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Real Estate Brokerage Shaken by Sexual Assault Claims Against Alexander Brothers

This story has been updated to include information about another lawsuit filed Tuesday.

For over a decade, Oren Alexander was one of the biggest names in ultra-luxury real estate in Miami and New York. He helped broker the record 2019 purchase of a penthouse at 220 Central Park South, a deal completed for nearly $240 million.

The real estate empire he helped build skyward on multimillion-dollar perches of glass and steel in both cities is collapsing today under mounting accusations of violent sexual assault.

Mr. Alexander, 36, was accused in two separate lawsuits filed this year of sexually assaulting two women more than a decade ago. Oren’s twin brother, Alon, an executive at a private security company, is also named as a defendant in both complaints.

The twins are accused of sexually assaulting two women in separate incidents: one woman says she was attacked at a party mansion in the Hamptons and the other says she was drugged and then assaulted in Manhattan.

On Monday, Isabelle Kirshner, an attorney for Oren and Alon Alexander, defended the brothers and called the complaints money grabs in a statement to the New York Times. “It is disappointing (but not surprising) that the plaintiffs’ attorneys are resorting to their same generic strategy: filing equally fanciful complaints against supposedly deep-pocketed individuals, without regard to the specific facts or the truth,” he said. she wrote in the press release. “In fact, our preliminary investigation into the claims has uncovered clear and compelling evidence that vindicates the Alexanders, and which we look forward to presenting to the court.” »

Oren Alexander and his older brother Tal Alexander have made a name for themselves in big-ticket real estate, most notably with the record-breaking penthouse. They co-founded Official, a brokerage firm that caters to ultra-wealthy clients.

The brothers, with Alon almost always at their side, were an integral part of Miami and New York nightlife, appearing regularly in Page Six dispatches, as well as in an article about their weekend routine in the New York Times in 2022.

On Tuesday, Tal Alexander, 37, along with his brothers, were named in a separate lawsuit. In a complaint filed in New York state, a woman claimed she was sexually assaulted in 2012 by Tal and Alon. In the lawsuit, she said Oren was present at the attack and watched. Michael J. Willemin, the woman’s attorney, said his lawsuit against the Alexander brothers “is intended to send the message that the law applies even to very wealthy and well-connected people, including the Alexanders.”

Mr. Willemin later added: “We have no doubt that the Alexanders will assemble an army of public relations reps and private investigators to launch a victim-shaming campaign, but she will not be intimidated, and this will not is not a thing,” she said. ‘”

Ms. Kirshner, the attorney representing Oren and Alon, said, “We have reviewed the allegations in the complaint and denied them because they are pure fiction. »

Stefan Friedman, a spokesperson for Tal, said: “It is unfortunate but entirely normal that shakedown artists are aligning themselves given the allegations against Tal’s brothers. However, Tal has done absolutely nothing wrong, and anyone hoping to peddle outrageous lies in hopes of a quick payday will be disappointed.

Tal is not named in the initial complaints, but Evan Torgan, founding partner of the law firm Torgan Cooper + Aaron, which represents the two women who filed the first lawsuits against Oren and Alon, said he responded to more accusations of sexual assault. against the three brothers since last week. “The flood of phone calls and emails continues to come in,” Mr. Torgan said. Tal Alexander addressed the allegations in an email he sent to his colleagues at Official on Sunday.

“I find the actions described in these reports reprehensible and would never act in this manner. Any allegations to the contrary are simply false,” he said in the email.

He also said, “I have no doubt that given my close relationship with my brothers, at some point one or more attorneys will soon attempt to lump me in with the allegations against Alon and Oren.” »

The complaints against the twins were filed just before the statute of limitations on civil sexual assault cases in New York expired, and were first reported this month in The Real Deal, a publication specializing in real estate.

Mr. Torgan said he met women who reported being assaulted in New York and the Hamptons, as well as in Colorado, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Florida. Some of the allegations date back to 2004, when Oren and Alon were high school students in Miami.

“A lot of women didn’t come forward right away because a lot of them felt responsible. Some of them had appointments when this happened,” Mr Torgan said.

Tal and Oren founded the Alexander Team, a division within Douglas Elliman Real Estate, in 2012.

In 2021, a year before leaving Elliman to start their own brokerage, the Alexander team had more than $1.8 billion in revenue.

They launched Official in 2022, alongside Nicole Oge, former marketing executive at Douglas Elliman and WeWork, and two other co-founders. In 2023, the Alexander brothers announced $260 million in closed deals and were included in The Hollywood Reporter’s 2023 Power Brokers list of top agents in New York.

In an internal memo sent to official staff on Friday and shared with The New York Times, Ms. Oge wrote that the brokerage’s values ​​”were deeply violated when the disturbing allegations against our former partner Oren Alexander came to light.” They go against everything we stand for as an organization.

She added that “Oren was immediately isolated from the company, his licenses were separated and the process to remove him from ownership is well underway.”

Last week, Oren Alexander announced he was leaving his position at Official, and as of Friday, his photo and bio had been removed from the company’s website.

By Saturday, Official had deactivated its real estate licenses in Florida and New York and Oren had given up his minority stake in the company, Ms. Oge confirmed. Emails sent to his official address were automatically responded to stating that he was no longer affiliated with the brokerage.

Among the reactions from agents and others in the real estate industry was the question of why the allegations took so long to surface. One of the two women who filed the lawsuit accuses Oren and Alon of assaulting her at Sir Ivan’s Castle, a party mansion in the town of Water Mill, Southampton. The other claims she was drugged at a Manhattan nightclub, then taken to an apartment in Chelsea where one twin brother forcefully penetrated her while the other held her down. She said they then switched places and the assault continued, according to the lawsuit.

As news of the lawsuits hit social media, comment threads on Reddit and Instagram filled with posts from other women saying they, too, had been victims. Many encouraged those with similar stories to speak out.

“Plaintiff is not, and was not, the only victim to fall prey to the twins’ heinous acts,” reads the complaint alleging the assault in the Hamptons. “For years, Defendants Alon and Oren engaged in a similar pattern of schemes, acts and behaviors with different women.”

The second complaint contains similar language.

Oren and Alon have until August 19 to respond in court to the initial complaints; Oren, Tal and Alon have until July 18 to respond to the lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The women’s lawyer said he was not aware of any ongoing criminal investigations. The Times contacted law enforcement in Southampton and New York to see if anyone had filed a police report, but did not get an immediate response.

Long-time professionals in the real estate industry were shocked by the revelation of these allegations. Several agents, appraisers and public relations executives told the Times that Official, which is only two years old, would struggle to recover from the scandal in such a competitive environment.

“It seems ironic that Official, known for promoting high-end luxury real estate developments in New York, Miami and beyond, may find it almost impossible to maintain control of its own brand,” said Jonathan Miller, president and Director General of Evaluation. Miller Samuel firm. “If the firm is unable to survive the deluge of media coverage over an associate’s allegedly shocking behavior, the vacuum will only be temporary. There’s too much money at stake that the industry can’t move forward quickly without them. »

In an interview on Sunday, Ms Oge said her business would continue to move forward.

“The confusion or misconception that Official is inextricably linked to any individual, whether it be me, Oren or anyone else, is simply false,” she said. “The official is not Oren Alexander.”

News Source : www.nytimes.com
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Sara Adm

Aimant les mots, Sara Smith a commencé à écrire dès son plus jeune âge. En tant qu'éditeur en chef de son journal scolaire, il met en valeur ses compétences en racontant des récits impactants. Smith a ensuite étudié le journalisme à l'université Columbia, où il est diplômé en tête de sa classe. Après avoir étudié au New York Times, Sara décroche un poste de journaliste de nouvelles. Depuis dix ans, il a couvert des événements majeurs tels que les élections présidentielles et les catastrophes naturelles. Il a été acclamé pour sa capacité à créer des récits captivants qui capturent l'expérience humaine.
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