Bleeding Cool readers may be familiar with the legal battle between Marvel Chair Ike Perlmutter and Canadian millionaire Harold Peerenboom. Initially over who runs the Sloan’s Curve tennis courts in their Palm Beach gates residence, which Peerenboom alleges had its contract handed to a personal friend of Perlmutter, rather than being officially tendered.
We first reported on this case in 2015 but it goes back to 2011. We initially reported when Peerenboom subpoenaed records from Marvel Comics that he believed would show that the head of Marvel, and one of the largest shareholders of Disney, launched a vicious hate-mail campaign. Letters were circulated around the community as well as being sent to Peerenboom’s friends, business associates and teachers at a school Peerenboom founded, that accused Peerenboom of sexually molesting a child from Sloan’s Curve, and murdering two people, one a former director at the school, as well stating Peerenboom believed in Hitler’s Final Solution and wanted to attack his Jewish neighbours, including Perlmutter. Other letters were made to look as it Peerenboom had written them himself and were sent to prisoners and their families at random, including Peerenboom himself. It also transpired that Peerenboom procured the DNA of Ike Perlmutter and his wife Laura Perlmutter, at an arranged deposition, in an attempt to compare it to the DNA found on the mailed letters, which led to a countersuit. In 2016, we then reported that the courts stated that they had a right to see Marvel e-mails by Ike, as long as they didn’t involve Laura.
At the time, a legal representative of both Marvel Entertainment and the Perlmutters, told me,
Harold Peerenboom is from Toronto, Canada where he is known for being both litigious and filing frivolous lawsuits. Despite being unfairly targeted, the Perlmutters also condemn such hateful and vicious lette
In 2017, Bleeding Cool reported the latest twist, that Perlmutter’s attorney claims he received a full police report via a public records request once the Palm Beach police investigation had ended into the letter campaign, revealing a discovery by Homeland Security. That customs and police intercepted a “hate mail kit” containing letters inside sealed envelopes with addresses preprinted, and three sets of latex gloves so as not to leave DNA or fingerprints, sent from Canada to Florida delivered to David Smith, who the filing claimed is a former employee and partner of Peerenboom’s company Mandrake. The allegation from Perlmutter’s camp was that this was part of a false flag operation, an attempt by Peerenboom to smear himself as a way to actually smear Ike Perlmutter. Perlmutter’s filing stated that Peerenboom and his lawyers knew about David Smith’s involvement from the beginning, as they frustrated attempts by Perlmutter’s team to find out more about Mandrake employees. And that they knew about the police report, but continued to make allegations against the Perlmutters.
But as part of this, for the first time, Perlmutter’s team admitted that in June 2011, he and his assistant disseminated to his friends, neighbours and Sloan’s Curve board members copies of newspaper clippings about Peerenboom. But that this is as far as it went and did not involve the hate mail campaign of false allegations. And so that this additional set of letters was concocted by Smith and Peerenboom to frame the Perlmutters. Peerenboom’s lawyers stated that David Smith was just a “disgruntled former colleague”.
Well, in a Toronto court last month, David Smith faced twenty charges, most of them concerning criminal harassment, but also extortion and conspiracy against Peerenboom. All twenty changes with withdrawn by the prosecution at the request of the Crown. And that assistant Crown attorney Alex Miranda told the court that a review of the evidence, mindful of the Crown’s duty to act in the public interest with a reasonable prospect of conviction, led prosecutors to conclude the charges must be dropped.
And while the ongoing legal case between Perlmutter and Peerenboom has involved high profile lawyers, none of them were at the Toronto hearing. But we did now learn that the package picked up by Homeland Security addressed to Smith, included letters addressed to Peerenboom’s wife, Robin, in keeping with the other anonymous letters, that threatened to write to prison inmates accusing Peerenboom of being a child molester and inviting them to visit his property in Florida.
This case will, no doubt, be continuing into another decade.