Actor Rob Lowe Accuses California Tax Official of Making Antisemitic Remarks During Financial Dispute
Actor Rob Lowe accused a tax official in California of making antisemitic remarks during a private meeting last year over a dispute concerning the sale of a house, The Charlotte Observer reported on Monday.
Lowe alleged in a Feb. 24 email to members of California’s Board of Equalization that BOE member Jerome Horton asked him and his wife, Jewish actress Sheryl Berkoff, if she “Jewed down” contractors who built their house in Montecito, Calif.
“Appalled, we asked him to explain his comment,” Lowe said in the email, a copy of which was acquired by The Bee. “He doubled down, saying ‘C’mon. You know what I’m saying. Did you Jew them down? You must have.’”
Lowe’s tax attorney, Mark Bernsley, and members of Horton’s staff were present when the remarks were allegedly made, according to the email.
Bernsley sent a letter to BOE officials warning them that Lowe may sue Horton for his comments.
Lowe said that he would inform the Anti-Defamation League of Horton’s comments, while “weighing other options to combat this virulent and unapologetic antisemitism in the people of California’s Board Of Equalization.”
Horton, defending himself in an email sent to The Bee on Monday night, said, “Theirs is a misrepresentation of the facts, I am a lifetime supporter of Israel and related issues, this is only about my vote against them.”
He was referring to a BOE vote — from which he dissented — to lower the income tax Lowe owed on the 2005 sale of his home in Montecito, Calif., which sold for $25 million.
Fiona Ma, who replaced Horton last week as the BOE’s chair, said she had not attended the meeting in which Horton made the alleged remarks last summer, but “if (Horton) did that, he should apologize, for starters.”