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Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Breach of Contract Suit Filed Against Wayne Newton

According to USAToday.com, Wayne Newton, aka Mr. Las Vegas, is being sued for breach of contract by  the company that teamed with Newton to turn his 40-acre estate, called Casa de Shanandoah, into a museum. The company, CSD, LLC (CSD), purchased the rights to convert Newton’s 40-acre estate, which features South African penguins, Arabian horses, paintings by Renoir and 17th century antiques collected from European castles, into “Graceland West."  CSD  now alleges that Newton, along with his wife and her mother have unreasonably delayed the project. 

The complaint states that under the terms of the museum deal, the Newtons agreed to move to a $2 million home on the estate constructed by CSD, so that the mansion, which serves as the Newtons current residence, could be converted into a museum.  However, CSD alleges that the Newton family refused to relocate or turn over personal memorabilia.  Graceland West is supposed to feature certain animal attractions as well, but right now there are an extra 35 horses on the property along with large vicious dogs that Mr. New ton allows to roam freely, in spite of the fact that the dogs have attacked and bitten people on more than a dozen occasions. The dogs are also credited with killing 75 birds in the estate's aviary, as well as the occasional peacock.

The complaint details the delapidated condition of Casa de Shanadoah before its infusion of $30 million and its efforts to improve the conditions on the estate.  If you have a interest in descriptions of horses wallowing in their own feces, this is the complaint for you. 

Adding additional spice to the story, the complaint also claims that Newton sexually harassed a female equine management speicalist who was hired to train the horses for hte exhibit.  She is allegedly threatening suit against the parties to the lawsuit.  As reported by USAtoday.com, Newton’s lawyer, J. Stephen Peek, responded to the sexual harassment claims saying the accusations are merely an attempt to “obtain financial gain,” and the woman has been fired.  

Foxnews.com reports that the lawsuit seeks to have the Newton family immediately vacate their estate, Casa de Shenandoah, and allow the $50 million project to move forward.  However, the Newton family claims the lawsuit is a preemptive strike based on their plans to sue the company for breach of contract after multiple construction delays.  The family plans to file a countersuit challenging CSD’s allegations.  

For some reason, Wayne Newton has not played in Valparaiso recently, so we had to go to YouTube to get a sense of what this incomparable performer is like.  Here's a taste:

 

[JT & Christina Phillips]

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Comments

Any damages sought for the harassment claim probably *are* an attempt to obtain money. Is Mr. Peek asserting that some sort of hammurabic justice is more appropriate in sexual harassment cases?

Fun fact: "Wayne Newton's Rabid Dogpack" was the name of our marching band in high school.

Posted by: Matt | May 29, 2012 12:41:48 PM

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