Preface, Part Three
Jun 1, 2022
Workplace bullying gets turned up to eleven, with the twist that my abusers were my employees.
On November 11, 2017, I was sitting at the Coffee Bean on Sunset on the patio, two minutes' walk from my apartment. By then, I had already received two threats from strangers in New York City in August of 2017 and suffered a beating from the same thugs on Palm Avenue - a block from my house - in September.
The first threat came from a Venezuelan personal trainer who picked me up off of the street at 43rd and 11th in Midtown Manhattan. Before you judge: a Venezuelan
personal trainer. Anyway, we made a date to meet up later that day, and when I showed up at his place on 9th Avenue my first thought was "This isn't an apartment. It's an AirBNB" - but he immediately sat me down, his face grave. In a thick accent he said: “I want to give you some advice. Do not talk badly about people in your industry. If someone is fucking you over, you need to let them fuck you all the way to the end. You do not want to find out what will happen if you speak out.”
I was floored. It was the most surreal moment of my life, until the next one, and the next ...
It took awhile to sink in that I was being fucking followed now because I was cursed by knowing the truth of the theft of my work of art in an industry where a hit show can be worth a billion-plus dollars nowadays.
(Through a lot of detective work and an incredible stroke of luck, a couple of years later I was able to track this individual back to my agent. I quietly follow the bitch on Instagram.)
I fled his apartment. Or AirBNB. Whatever.
The second threat came a week later from a guy I'd briefly met in Palm Springs named Hugh D-----. He'd invited me to stay at his nice apartment in DUMBO, and was perfectly nice until - as would become common - he dropped the mask in a sudden context switch and sneered at me.
“Wouldn’t it be terrible if you spoke out about what happened in your entertainment industry - and sex tapes were released of you?”
With that, I grabbed my suitcase and fled to the airport.
The series of incidents leading to the beating on September 20-21 2017 left no doubt that a group of people were working in an organized fashion to intimidate me into silence. I did not ask for this drama. I did not enjoy the drama. I do not like typing about it now.
My apartment was entered at night on the 20th (I have footage of my security camera being sprayed and reports from my security system that doors were being opened). The next afternoon on September 21st 2017 I had lunch at the Farmers Market adjacent to the Grove, and then took a walk in Pan-American Park while on the phone with my sister. As I walked I noticed that a couple of times, when I passed by a road, a black SUV would pull up beside me and stop. No one got out. So I walked to a different area of the park, narrating to my sister. Then as I came upon a road: zhoop. Black SUV. Stopped. No one exiting. Just - waiting. I noted the license plate, and walked elsewhere, approaching another road ...
Zhoop. There it was again. Same license plate. (Note: when this kind of shit happened over the two ensuing years, my response was less "Oh dear I'm in trouble please help" and more a baffled "Wait, really? Really? What? Someone is actually doing this?")
In the park I shut off location services on my phone. I went home, my intuition ringing that something fucked up was going to happen. Later that night I was walking south on Palm Avenue, three blocks from home, to get a bite at Kitchen 24 on Santa Monica. I carried a bag with a tablet in it, my wallet and my phone. A black SUV passed by, then stopped in the middle of the street and shut off its lights. As I'd never had an unsafe experience on the streets in my neighborhood, my radar was off. I was crossing to the east side of the street about forty feet behind the SUV when it happened - Four guys burst out of the vehicle, ran towards me and proceeded to beat the shit out of me. "GIVE US YOUR PHONE, BITCH!" they yelled. Caterwauling, my screams echoing around the buildings, I fell to the ground whereupon one thug kicked me twice where my jaw meets the skull on the right side of my face. They took my phone as I screamed, they sneered "Shut up, bitch!" then piled into the SUV and zoomed down Palm, hanging a right on Santa Monica.
I lay on the ground staring at the sky. It had been less than 24 hours since the break-in, the creepy SUV in the park, and now this. And all of this fucked-up shit followed the clear direct threats that I'd received. Part of me died then because I knew no one would believe me. And that, my dears, is the power of gaslighting abuse on the scale I suffered. And as I would learn, a specialty of who I was up against. The last thing they allow is a sense of personal safety and security, not when one knows what filthy rich confidence artists get up to.
I fled to the tattoo shop on Sunset, leaving my bag on the ground, and the people there were incredibly dear and I'll never forget them. One older guy walked me back to the site of the assault to retrieve my bag, and then let me cool down in the gated front yard of his building. Only later did it occur to me: the goons didn't take my bag with the tablet. Nor my wallet. They just took the phone I'd shut off earlier that day.
So my life as a recluse began in earnest. Back to November 11th, a month and a half later. Afternoon. I was sitting at the Coffee Bean eating lunch - with a terrible haircut I'd given myself (who cared? Who was I seeing?) - when I heard a voice: "Hey, nice haircut." I looked up to see a pock-marked, weathered, unshaven man sneering at me through his sunglasses.
He continued: "You know that Weinstein ring of spies he sent after the actresses? They want you to drop your interest in that project."
I was stunned. I gestured for him to repeat it, which he did.
I know that I'm good in a fistfight. So I stood up to my full six feet screaming "WHO SENT YOU?" The thug recoiled and retreated to the parking lot with me hot on his heels as I screamed over and over "WHO SENT YOU? WHO SENT YOU?"
His shitty car was prominently decorated with the words “actor-for-hire.” He got in, revved it up, pulled out and zoomed west on Sunset and chased him as far as I could. Then I lost my shit. More on that later. My response to all of it was kind of funny, actually.
The "Weinstein ring of spies" that the goon mentioned was the talk of Los Angeles at the time, for a week before Ronan Farrow had written in the New Yorker about Black Cube, the creepy, sociopathic Israeli "intelligence agency" who specialize in silencing corporate whistleblowers. I'd scanned the article but didn't pay much attention at the time.
Fortunately I have on the record texts and conversations about the incidents from the months prior as they were happening, lest anyone suggest that I was hitching my wagon to the #metoo movement. But I did chafe a bit to read Gwyneth Paltrow's accounts of her harassment by Weinstein, which while certainly horrifying, also made me consider that people using her name and influence were using Weinstein's tactics of intimidation to silence me. (Note: as for Ms. Paltrow, I'm near-certain that she did not know what was going on throughout.)
A few days later I Googled the "actor-for-hire car" and voila! I got the goon's identity: a man named Dennis W-------, a sad-sack fixture on Hollywood Boulevard known to many Los Angelenos.
And frankly: I'm far from certain that it was Black Cube in truth. Because I would hope they had better agents than the disheveled, screw-loose Dennis W-------.
It's like the Broadway bullies hired Wish.com Black Cube.
Fast-forward two years and nine months. August 3rd 2020.
I was at the Coffee Bean again. I’d cleaned my life shit up amazingly well. In the prior moments before the video above, I was leaving the patio and saw Dennis gesturing to me from the parking lot.
I turned back, turned on my camera, then returned toward the parking lot. Dennis did not know that I knew his name.
The sickness of the wealthy Broadway bullies who sent those thugs after me still makes my head spin. Because my first encounter with Dennis was only the beginning of a series of traumatic incidents instigated by powerful predators working in a group to deliberately exacerbate a decline in my mental health, with a not unexpected result.