Robert Day, founder of TCW Capital in Los Angeles, must be ruing the day he ever met celebrity pitchman Ed McMahon. McMahon, 85, fell during a dinner party that Day hosted at his Bel Air manse in March of last year, and McMahon has now decided to sue Day, saying that his resulting neck injury has kept him from working, as well as contributed to his now famous financial crisis. (I gather from this article in People that McMahon tried quiet coercion first.)
There’s little doubt that Day has money to spare. When the former White, Weld & Co. investment banker founded Trust Company of the West in 1971, he was managing $2 million. Fast forward to today, and TCW, where Day resigned his role as CEO in 2005, is managing some $153 billion in assets, including fixed-income, mezzanine, and energy funds, among many others.
Perhaps Day’s L.A. home does feature “unsafe entry stairs” as McMahon’s suit states. (They can’t be too tricky to navigate: Dubya managed to survive them a few years ago). Still, for McMahon to sue Day for wiping out as a guest in his home is beyond the pale. Talk about bad form.
When in early June, I first saw McMahon in a neck brace, telling “Access Hollywood” that he was facing foreclosure on his expansive Mediterranean-style home above Beverly Hills, I felt a mix of awe and sympathy. It was nearly unbelievable that he could’ve managed his money so poorly. It’s not like McMahon was a one-time child star, or a one-hit wonder, or bought a town in Georgia for $20 million. Still, I felt sorry for him and hoped some old friends in Hollywood might intervene on his behalf.
Considering McMahon’s new lawsuit, it’s easy to see why no one has. I wouldn’t invite him over, either.