4 Unbelievably Petty Moves Pulled By The Ultra-Rich
We all have moments where we rudely put ourselves first, like when we published "5 Of Our Old High School Bullies That We Demand Be Arrested Before We Write Another Word." Most of us can move on and try to become better people, but celebrities have their worst moments captured, archived, and perpetually dredged up forever. Sometimes that's cruel ... but sometimes they've acted out in such terrible ways that it's honestly a little weird that we've all given them a pass. For instance ...
Jerry Bruckheimer Destroyed His Neighbors' Property Values And An Elderly Couple's Subsistence Garden
Inexplicably rewarded for his role in creating Pirates Of The Caribbean, National Treasure, and four identical CSI shows, Jerry Bruckheimer decided to treat himself to a 400-acre ranch in California's scenic Ojai Valley. Bruckheimer values his privacy, no doubt because of the endless masses clamoring for him to create The Lone Ranger 2, so he encircled his property with trees that can grow to over 20 feet. And in doing so he earned the wrath of everyone in his new neighborhood.
No, the locals weren't demanding a literal look at Bruckheimer's incredible creative mind as it churned mightily to set the wheels of Bad Boys: Screw It, Here's Another One in motion. A big part of living in a scenic valley is being able to see the scenery, and Bruckheimer's trees annihilated everyone's view. Property values plummeted accordingly, because the loss of the incredible majesty of nature was somehow not counterbalanced by the potential to maybe occasionally catch a glimpse of a man who brought the world a timeless film about guinea pigs who are secret agents that make fart jokes.
These neighbors weren't exactly living in tenement blocks, but this wasn't an elitist gated community either. Bruckheimer dropped a multi-million-dollar eyesore into a regular neighborhood, and he doesn't even spend much time in it, because he's too busy bringing society a Top Gun sequel despite society politely asking him not to. Worst of all, the shade created by his trees devastated the garden of an elderly couple that relied on their harvest for food. And an incredibly rich and powerful man blocking out the sun so that his everyday neighbors can't eat is a little too on the nose, even by the standards of the villain who subjected the world to Pearl Harbor.
Related: 5 Celebrities Who Played Off Terrible Actions As 'Jokes'
Dr. Dre Tried To Prevent An Actual Doctor From Going By Dr. Drai
Dr. Drai is a Pennsylvania gynecologist. Dr. Dre is a rapper and producer whose medical knowledge of women is limited to whatever information he's informally gleamed from repeatedly assaulting them. The average person would not get them confused, but that did not stop Dre from launching a lengthy legal battle on the claim that Dr. Drai's "brand" would confuse some presumably very stupid people.
Though it seems like an OBGYN being confused with a woman-beater might have more to lose.
To be fair, Dr. Drai isn't quietly working out of a suburban office block. He's a media personality who's built a career on press appearances and speaking engagements. His legal name is Draion M. Burch, so going by Dr. Drai does feel like a cheeky marketing gimmick. But one of these doctors is still a real medical doctor, selling books like 20 Things You May Not Know About The Vagina and its shocking follow-up 20 Things You May Not Know About The Penis, while the other is selling overpriced headphones to people who know zero things about audio quality.
It's disingenuous, to put it mildly, to claim that there are people out there who might think they're buying tickets to a rap show, only to be utterly devastated when their 11 a.m. engagement at the airport Ramada turns out to in fact be an inspirational lecture on the labia. That's what the Patent and Trademark Office thought, at least, ending the dispute in Dr. Drai's favor. Dre's claim that Dr. Drai was " on the goodwill" generated by his name was dismissed, presumably because no one has felt any goodwill toward Dr. Dre for years.
Related: 5 Truly Breathtaking Moments In Celebrity Hypocrisy
The Royal Family Stole A Guy's Instagram Account
Kevin Keiley is a British driving instructor. He lives in West Sussex, and he supports a soccer team, as all British subjects are legally required to. His team is Reading FC, who are nicknamed the Royals. And so when Keiley signed up for an Instagram account, he dubbed himself @sussexroyal. And this served him fine for three years, until he awoke one day to find that he had been booted over to @_sussexroyal_. His original account had been given to Prince Harry and Meghan, the duke and duchess of Sussex.
This isn't really a big deal in the grand scheme of things, especially given that the royal family used to steal far worse. But it was still a questionable move, as neither Instagram nor a representative for the royals bothered to reach out to Keiley to request permission or offer compensation. Instagram instead blamed Keiley for being inactive, although Keiley insisted that he was using the profile to follow accounts he liked.
It was surrounded by a scenic forest, and it sported a helicopter pad, a basketball court, and even a guest house, because it would be a great place to visit if not for the perpetual risk of running into Daniel Snyder. There was only one ostensible problem: Snyder couldn't see the river because of the trees, which were on land protected by the National Park Service.
Most men would be content to gaze upon trees deemed majestic enough to be American landmarks, and they might even summon up the incredible energy to take a brief stroll to the river when the mood struck them. But Snyder, to the great benefit of society, is not most men, and so he used his political connections to cut a ridiculous backroom deal.
Most of the problematic trees were non-native, so Snyder was told that he could cut down 200 of them under the guise of an "exotic-plant extermination program," on the condition that he replace them with 600 native saplings that would one day grow to block some other rich jerk's sight line. But this went against the environmental recommendations of horticulture specialists, and no one involved had commissioned a formal assessment or consulted the county, both of which were required by law.
But Snyder went ahead anyway, because once you have enough money, the law is just a polite suggestion. The loud clear-cutting prompted a complaint from of one of Snyder's more tasteful neighbors, which caught the attention of park ranger Robert Danno, who brought the issue to his boss. And here's where it turned into a nature-themed police thriller.
Danno suddenly found himself reassigned to a desk job after being slapped with BS disciplinary charges. He proved the charges false in front of a review board, so he was then transferred to a different national park. A frustrated Danno filed a formal complaint, because a man with a two-hour commute is one with nothing to lose. At that point more phony disciplinary charges emerged, even as Danno's grievance produced a report that slammed the decision to let Snyder act.
Snyder had to reimburse the government a whole $82,000, but the environmental damage had been done. Meanwhile, Danno was suspended without pay, demoted, then arrested by a SWAT team and charged with the theft of federal property. The charges were nonsense and he was acquitted by a jury within minutes, but he continued to be harassed internally. This saga stretched out over six years, during which Danno saw his career grind to a halt while everyone who helped Snyder enjoyed cushy promotions and Snyder himself saw his property value soar. We know it's not a surprise that rich people profit from government corruption, but how big of a monster do you have to be to corrupt the freaking National Park Service?
Mark is on Twitter and wrote a book.
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