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Swamplot sheds its anonymity to charge high-rise harassment: Rice prof files suit against condo chief

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Robinhood Condominiums at 2520 Robinhood Courtesy of Houston Association of Realtors
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The high-rise condominium tower 2520 Robinhood is no stranger to controversy. In addition to being known as the Houston home of acquitted non-murderer Robert Durst, the Rice Village high-rise has found itself embroiled in legal disputes with neighboring businesses Hans' Bier Haus and Hudson Lounge.

But while those lawsuits allege plenty of bad behavior on the part of former Robinhood homeowners' association president Marc Thuesen, it's nothing compared to what the founders of real estate blog Swamplot allege that Thuesen, 2520 Robinhood and management company Creative Management put them through after the blog reported on the high-rise's legal issues.

Swamplot founder Laurence Albert, an architect and Rice professor who posts under the pseudonym Gus Allen, and his wife, Beth Brinsdon, document allegations of increasingly erratic and threatening behavior by Thuesen beginning in April 2011. They're now seeking damages for malicious civil prosecution, defamation, threat of bodily injury, trespassing, stalking, intentional infliction of emotional distress and 13 other causes of action, in addition to applying for a temporary restraining order.

Laurence Albert, an architect and Rice professor who posts under the pseudonym Gus Allen, and his wife, Beth Brinsdon, document allegations of increasingly erratic and threatening behavior. 

In 2011 Robinhood and Thuesen sued Swamplot over comments on the site that Albert says were third party and alleges were actually made by Thuesen himself with the goal of forcing Albert out of anonymity and into bankruptcy and to shut down the website. That suit was eventually withdrawn by the plaintiffs, but Albert and Brindson allege the harassment went much further.

Thuesen allegedly created a Blogspot website to post defamatory (and gross) things while posing as Albert, labeling Swamplot "your source for real estate in houston and gay homosexual updates with young boys and cocaine." [Full disclosure: The same Blogspot account also targeted a former CultureMap staffer who covered the Robinhood lawsuits.]

Posts and comments on the blogspot page included "child pornography and graphic accounts of bestiality" as well as allegations of criminal behavior and racist and anti-Semitic remarks. The lawsuit repeats only a selection of comments "due to their extreme and offensive nature," including:

Tell this foreign Jew to leave Houston with his Swamplot.com trash. The Laurence Albert Jew takes his dirty real estate money and launders it through the [ ] synagogue located at [ ]. The evil filthy Swamplot.com never attacks Jewish owned real estate but relentlessly attacks Christian owned real estate."

and

"Albert and Beth lured a young pizza hut boy into their house and offered sex for pizza. Houston Police are investigating. They have Alberts bite marks around boys private area."

If these are the comments that were fit to print I can't begin to imagine what was in the rest of the entries.

More disturbingly the suit details explicit threats made against Albert and Brinsdon, with Thuesen allegedly taking his vendetta offline. Albert's suit charges that Thuesen trespassed into the couple's backyard, went through their mail and trash and harassed Swamplot employees and advertisers at their homes and places of work.

It's hard to believe, but the craziness alleged in this lawsuit rivals the "50 Shades of Murder" response by hitman-hiring Michelle Gaiser earlier this year. What do you make of it?

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