It’s a brewing tale of the Valley, big money, youth, privacy, and hubris.
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg was deposed yesterday in San Jose, California for a legal case brought against him by a man who almost became his neighbor.
The man, Mircea Voskerician, entered a deal to buy the property next to Zuck’s for $4.8 million. Voskerician said he planned to build a 10,000 square foot residence on the property. He also says Zuckerberg offered to buy part of the property from him, which would extend the space between Voskerician’s house and Zuckerberg’s, offering more privacy to Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg ended up paying Voskerician $1.7 million for the right to buy the property, then paid another $4.8 million for the property itself.
But Voskerician is suing because he claimed he could have sold the right to buy to another party for much more, and sold to Zuckerberg at $1.7 million only because Zuckerberg promised to introduce him to influential Valley players and business contacts. He says Zuckerberg never made those introductions.
Voskerician’s real estate agent referred to Zuckerberg as “just a kid” at one point.
Now it’s all about to come out in court. Voskerician and his attorneys have taken a combative stance against the Zuckerberg side, hoping to pressure them into a settlement.
Facebook has said that the CEO intends to defend himself vigorously in court.
In this setting, it’s very likely that Voskerician’s legal team will spare no expense on discovery, hoping to dig up anything that might paint Zuckerberg as an entitled brat, a liar, and a bad neighbor.
They have already asked for details about Zuckerberg’s personal finances and net worth. One of Zuckerberg’s attorneys said Voskerician is “going out of his way to embarrass Mr. Zuckerberg and pressure those around him at every turn.”
You see where this is going. It might end up being some very good entertainment if the thing does go to trial. It could reveal some things about Zuckerberg that we didn’t know, or just dredge up ugly old stories about the social media wunderkind.
So stay tuned. Mr. Zuckerberg’s life might become a lot less private in the next few months. And a new Silicon Valley melodrama might be on the way.
Source: New York Times
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