The Real Deal New York

Donny Deutsch stiffed Sotheby’s broker on commission: judge

But MSNBC host denies he went behind Sotheby agent's back to sell Hamptons home
October 30, 2014 09:01AM

MSNBC host and former advertising titan Donny Deutsch allegedly tricked a real estate broker out of a $1.2 million commission by brokering the sale of his Hamptons home himself.

Deutsch’s lawyer allegedly brought in hedge fund manager Howard Marks to look at the Tyson Lane property, thereby going behind Sotheby’s International Realty broker Edward Petrie’s back and causing him to miss out on the 4 percent fee, according to court papers cited by the New York Post. The court is now ordering that Sotheby’s gets the $1.2 million commission after all.

“This court considers that and refusal to acknowledge [Petrie] as the broker to be marks of dishonesty and greed,” the judge wrote in an October 23 decision, according to the newspaper. “Both characteristics are particularly unbecoming when exhibited by those blessed with great wealth.”

Deutsch maintains that he never agreed on a 4 percent commission, according to the newspaper.

“There was no such agreement, neither verbal nor written, and internal Sotheby’s email communications confirm this. Mr. Deutsch will vigorously defend his position in court and is very confident this decision will be reversed on appeal,” a representative for Deutsch told the Post.

In 2012, contractors and architects who helped design his Upper East Side townhouse alleged that Deutsch stiffed them for work on the home[NYP] — Claire Moses

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  • Bob the Broker

    Sigh. I used to have such respect and admiration for Donny, but then again, the mother of his daughter is from Elliman…

  • ChewBaka Flocka

    What a piece of shit

  • Sam

    Hmmm. Was the attorney acting as a broker here???? Were there indemnities given here that make the buyer responsible for the commission? A lot of bad faith conduct going on here.

  • Crewneck

    There was no written agreement ? How did the broker win ? Isn’t it a law in New York that there must be a written contract ??

    • Perry

      Real Estate Brokers in NY State can be hired without a written contract

      • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

        so someone can claim and win that they had a verbal agreement!???

        • Perry

          Obviously, The judge gave a bench decision based on the Real Property Law and the testimony of the Plaintiff, Defendant, the witness’.

  • Leonard Steinberg

    I think it would be only fair to judge this once ALL the facts are revealed!

    • Slapintheface

      Ugh Lenoard, please stop. You sell lots of real estate but you arent a lawyer so dont mouth off on legal issues. The judge did issue a decision based on all of the facts. Thats the way our legal system works. The the defendant will appeal does not detract from the fact that the defendant was afforded a full and fair opportunity to put forth all of the pertinent facts from his end. I am quite sure his attorneys did this. Otherwise, Donny’s lawyers would be guilty of malpractice. Perhaps the judge made the wrong decision based on the law, but the judge had all of the relevant facts before him when issuing his decision.

      • slapping slap in the face

        your a shmuck and deserve a slap in the face!

      • Noah B

        “That’s the way our legal system works” and “Otherwise, Donny’s lawyers would be guilty of malpractice” are not complete sentences. Have you ever heard of commas? You shouldn’t write critiques of others if you do not know how to write.

        • Slapintheface

          Listen Noah B. you dumbass
          moron: Both of those sentences ARE complete, grammatically-sound
          sentences. They both have a subject and a verb. In the first
          sentence, the word “that” is the subject and “is” (part of the
          contraction that’s) is the verb. In the
          second sentence, “lawyers” is the subject and “would be” is the verb. Goddamn you are so dumb.

        • Slapintheface

          Sorry my comment should not have been directed at Noah B.. It should have been directed at “Guest.” Apologies to Noah B. for the mistake.

        • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

          Mel Gibson’s baby mama got 750k and now she is suing her own lawyers. Phil Ivey’s wife is also suing her lawyers. He makes 920k a MONTH and now he has a pot farm.

          There’s no reason to believe that lawyers or doctors subscribe to a noble oath to behave morally and in the best interest in the client. One of the frat boys who owes over 20k in rent and stayed out of NYC for the statute of limitation term is now a doctor and back in NYC. He has no interest in making amends and doctors are supposed to not do stuff like that in their personal life.

          Ebola doctor didn’t get a unanimous condemnation from the medical community. There’s more banding together of people in the same profession against the clients/general public than there should be. I’m afraid of my brother’s medical care now that that tenant is back in NYC if he badmouths us.

      • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

        a judge just let off a MURDERER who had been tracked down by the victim’s daughter because the judge said the cops should have done this sooner – there’s not supposed to be a statute of limitations on MURDER unlike bouncing over 20k in rent checks and moving out of an apartment frat boys had been told to vacate months earlier

  • Noah B

    Do youRealize that “Gypped” is a derogatory term stemming from the stereotype that Gypsies rip people off? Would be like putting “Jewed” in the same context.

    • Noah, is that all you got out of the article ? how sad

      • Noah B

        Yes Steven, I try to avoid article by authors who cannot formulate a headline without using racial slurs. What great insight did you receive from the article?

        • J Sharp

          What race are Gypsies?

    • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

      How come the Romani are doing okay in America but not in Europe?

    • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

      it’s also very old school NYC lingo – my dad described Chinese restaurants that served chop suey as gyp joints and he learned all his English out of the classroom.

  • Shelly Brunette

    Karma will bite Donny Dearest. I had a buyer go “around” me… Then he called me for help. Nada…. 4 months later his wife gave him the boot but kept all the loot.

  • Sunny

    “Gypped!?!” Nope, nope, nope!! Do you not have an editor?!

  • Michaleen

    Sorry but this shows what I personally see in the land of the wealthy democrats.. screw the lil everybody’s… put up a tough it…. wasn’t me …it was a miss communication.. I gave the guy the key to my house to let people in and I was in the dark about this… geez i thought i was helping out the little guy here… Now look at me! I look like me last name. I didn’t know he was showing my house to sell… he told me it was for a photo shoot…. I didn’t put 2 and 2 together….now I know why all those real estate agents cards were doing on my kitchen table week in and week out…I can’t wait to tell Minka my side of the story…. Oh Joe… you know Donny isn’t like that

  • john

    Donny worked for MSNBC. They hire unscrupulous people all the time IE Al Sharpton.

  • David

    What happened to the buyer Howard Marks, hes just as much a SB as the seller. He also went behind the brokers back if thats the case. He could have said no I cant do that to the broker, he didnt. POS both of them.

    Howard Marks
    Howard Marks

    • Buyer is not obliged to use broker, may not have been aware of agreement.

  • AnneeZ

    Not the first time someone famous has screwed an agent out of a commission. I speak from experience. But, with regards to this, as a seller, personally, I always write that if I sell myself that agent is not entitled to commission– hated clause but has proven useful.

  • Sheldon Hills

    My experience with Donnie is that he is 100% straight. I never had a
    problem with him and he was always more than fair and reasonable. The
    dollar amounts were more than here and never felt any pressure.
    Something else must be behind this issue. I give Donnie the benefit of
    doubt here. I have no current or past relationship with Donnie nor have I
    for the last 5 years. I am sure he has not changed!

  • Betsy

    It is the seller who had to pay wonder what he would have said if he was still on the today show.