Neighborhood Feuds of the Rich and Famous

ByABC News via via logo

March 7, 2005 — -- The poet Robert Frost wrote, "Good fences make good neighbors." And that sentiment holds true no matter who you are. Sometimes the nastiest neighbor disputes happen in the toniest neighborhoods, even among the rich and famous.

Take the professional wrestler Hulk Hogan. He's going to the mat with his neighborhood Homeowners' Association and the Belleaire, Fla., town council.

Neighbors have complained about his vast menagerie of pets, including Lilly the rooster, to town officials and at public hearings for years, according to published reports.

Last week, the wrestler's pets were the subject of a town meeting that cameras captured for a reality TV show about Hogan. The Hogan family has been fined and ordered to comply with town code enforcement regulations by next week, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

The Hogans say that they are being targeted because of their celebrity status and have hired an attorney to allow them to keep their pets.

Hogan's neighbors declined to speak with "Good Morning America" about the issue.

Scottish actor Sean Connery cannot use any of James Bond's gadgets to defend against a $30 million lawsuit, brought by a New York neighbor who claims Connery is "making his life hell" with loud music, dripping water and rats. The actor's camp calls the claim "ridiculous."

Jim Belushi may have found love in his heart for his obnoxious sitcom neighbors on the TV show "According to Jim," but Belushi and his real-life neighbor are fighting like dogs and ... Catwoman.

Belushi is suing Julie Newmar, co-star of the old "Batman" series, for $4 million. The lawsuit claims: "Newmar vandalized Belushi's home, trespassed, destroyed his personal property and made false and defamatory statements regarding Belushi to his neighbors."

Newmar's attorney hasn't confirmed or denied Belushi's charges but says Newmar is willing to take the lawsuit to mediation.

Loud music is a common suburban complaint, and when heavy-metal legend Ozzy Osbourne and his family are involved, you might assume the Osbornes are to blame.

But in a recent case, the Osbournes' singing next-door neighbor angered the rocker and his family. Ozzy's wife, Sharon, didn't help matters by throwing a ham over the wall on the family's MTV reality show, "The Osbournes."

But you don't have to be rich or famous to have differences with your neighbors. Twiggy the Mannequin has become a different kind of nuisance neighbor in San Francisco.

When Carol Peterson bought and dressed the mannequin two years ago, she never imagined that she was creating a popular attraction. But Twiggy is attracting all kinds of curiosity seekers, and one of the neighbors doesn't like it.

"Well, he's very embarrassed by her," said Peterson. "He says she's devaluing his property and attracting tourists."

And now there is a "Save Twiggy" movement afoot on San Francisco's Telegraph Hill.

"Twiggy is completely innocent," one female supporter told "Good Morning America."

But there's another way to look at neighborhood feuds. Next-door tension is actually good for the economy, employing so many lawyers, arborists, home security guards and, now, reality show producers. TBS is currently casting a show called "Love Thy Neighbor" in which feuding families compete for $200,000 to pay off the mortgage.

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