Supermarket tycoon John Catsimatidis has got sour grapes.
The fat cat claims in court papers he lost the Republican mayoral election in part because of an anonymously posted attack ad on YouTube — even though it was only viewed by about 200 users.
Catsimatidis filed a petition in Manhattan Supreme Court Thursday demanding Google and YouTube identify who posted the “defamatory” 30-second video in late August under the fictitious name “Grocery Employees United.”
The video, which the Gristedes boss says is filled with lies, was viewed by just 231 people as of 12:30 pm Friday. Catsimatidis lost to Joe Lhota in Tuesday’s GOP primary by about 6,700 votes.
“Clearly John Doe and/or Jane Doe made this video with the intent to damage my business and my prospect in becoming the mayor of New York City,” the legal papers say. “These postings . . . were made with the intention to harm my reputation as a businessman and as a political figure. These postings were made with the intention to interfere with my relationships, my livelihood and my political aspirations.”
Catsimatidis says he wants the identities of the unnamed posters because he wants to sue them for defamation. Among the allegations made in the video is that he once “pled guilty to 100 counts of wiretapping and paid a $1 million fine,” which the suit says is false.
The goofy video features a photo of Catsimatidis dressed as “Batman” and even tries to compare him to disgraced ex-President Richard Nixon by showing both men in similar poses.
Google and YouTube could not be reached for comment.
“Waiting until after the election to file this action may look to some like sour grapes, but I don’t blame him if he didn’t want New Yorkers to know how many times workers have sued him and his company,” said Justin Swartz, a lawyer representing Gristedes workers who previously sued Catsimatidis over being shortchanged in overtime.
That wages case has already cost Catsimatidis — who is worth $3 billion — a small fortune.
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