sexually harassing or retaliating against employees for their complaints of sexual harassment; and California Government Code Section 12940(f) which prohibits employers from discharging or otherwise discriminating against a person because the person has opposed any practices forbidden under California Government Code Section 12940, et seq.
106. Plaintiff’s complaints of sexual harassment were made in good faith with a good faith belief that the actions she reported were violations of law.
107. Plaintiff has exhausted her administrative remedies against Mr. Cohens under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and received her notice of case closure from the Department of Fair Housing and Employment.
108. Plaintiff is informed, believes, and alleges that at all times Plaintiff was employed by Mr. Cohens, all named Defendants, and each of them, did affirmative acts as described in the general allegations herein that constituted retaliation after plaintiff made the complaints as herein alleged. Mr. Cohens knowingly and intentionally engaged in said unwelcome retaliatory behavior due to Plaintiffs complaints and protestations.
109. Plaintiff is informed, believes, and alleges that corporate Defendants are strictly liable for the retaliatory conduct of Mr. Cohen because he was a supervisory managers and officer/director/managing agent of corporate Defendants who was acting as Plaintiff’s supervisors, with the power to fire Plaintiff at all relevant times herein.
110. Mr. Cohen is individually liable for the retaliation since individuals are liable for retaliation under California Government Code Section 12940, et seq.
111. As a direct, foreseeable, and proximate result of the conduct of all Defendants named in this cause of action, and each of them, the Plaintiff has suffered, and continues to suffer emotional distress, medical expenses, substantial losses in salary, bonuses, job benefits, and other employment benefits which she would have received from the corporate Fishel, plus expenses incurred in obtaining substitute employment and not being regularly employed all to her damage in a sum within the jurisdiction of this court, to be ascertain according to proof.
112. The grossly reckless, and/or intentional, malicious, and bad faith manner in which all named Defendants, and each of them, engaged in those acts as described in this cause of action by willfully violating those statutes enumerated in this cause of action and retaliating against Plaintiff for refusing to comply with their willful violations of the above referenced statutes and discriminating against Plaintiff in violation of the law, the Plaintiff is entitled to punitive damages against said Defendants, and each of them, in an amount within the jurisdiction of this court, to be ascertained by the fact finder, that is sufficiently high to punish said Fishel, deter them from engaging in such conduct again, and to make an example of them to others.
113. The Plaintiff is informed, believes, and based thereon, alleges that the outrageous conduct of Mr. Cohen described above were done with oppression and malice by the Plaintiff's supervisor and managers and were ratified by those other individuals who were managing agents of said Fishel employers. These unlawful acts were further ratified by the Fishel employers and done with a conscious disregard for the Plaintiff's rights and with the intent, design and purpose of injuring the Plaintiff. By reason thereof, the Plaintiff is entitled to punitive or exemplary damages against said Fishel, and each of them, for their acts as described in this cause of action in a sum to be determined at the time of trial.
114. The Plaintiff also prays for reasonable costs and attorney fees, as allowed by FEHA for the Plaintiff's prosecution of this action in reference to the FEHA code violations described in this cause of action.
115. Plaintiff demands a jury trial.
116. The amount in controversy exceeds $25,000.
5th Cause of Action - Slander & Defamation & False Light
117. Mr. Cohen stated to people in the Orthodox community of Los Angeles that I acted inappropriately to Mr. Cohen.
118. Mr. Cohen’s statements about me, were directed to, and heard by, persons in the community, including rabbis and ,my friends, colleagues, and other persons whose names are not known to me.
119. Mr. Cohen specifically used my name, and that the statements were understood by those who heard the statements as referring to me.
120. The entirety of the statements are false as they pertain to me.
121. Mr. Cohen’s statements carry a defamatory meaning, because they portray me as a cheater, fraud, criminal, unprofessional, & unethical.
122. Mr. Cohen’s statements were slanderous per se, in that they impugn my honesty & integrity, charge me with having engaged in inappropriate behavior, impute to me a lack of professional competence and integrity, and infer that my conduct is exposing me to communal shame and isolation.
123. Mr. Cohen’s statements were understood by the hearers in a way which defamed me, because the statements made either referred directly to me by name, or contained other information such that the hearers of the statements could infer and surmise that the statements referred to me.
124. As a proximate result of the above described publications, I have suffered loss to my reputation, all to my damage in an amount to be determined according to proof at time of trial.
125. As a proximate result of the above described publications, I have suffered loss to my reputation, shame, mortification, and injury to my feelings, all to my damage in an amount to be determined according to proof at time of trial.
126. As a proximate result of the above described publications, I have further suffered special damages as follows: my professional and business standing in the community has been permanently impaired and my professional, existing and prospective colleagues have terminated their relationships and discussions with me, and my overall safety has been seriously jeopardized.
127. The above described publications were not privileged because they were published by Mr. Cohen with malice, hatred and ill will toward me and with the desire to injure and ruin me, in that Mr. Cohen sought to ruin my reputation and life.
128. In engaging in the conduct described above, Mr. Cohen acted despicably, willfully, wantonly, oppressively, fraudulently, or in conscious disregard of my rights, within the meaning of Civil Code §3924(c), so as to entitle me to punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish or make an example of Mr. Cohen.
6th Cause of Action - Intentional Infliction of Severe
& Serious Emotional Distress
129. Mr. Cohen’s actions above was outrageous conduct with the intention to cause me or reckless disregard of the probability of causing emotional distress to me, causing me severe emotional suffering and actual and proximate causation of the emotional distress.
7th Cause of Action - Fraud by Inducement
False Representation & Concealment
130. Mr. Cohen intentionally offered me employment, work, salary and payment to induce me to cohabitate with him for non-employment needs.
131. Mr. Cohen intentionally made the job offers knowing that they were bogus and to entice me to bait me to keep within close proximity to him for his sexual advances and purposes.
132. Mr. Cohen’s job offers were reasonable for me to accept as true given the specifics with the hourly pay, the reasonable wages per hour for the job duties, my need for money / wages for livelihood.
133. Mr. Cohen made the job offers with the corporate authority to offer employment, negotiate pay, set the hours, hire, fire, pay, alter conditions, create jobs and to arrange job duties.
134. Mr. Cohen then altered my compensation / hourly wages and offered me substantial end-of-year financial bonuses for my work for holding out and not insisting on getting paid my salary that he owed me.
135. Mr. Cohen altered the conditions of my compensation again, when he offered to marry me in writing and told me that I would share in his community property. By doing so, he offered me not only a salary, and not only a bonus, but a partner’s share in his financial empire.
136. I justifiably relied on Mr. Cohen’s statements of job offers and compensation being true and sincere. Wages were negotiated and agreed upon. My reliance on work duties were important to me and were all strictly business-related, and I relied on being compensated and paid on time. I also relied on his promises of end-of-year bonuses by not insisting on getting paid for my wages and continue to work with him. I also relied on his written marriage proposal as a future payment and security to all of the monies that he owed me.
137. As a result of Mr. Cohen’s fraud, he maintained a constant and daily relationship with me, where he could contact me by phone, by email, by text, and be in my presence at all times, so that he could pursue me and persuade me into having relations with him.
8th Cause of Action - Stalking & Continuous Harassment
and request for an injunction
138. For the purposes of this section, ‘harasses' means a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys, torments, and terrorizes the person that serves no legitimate purpose. This course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the person.
139. Mr. Cohen continues to drive by home, and/or have his buddies and business affiliates drive by home, stare directly and watch me, email me, text me, call me, slander me.
140. Recently, during the foreclosure of my home, Mr. Cohen initiated contact with me again, under the disguise of a third party, not disclosing his true identity, to barrage me with phone calls to my private cell number, emails, texts, and repeatedly requests to come into my home and invade my family’s privacy, asking where I will be moving after the foreclosure, and baiting me with illusory cash offers, wanted to know how much I wanted after the payoff amount they knew and quoted to payoff Wells Fargo Bank, to take advantage of my vulnerable and distressed position for a shortsale of my home. Mr. Cohen was monitoring my foreclosure for months and knew about my foreclosure dates. Mr. Cohen Sent me a copy of my home foreclosure information and was up to date. Mr. Cohen has the ability and funds to carry out the purchase of my home by him ; and he has the ability and experience and it is his business to be in the real estate funding, selling and buying, and this is his professional line of work.
141. Mr. Cohen’s action were done with the intent to place me, the victim, in reasonable fear for her safety. This is a continuing pattern of conduct by Mr. Cohen to intimidate, watch, intervene in my course of business and sale of home. Mr. Cohen blatantly ignores that I have made endless request for him to stay away from me and leave me alone. Yet, he continues to bait me and stalk me.
142. Mr. Cohen’s recent stalking of me is typical of him and follows his pattern of prior conduct and therefore triggers immense fear in me. My fears are reasonable as he has willfully put me in fear of more attacks in public, and attacks with slander of my and malicious ideas to the community that I am crazy and dangerous and people should watch out for me and that I am evil and should be controlled and attacked with good reason to show her she is not welcomed.
143. Mr. Cohen promised his attorneys and rabbis that he would stop contacting me, but that was a pack of lies as well just to get them to believe that he was stop contacting me. Mr. Cohen’s attorneys and rabbis assured me that I should not worry any longer, as Mr. Cohen promised to stop contacting me.
144. My three request notices “do not contact me again" has been ignored by Mr. Cohen. And Mr. Cohen is still contacting me along with his buddy and partner, and property watch of my home. They are still pursuing matters to come over to my home and still they wont let up.
145. I am suffering greatly from the terror of Mr. Cohen’s endless stalking. Me and my children are having nightmares from this trauma of Mr. Cohen’s continued conduct of stalking us. We fear not knowing what will happen next. " Me and my children are suffering from extreme anxiety as a result.
146. I am suffering from insomnia, social dysfunction, shortness of breath, chest pains, numbness, and my speech has become mumbled - all from Mr. Cohen’s continuing stalking.
147. I wish to point out to the court that I do not want Mr. Cohen’s defense lawyers to continue harassing me under the pretense of aggressive defense of their client. Mr. Cohen’s defense counsel should be well read, versed and sensitive about civil procedures, protection orders for Domestic Violence Victims, Criminal and Civil restraining orders that are currently in affect for Plaintiff and her children, Victims Against Women's Act - VAWA , Marcy's Law , Public or private Statements regarding character or character traits by Defense towards Plaintiff, Public and private information of locations and domicile, movement of me and my family, names and addresses related to me and my family, friends, associates, school, neighbors, gym, Rabbi's, synagogues, etc. not to be disclose by name in the courtroom, only Judges bench.
148. Additionally, my unique status of Pro Per will be expected to be treated with fairness and respect from Mr. Cohen’s defense council’s team of lawyers who should have no reason for "making mistakes", or delays in court for not being able to come or have docs. I ask that Mr. Cohen’s team of lawyers prevent any undue delays, violations, or ignorance of my status and rights of protection and exceptions to otherwise normal civil judicial issues. If Mr. Cohen’s team of lawyers stalk and harass me like their client did, I will be forced to amend this complaint to add them as defendants. In addition, since Mr. Cohen paid off his rabbi and my community member to testify against me, I am equally concerned about Mr. Cohen’s witness tampering and exhibit tampering and wish to alert the court to this in advance to make sure everything is proper. Therefore I ask this court to admonish such behavior to Mr. Cohen and his team of lawyers at the onset of this case.
149. I should not be punished as a fired employee just because I cannot afford a team of lawyers like Mr. Cohen has. Additionally, since Mr. Cohen did everything in his power to isolate me from any assistance from lawyers therapists and rabbis, I will need this court to insist on leveling the playing field to give me as equal and fair access to justice as does Mr. Cohen.
150. I ask that Mr. Cohen’s team of lawyers not bombard me calls, questions, emails, ex parte notices, unnecessary menial filings, and that I am granted my constitutional right to a speedy trial under Marcy’s Law.
151. The CAL. CCP. Code § 526(a) says that an injunction may be granted in the following cases: (1)When it appears by the complaint that the plaintiff is entitled to the relief demanded, and the relief, or any part thereof, consists in restraining the commission or continuance of the act complained of, either for a limited period or perpetually. (2)When it appears by the complaint or affidavits that the commission or continuance of some act during the litigation would produce waste, or great or irreparable injury, to a party to the action. (3)When it appears, during the litigation, that a party to the action is doing, or threatens, or is about to do, or is procuring or suffering to be done, some act in violation of the rights of another party. Therefore, based on the above, I request that Mr. Cohen and his defense council be extra sensitive to my safety at my home , Victims Bill of Rights Marcy's Law (The California Constitution, Article 1, Section 28) and not disclose my private confidential information.
152. I am entitled to a temporary, preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting and enjoining Mr. Cohen form continuing any of the conduct that I have described in this Complaint.
9th Cause of Action - Violation of Individual Right to Exercise or Enjoyment of Rights Secured by the Constitution Through Interference of Free Passage in the Customary Manner
153. Mr. Cohen through his wife Ronit violated California Civil Code Section 52.1 provides a civil action for “[a]ny individual whose exercise or enjoyment of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of [California], has been interfered with or attempted to be interfered with” through “threats, intimidation, or coercion.” “The word ‘interferes’ as used in [Section 52.1] means ‘violates.’”81 “To obtain relief under this statute, a plaintiff must prove that a defendant tried to, or did, prevent the plaintiff from doing something that he had the right to dounder the law, or to force plaintiff to do something he was not required to do under the law.”82 Section 52.1 requires two showings: (1) that a plaintiff’s constitutional or statutory right was interfered with; and (2) that the interference was accompanied by “threats, intimidation, or coercion.”83 Section 52.1, thus, is a derivative cause of action that requires a threshold showing ofthe violation of a constitutional or statutory right, and only upon meeting that first element does a plaintiff also have to show the violation occurred with the requisite threats or intimidation.
154. Mr. Cohen, through his wife Ronit has violated California Civil Code Section 3479 is a nuisance statute prohibiting in part anything that unlawfully obstructs the free passage or use, in the customary manner, of any . . . public park, square, street, or highway.” Section 3479 provides causes of action both for “private nuisance” and “public nuisance.” 85 A private nuisance action involves “a nontrespassory interference with the private use and enjoyment of land.” 86 A public nuisance is “one which affects at the same time an entire community or neighborhood, or any considerable number of persons, although the extent of the annoyance or damage inflicted upon individuals may be unequal.”
155. When Ronit saw that I saw her at the Bar Mitzvah, she bolted at me head on, forcing me to run away. I tried maneuvering away from her to the left, and she followed me to the left. When I tried to maneuver away from her to the right, she followed me to the right. I managed to outrun her to the exit to avoid any confrontation with her. Mr. Cohen saw all this from afar and hovered near us and smiled and smirked as it happened.
156. Mr. Cohen, through his wife Ronit’s targeted actions to me at the Bar Mitzvah were substantial and unreasonable interference with my ability to walk away such as to be labeled a nuisance and an annoyance the damage inflicted would effect me form the entire community and neighborhood.
10th Cause of Action – Unfair and Unethical and Deceptive Business Practice
157. Mr. Cohen’s unfair and unethical and deceptive conduct is an unfair and deceptive business practices in violation of Business and Professions Code §17200, and the Civil Code of Civil Procedure 1770.3.
158. Mr. Cohen misrepresented and concealed his affiliation with his colleagues when they approached me for a home solicitation to buy my home not disclosing that they were working for Mr. Cohen. Mr. Cohen never had a real intention of buying my home – he just wanted to get inside. Why didn’t Mr. Cohen reveal himself instead of prying private information from me through others?
I pray to this court for the following relief:
1. For general damages in an amount according to proof, but in excess of the minimum jurisdiction of this court
2. For special damages in an amount according to proof for my loss of past and future earnings, loss of job security and all damages flowing therefrom
3. For all general and special damages to compensate me for any medical expenses, counseling, and suffering and related damages
4. For punitive damages, as allowed by law, that will sufficiently punish, make an example of, and deter future conduct by Mr. Cohen
5. For all interest as allowed by law
6. For all costs and disbursements incurred in this suit
7. For attorneys’ fees
8. That all shareholders, officers and directors of the corporate defendants be personally liable for the corporate debt created through this action
9. For such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.
10. For a temporary, preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting and enjoining Mr. Cohen from continuing the conduct that I stated in the complaint. I would like a written retraction and public apology as well as a list of all people Mr. Cohen slandered me to.
December 12, 2013
Diane L. Polonsky plaintiff in pro per