This spring, a lawsuit between a homeowner and their Realtor went viral, dripping with all of the elements of a salacious story – hidden cameras, a juicy affair, cops, punches, and lawyers. When a Wayne, NJ couple put their home on the market, their Coldwell Banker agent allegedly made an extra key to their vacant house for himself and used it 11 times without their permission. The only problem is that the homeowners were nervous about keeping their alarm turned off per their agent’s instruction, so they installed motion-activated cameras, which their agent affirmed was a good idea.
But then, the agent used the home as a meeting place for him and his mistress of three years, and video evidence supports their having sex on the homeowner’s bed on multiple occasions, even making eye contact with the cameras.
Fast forward to today, and lawsuits and accusations are flying, and the homeowners claim that only part of their story has been told by the media. They are circulating a letter to Realtor executives, expressing that they’re not out to tarnish the reputation of all Realtors, simply looking to tell their side of the story as they battle Coldwell Banker’s lawyers.
Circulating an explanatory letter
In a letter obtained by Realuoso.com, the homeowners are expressing their side of the story, contending that their goal is to right a wrong, not damage the Realtor brand:
Dear Realtor Exec,
You may have seen me on 20/20, Nancy Grace, Inside Edition or perhaps read about me on the Internet or local paper…
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 realtors and specifically leaders in the realtor profession, 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 is 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 you have any influence on the folks at Coldwell Banker/NRT/Realogy and you can get them to end this, I would love to sit down and make that happen. However, if they 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 as realtors and 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 your respective positions/careers.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you and best regards,