Jan. 4, 2014 — -- A New York political rivalry has taken a turn for the supernatural with a losing candidate suing her former opponent over a "cursed" mural that caused her "emotional distress" which may have led to her defeat on election day.
Gwen Goodwin filed suit against incoming New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito on Friday for her actions related to the placement of a large mural on Goodwin's apartment building.
The image of a large chicken head, held up with wooden slats was part of the Los Muros Hablan, a multi-borough project, which Mark-Viverito was affiliated with.
Goodwin alleges that Mark-Viverito worked with her landlords at the Eastside Manager's Associates to put up an image on her east Harlem apartment building that would "inflict emotional distress" on Goodwin.
She also alleges the image can be interpreted as threatening or as a "curse."
"According to neighbors of Puerto Rican and other backgrounds, in the Caribbean culture, this constituted a curse and a death threat, as a swastika or a noose would symbolize typically to many Jews or African Americans, respectively," the lawsuit says.
Goodwin says the "frightening, scary, and perceived evil mural" led to her becoming distracted and her campaign to lose energy. She says it may be "one possible reason for her loss during the Democratic primary for city council speaker."
Goodwin ran against Mark-Viverito in the Democratic primary for City Council last fall and won just over 900 votes compared to Mark-Viverito's 3,446, according to the New York Times. Mark-Viverito was first elected to the council in 2005.
Mark-Viverito doesn't appear too concerned about the paranormal lawsuit. In response to a twitter user, who flagged the story, she tweeted "Darn! My little secret revealed!"
Her spokesman Eric Koch had harsher words for Goodwin.
"These desperate and ridiculous allegations by a failed political opponent of Melissa are false, absurd and a waste of the courts precious time," Koch said in a statement. "It's sad but expected that Melissa's opponents are resorting to these kinds of tactics."