Former Yankees and Mets pitcher David Cone and his wife Taja Abitbol have been named in a lawsuit that claims Abitbol set fire to the couple’s apartment in order to look like a more interesting choice as a possible cast member on an upcoming season of The Real Housewives of New York. For me — it worked!
The suit was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday by their former downstairs neighbor Daniel Rice. Rice claims the fire, which occurred on Nov. 6, 2019 in their Lincoln Square luxury high-rise building, caused the building’s sprinkler system to significantly damage his apartment. He’s suing for $320,000 in damages and claims he was unable to move back into his apartment until early 2022, after a full gut renovation. More importantly, the suit claims Abitbol set the fire on purpose to enhance her chances of being cast in The Real Housewives of New York. “Abitbol’s desire for fame and notoriety is well-known,” says the suit, according to the New York Post.
And it is, in fact, well-known. Abitbol was even featured in a 2019 Page Six article titled “Meet the women desperate to become Real Housewives.” The article claims Abitbol has been interviewed for the show four times. “My life is so perfect for TV that it’s unbelievable to me that they don’t see that. And that’s the truth,” she said at that point. “I don’t think they get the Yankee logo — how important that is in New York. Are they serious?”
Are they serious? Well, let’s see. The blaze in Abitbol’s apartment occurred the night before she was scheduled to appear on the Tamron Hall Show, where she used the occasion to talk about astrology; more specifically, how her astrologist predicted she would have to move out of her apartment, which she did not believe, until it came true. “Yesterday morning, I basically set the house on fire during Mercury retrograde and I had to move,” she told Hall, according to the suit. “I came here from my hotel room.”
You might be wondering: Why did she basically set the house on fire during Mercury retrograde? Well, she’ll explain. The reason is that she had “candles burning during Mercury retrograde.” Ohhh.
(One has to appreciate Abitbol’s alleged attempt for, at least, the tagline options. “When I say burn it all down ... I mean it,” or maybe, “I may be new ... but I’m already on fire.”)
Also included in the suit is the fact that Abitbol posted a photo of herself at the Tamron Hall Show the morning after the fire, looking like a perfectly “Housewives” combination of Carlton (RHOBH) and Scheana (Vanderpump Rules). She captioned the photo: “What sign are you ? I’m a double Aries with Leo Rising all fire 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 Tune in to @tamronhallshow on ABC @abcnetwork channel 7, and hear about Mercury Retrograde , Astrology and more.... Oh yeah my favorite topic.”
In the lawsuit, Rice accuses Abitbol and husband Cone of “deliberately, knowingly, intentionally and/or recklessly,” having “caused the fire … in order for Abitbol to have a story to discuss on the Tamron Hall Show and/or to advance Abitbol’s candidacy as a castmate for the Real Housewives of New York [City] television show, among other things.” On the other hand, a rep for Abitbol told the New York Post that “any allegations that she caused the fire intentionally to further her career are ‘misguided and untrue.’”
It all seems a bit messy, to say the least. But I do love the idea of having a Mets or Yankees wife on the Real Housewives of New York cast, particularly during this tough, rebuilding period in the show’s history. Luckily I have an interesting, but non-controversial, candidate to offer. A strong, beautiful woman who won’t be afraid to say how she feels, even if she has to mime it. A woman who has made a name for herself, even if it happens to be her husband’s name. That woman?
Of course, it is Mrs. Met:
Andy Cohen, come get your girl.