(New York Jewish Week) – The Mark, a glitzy Upper East Side hotel, has become ensnared in a legal dispute with the 19-year-old scion of a wealthy Jewish family who has allegedly accused the hotel of antisemitism and Holocaust denial.
The hotel has called those accusations baseless — its general manager swore in a legal filing that the hotel recognizes the Holocaust as “one of the most horrific events in history” — and recently sued the teen, Theodore Weintraub, for defamation.
The Mark is an exclusive five-star venue that has hosted A-list celebrities for the Met Gala and rents its penthouse suite for $75,000 a night. In its lawsuit, The Mark says Weintraub began making the accusations after the hotel turned him away two years ago for using a fake ID.
Weintraub, the son of Manhattan cardiologist and art collector Dr. Philip Weintraub, started staging regular protests outside the hotel two years after he was banned in 2021 for repeatedly trying to order drinks from the bar, the suit alleges.
Those protests have escalated in recent months, according to the lawsuit and local reports. (The local news site Patch was the first to report the ongoing conflict.) Hotel staff allege Weintraub and another unidentified protester have held signs declaring “The Mark Denies the Holocaust,” have accused the hotel of spreading disease and have paid at least one other protester to make similar chants. He has also accused the hotel of aiding the late Jewish child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who maintained a residence blocks from the hotel and mentioned it in his “black book” of contacts.
In July, Weintraub allegedly took matters a step further when the Jewish rapper and actor Drake stayed at The Mark. According to the lawsuit, Weintraub first attempted to keep hotel staff from preparing for Drake’s arrival, then tried to block Drake’s entry into the hotel by yelling that The Mark denied the Holocaust, leading to a fistfight between him and the rapper’s fans. Another instance — in which Weintraub or another protester chanted “The Mark helped Epstein” while Drake exited the hotel — was caught on video.
Hotel staff thought they had resolved things with Weintraub after initially banning him from the premises when he was 17, only to find him return to the Mark with his father a month later for a dinner reservation. At first the younger Weintraub reportedly tried to beg forgiveness from staff, then pivoted to loudly accusing them of being antisemitic. His father calmed him down, but Weintraub began his harassment campaign anew two years later, the suit claims.
The lawsuit seeks to bar Weintraub from the premises, as well as keep him from publicly claiming the hotel denies the Holocaust, spread disease or supported Epstein. The charge of Holocaust denial particularly upset the hotel’s general manager, Etienne Haro, who wrote in an affidavit that the hotel “has Jewish ownership” and that “the notion that we deny the Holocaust is a spurious attempt to damage our reputation and relationships.” (The Mark is owned by Alexico Group, a real estate development company whose president Izak Senbahar is a Turkish-born Jew.)
In the affidavit, Haro elaborated that the luxury hotel “recognizes both the existence of the Holocaust as well as the fact that it was one of the most horrific events in history — including, among other things, the murder of six million Jews in an attempted genocide.”
Weintraub lives with his father, and attempts to reach him via his father were unsuccessful. For his part, Weintraub told the New York Post recently that “the truth will come out.”
After putting his picture on the front page of the paper over the headline “SORE BOOZER,” the Post interviewed Weintraub, who told them he was now sober. He claimed that he stopped drinking five months before the lawsuit says his protests started.
He added, “I got nothing against Drake.”