Karen Feld and Kenny Feld pull rabbi into the family feud
The feud between Kenny and Karen Feld -- they've been suing each other for 25 years -- has taken yet another twist, this time involving a former Washington Hebrew Congregation rabbi.
Kenny Feld, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus heir, wants Rabbi Joshua Burrows to testify about what happened on a night in 2007 that caused Feld's sister to file a $110 million lawsuit against him. Burrows, now living in New York, doesn't want any part of the ugly family fight and has filed a motion to quash the subpoena.
Burrows's attorney, Jennifer Bougher, told us Wednesday that the rabbi, as a religious figure, feels he must hold what happened in confidence: "Above and beyond that, there were a number of other witnesses there at the same time who aren't clergy."
The warring siblings had reconciled for the first time in years in September that year to sit shiva for their 92-year-old aunt, Shirley Feld, who helped raise them after their mother's death. Things began peacefully enough, but when Burrows asked mourners to share "Shirley stories," things fell apart: Karen alleges that her brother's bodyguards threw her and her toy poodle out of the penthouse, causing a concussion and broken ribs. Kenny denies her claim and said his sister had to be removed because she was behaving irrationally and cursing at the rabbi.
Despite Burrows's resistance, first reported by the New York Post, Kenny Feld thinks the rabbi's testimony is crucial because Karen Feld directed some of her profanities "specifically at Rabbi Burrows, including Plaintiff yelling '[Frack] the Rabbi!' multiple times" and forced the religious service to stop.
Attorneys for neither Felds returned calls for comment. Wednesday night, Karen Feld told us she never met Burrows, much less peppered him with obscenities. "I never laid eyes on the rabbi or spoke to him. It's just not true." She declined to discuss any other specifics of the lawsuit: "I want this case to be tried in the court of law, not the court of public opinion."
Burrows's request is pending with a New York judge.
The Reliable Source
March 11, 2010; 1:04 AM ET
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