James Bond might be able to charm his way out of any tight squeeze, but onetime 007 star Sean Connery appears to be headed for court.
The actor's downstairs neighbor, Manhattan opthalmologist Burton Sultan, has filed a $30 million lawsuit alleging that Connery is trying to force Sultan's family out of the townhouse they share, the Associated Press reports.
The suit claims that the 74-year-old Connery and his wife have been living in the townhouse since April 2001, notes Britain's Telegraph newspaper, and that extensive renovations launched in September 2001 have been a source of constant noise, foul fumes, water leaks and a rat infestation, as well as damage to the Sultan family's antiques.
In court papers, Sultan also claims Connery is harassing the Sultans "by playing loud music at all hours and stomping about," the AP reports. On April 7, 2002, one of the Sultans' daughters knocked on Connery's door and requested quiet. "Connery's appearance and
behavior was that of a rude, foul-mouthed, fat old man," court papers say.
The suit also says the Connerys owe $15,747 in maintenance and utility payments – which it calls another ploy "to harass the Sultans into leaving their home."
Connery's spokesman, however, dismissed the lawsuit's claims. "Sir Sean does not own any property in the United States and is rarely in New York," the spokesman told the Telegraph. "Anyone in the United States can sue for anything. That does not mean that the suit has any
merit. The claims are ridiculous."