Billy Corgan sued by Eric Dane, Rebecca Gayheart over tree accident
"Grey's Anatomy" star Eric Dane is suing his Beverly Hills neighbor, Smashing Pumpkins rocker Billy Corgan, over a tree accident that he says put his then-pregnant wife, Rebecca Gayheart, in danger.
According to the lawsuit, filed on September 26 and obtained by OTRC.com, Corgan's property, located across the street from the couple, contains tall eucalyptus trees that Dane says were not properly maintained. He says that during a windy day in November 2011, one fell onto his property, struck live power lines that then snapped and caused a blackout and hit and broke a high-pressure fire sprinkler water line.
He said that Gayheart, a former "Beverly Hills, 90210" actress, was nine months pregnant with their baby girl and home alone with their older daughter at the time. She "was forced to evacuate" the house "as quickly as possible, navigating a way out of a quickly flooding home surrounded by live voltage wires and without the benefit of any light whatsoever."
Corgan said in a statement obtained by OTRC.com: "I was horrified when I learned about the tree falling during what was a massive storm, a storm with winds strong enough to uproot a 50 ft tree by its base! Thankfully no one was injured and after the tree was removed we brought in an expert who recommended other similar trees be removed, which we did immediately."
Dane says that by March 2011, "Corgan was on notice" that several of his trees had fallen onto neighboring properties during high winds and that his next-door neighbor, a woman, notified him about the matter by emailing the rocker's reps. The lawsuit claims that Corgan responded to the messages by trimming the trees closest to her house but "failed to perform necessary maintenance" to many others.
"The assertion that I was warned about these trees is patently untrue, and it's a shame they've taken that position because they are nice people," Corgan said in his statement.
Dane's home is currently being repaired and construction is due to be completed this month. The actor says that he and his wife are "reluctant to move back" because they fear other trees on Corgan's property may fall on theirs.
The couple says they are concerned about the safety of their family, "especially that of their two young daughters" and are demanding that Corgan remove all of his improperly maintained and rotten trees and pay general and compensatory damages and fees.
Dane is best known for his role as Dr. Mark "McSteamy" Sloan on the ABC series "Grey's Anatomy." This ninth season is his last on the show.