Paul Pion, an executive for Cantor Fitzgerald, who stands accused of squatting in a $10,000-a-month Hamptons mansion, is filing harassment charges against the homeowner and prospective buyer. Pion, and his wife, Stephanie, claim they were humiliated and harassed by false accusations and “defamatory memes,” which were sent to his bosses, pinning the family as a bunch of “squatters” and “hoarders.”
Pion, who has been living in a multi-million-dollar Hamptons mansion, is accused of exploiting pandemic-related protections, despite allegedly owning an apartment in Manhattan. The homeowner accused Pion of squatting with his family despite a removal request, and filed a lawsuit last month against Pion and his family, requesting their “immediate removal” from the Water Mill home.
In court papers filed on Wednesday, Paul Pion and his wife allege that Damian Krause and prospective buyer, Aaron Appel, painted his family as “squatters” and “hoarders” and defiled their name. Pion claims that the homeowner and owner-to-be conspired against him in an attempt to force him and his family out of the $5 million home, despite pandemic-related protections. The Cantor Fitzgerald executive rejects the accusation that he owns an apartment in Manhattan, and claims he was not given notice of the impending eviction.
Pion is accusing Krause and Appel of harassment, pinning them for “a series of defamatory memes that were sent to media outlets and the executive management of Cantor Fitzgerald, questioning my ethics, in a blatant effort to cause reputational harm.” In an affidavit provided to the court, the financial services firm’s chief administrative officer describes the defamatory actions of Krause and Appel, though he didn’t provide the alleged memes which he claims defiled his family’s reputation.
The alleged memes were not attached in the affidavit to the court, however, The New York Post reportedly received one image, with Paul Pion’s face pasted over the “Most Interesting Man in the World.” The meme, which plays on the old Dos Equis beer commercial, is popular among millennials and is being used in this scenario to allegedly deface Pion’s reputation.
Written above Pion’s head is the phrase “Hurricane Paul Pion Sez,” followed by a photoshopped image of “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” Below the image reads: “I don’t always make landfall in the Hamptons – but when I do, I remain for years until Suffolk County Superior Court chases me out!”
More than the meme, Paul Pion says Krause and Appel invaded his privacy, through a harassment campaign “orchestrated by Appel, possibly through a private investigations firm he owns.” The Cantor Fitzgerald exec claims that “a secret video of the home where my wife and children live” was “leaked on the internet.”
Pion also said that “within days of this filing, my wife’s personal cell phone number and email address was subscribed to dozens, if not hundreds, of ‘spam’ advertisement lists and newsletters (causing her to receive hundreds of unsolicited texts and emails), and numerous doctor’s appointments were made in her name, forcing us to change her cell phone number,” he stated in the court filing.
He continued, explaining that “perhaps most loathsome: my wife’s ex-husband and ex-father-in-law were recently contacted by someone asking for ‘dirt’ on my wife; we believe this was Krause, Appel, or one of their agents, ostensibly so they could try to cause us more embarrassment.” In the recent suit, Pion denied “maintaining a residence in Manhattan or anywhere else” and claimed he was trying to purchase the $5 million Hampton home from Krause before the deal was discarded.
Among other accusations, Paul Pion also alleged that Krause never served him an eviction notice. Pion’s wife, Stephanie, tearfully told reporters that “I’m not squatting, I’m just trying to keep my kids with a roof over their heads.”
Stephanie Pion was adamant that “there’s no truth” to the claims that she and her husband were squatters, or that they were using “shifty” means to stay in the house, which include exploiting the pandemic-related protection meant for those in financial or medical hardships.
“I have two kids,” Stephanie Pion explained. “I’m just trying to take care of them. I’ve been trying to leave. I just need more time.”
According to Paul Pion, the Cantor Fitzgerald executive is seeking consequences for the alleged harassment. “This is not idle harassment, and we fully intend to seek legal redress of these and other issues in due time,” Pion explained.