Actor Rob Lowe may sue an elected member of California’s Board of Equalization over an alleged antisemitic slur about Jewish people that was directed towards him and his wife, who is Jewish, while they held a private meeting last year to discuss lowering the income tax Lowe owed on a $25 million Montecito home sale in 2005.
In a February 24 email to BOE members, Lowe alleged that Jerome Horton had asked him and his wife if she “Jewed down” contractors who built their house. According to the Sacramento Bee, Lowe said in an email that when he and his wife asked Horton to explain his comment, “He doubled down, saying ‘C’mon. You know what I’m saying. Did you Jew them down? You must have.'”
The story first appeared in the Bloomberg, which noted that Lowe added he will be bringing Horton’s comments to the attention of the Anti-Defamation League, a liberal Jewish civil rights group. Horton reportedly issued a statement to Bloomberg noting he welcomes the opportunity to discuss the Lowe’s concerns.
Lowe’s email to the board reportedly arrived after the BOE had voted 3-2 in favor of reducing the taxable profit on his home sale, which the Bee notes was passed “despite a lack of records to justify some deductions.” The couple wound up saving $514,000 as a result. Diane Harkey and George Runner, both Republicans, voted with Democrat Fiona Ma, who replaced Horton last week as the BOE chair, to pass the reduction, against Democrats Yvette Stowers and Horton.
As a result of what Lowe’s tax attorney, Mark Bernsley, described “an apparent (if not obvious) bias,” by Horton, he issued a letter to the BOE in which he said he would file for a second hearing on the matter, and that he expected it to preclude Horton from any further deliberations concerning his clients, the Lowes.
In 2009, LA Weekly wrote a hit piece on Horton labeling him as the “sleazy tax man,” alleging he anonymously financed three mass mailings attacking an Inglewood school board candidate who was running against his friend Alena Cindy Giardina.
The piece also alleged that Horton had secretly and illegally kept over $100,000 from his unsuccessful race for the state’s tax board in 2006.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.