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Margaret Howell, a gallery owner in California has sued Todd White, a former lead animator on SpongeBob Squarepants, accusing him of orchestrating an attack on her Huntington Beach gallery in an attempt to take over her business.
The lawsuit seeks $5.5 million from the SpongeBob artist, who allegedly hired four "martial arts experts" to physically assault, rob, and threaten Howell, even though she has been a supporter of his artwork, selling his paintings and drawings in her gallery.
According to the lawsuit, late on August 2, Todd White, accompanied by four goons, his attorney and agent (who also happens to be his martial arts sparring partner), entered the gallery, which the OC Weekly reports is located in the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach.
The men allegedly locked Howell in her office while they took over the space, stealing paintings, client lists, and inventory records.
She also claims that the SpongeBob artist threatened to harm her family if she reported the incident to police and did not vacate her gallery by August 16th, reports the New York Observer.
Howell is seeking compensation for property damage and theft; emotional distress; false imprisonment; and assault. She also has requested punitive damages.
There's really not much to say about these allegations except that, if they turn out to be true, Howell will certainly be able to recover a hefty jury award in light of the harsh circumstances and future threats to her family.
However, between the alleged martial arts experts and the location of the gallery (a large hotel), one has to seriously wonder the allegations against SpongeBob artist Todd White are true, or if they have been blown out of proportion.