A Jewish teenager is being sued by an upscale hotel in New York for defamation after he accused them of Holocaust denial when they banned him from the property.
Theodore Weintraub, a 19-year-old from Manhattan, is being accused by the Mark hotel of launching a campaign of harassment against them following a series of altercations.
According to the Mark, Weintraub's run-ins with the hotel started two years ago in August 2021 when the then-17-year-old attempted to get served in the swanky hotel using a fake ID.
The staff at the hotel repeatedly refused to serve him, with Weintraub allegedly becoming aggressive with bar workers at the property's upscale restaurant, where the most expensive wine costs over £12,000 a bottle.
For a few weeks after the incidents, Theodore did not bother the hotel, until the Mark noticed a family dinner booking in the Weintraub name
According to legal filings, the younger Weintraub, who lives with his parents nearby the hotel showed up with his father, a well-known doctor in Manhattan.
According to court documents filed in New York, the hotel claimed that: "Upon their arrival, the family was stopped and informed of their son’s ban from the premises. Theodore pled for forgiveness, but when the Mark Hotel insisted on enforcing the ban, he began accusing the hotel of being antisemitic and spitting in people’s food.
Theodore's father quickly quelled his son and said that he understood the ban, offered his business card, and said that if there were any further problems with his son then he (the father) could be contacted directly."
But unlike many teens turned away from bars, Weintraub allegedly didn't leave it there.
Over the next two years, The hotel is accusing Weintraub of repeatedly protesting outside their Upper East Side entrance, shouting at hotel employees and accusing the hotel of denying the Holocaust and aiding disgraced sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Weintraub can even be heard shouting that the hotel supported Epstein in the background of a paparazzi video of Jewish rapper Drake leaving the hotel earlier this summer.
The disruption to Drake allegedly became bad enough for the rapper to complain to the hotel, which charges over £50,000 a night for its penthouse suite, about Mr Weintraub's shouting.
The Mark Hotel is one of New York's most expensive and glamourous hotels, often hosting pre-events for the Met Gala as well as Meghan Markle's baby shower in 2019.
Donatella Versace departs The Mark Hotel for 2023 Met Gala on May 01, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for The Mark)
The teenager also allegedly brought a friend with him several times to protest outside the hotel with signs reading: "The Mark Denies the Holocaust,” “The Mark Spreads Disease” and “The Mark Supports Epstein,”
In an affidavit, Etienne Haro, the General manager of the hotel denied all of Weintraub's complaints saying: "First, we have never and will never "support" Jeffrey Epstein, contrary to the defamatory accusations from the Defendants. This allegation is made up of whole cloth and, indeed, based upon a review of our records, it appears that Jeffrey Epstein was never even a guest at our hotel.
Haro also added: "The Mark Hotel has Jewish ownership and, of course, recognizes both the existence of the Holocaust as well as the fact that it was one of the most horrific events in history including, among other things, the murder of six million Jews in an attempted genocide.
"The notion that we deny the Holocaust is a spurious attempt to damage our reputation and relationships."
When approached by the New York Post, Weintraub said: “I can’t comment now. The truth will come out.”
The JC has contacted Weintraub for comment.