The Hollywood lawyer who took down the news site Gawker for posting Hulk Hogan’s sex tape filed privacy lawsuits Friday against a Mequon businessman accused of secretly recording his wife in bed with her new boyfriend.
Anna Leibsohn, known professionally as philanthropist and business owner Anna Zuckerman, 42, says in a lawsuit that her estranged husband, Richard Blomquist, 69, secretly installed hidden video cameras in her bedroom last fall after she had moved to another home after filing for divorce.
The cameras recorded her having sex with her boyfriend, south Florida luxury home builder Leonard Albanese, the lawsuit claims. Blomquist then posted the videos on YouTube and showed them to her family, friends and professional associates, the suit says.
Further, the suits claim, Blomquist falsely told others that Leibsohn and Albanese use cocaine.
Blomquist, who runs Blomquist Benefits, a health care benefit consulting firm, said Friday he hadn’t seen the lawsuits and did not want to talk about the claims.
According to Leibsohn’s complaint:
Soon after she filed for divorce in Florida at the end of August, Blomquist physically and verbally abused her and threatened to leave her and her minor children (from a previous marriage) “out in the streets.”
She moved into another Mequon home the couple owned. At some point in early September, she contends, Blomquist or his agents installed the hidden, motion-activated cameras.
Her suit includes actions for three counts of invasion of privacy, wiretapping, assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, slander and intentional interference with business relations.
It seeks a court order blocking any further sharing of the secret recordings, a surrender of all copies and “tens of millions” of dollars in damages.
The suit says Leibsohn is suing to “hold Mr. Blomquist responsible for his reprehensible, illegal and outrageous conduct,” including abuse, invasion of privacy, defamation and “intentional efforts to destroy” her personal and professional reputations and business.
Albanese’s separate suit alleges the privacy, wiretapping, slander and business interference counts. The acts have caused him “anxiety, embarrassment, humiliation, shame and severe emotional distress,” as well economic, emotional and reputational damage.
Both are represented locally by Terry Johnson, of von Briesen & Roper, and Charles Harder, the Hollywood, Calif., lawyer who won the $140-million invasion of privacy award from a Florida jury for Terry Bolea, a.k.a. Hulk Hogan, against Gawker.
Gawker had posted about two minutes of video of Bolea having sex with the wife of his friend, a Tampa Bay, Fla., radio host known as Bubba the Love Sponge. After losing the case in 2016, Gawker went out of business.
Area publications have profiled Leibsohn, a small woman with a large personality and inspiring backstory. She immigrated to the U.S. at 14 from Belarus, she has said, to escape anti-Semitism.
Her family was poor, but she hustled various jobs in high school while developing an interest in the family business of gold and jewelry. After starting AC Zuckerman Jewelers she expanded to mall-based jewelry and watch repair, the Sydney B. children’s clothing boutiques and a gemological laboratory.
Blomquist has frequently been cited as an expert in news stories about the Affordable Care Act and other issues involving health care insurance. He has been on the boards of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the Council of Small Business Executives and the Milwaukee chapter of the American Heart Association.
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