New York Politician Sues Nemesis For Cursing Her With Rooster Mural

| by Allison Geller

New York City political hopeful Gwen Goodwin sued her rival, East Harlem council member Melissa Mark-Viverito, for putting a hex on her with a mural that Mark-Viverito commissioned for the side of her building.

The quest for turf was over in the primary, with Goodwin losing out to Mark-Viverito by a landslide, but Goodwin wasn’t giving up easy. She filed a $1 million lawsuit claiming Mark-Viverito targeted the building she has lived in since 1997 on East 100th Street for a five-story mural of a supposedly evil rooster.

“According to neighbors of Puerto Rican and other backgrounds, in the Caribbean culture, this constituted a curse and a death threat, as a swastika or a noose would symbolize typically to many Jews or African-Americans,” Good­win alleged in a Manhattan Supreme Court suit she filed Friday.

“This is supposed to be a professional politician who came and graffitied the side of my building,” Goodwin told The New York Post.

“I really felt that people needed to understand who they were giving power to as the next most powerful person behind the mayor of New York City."

Goodwin claimed things were amiss ever since the mural was finished. She suffered a blood clot in her foot, and a close friend started “acting crazy.”

The mural’s artist, Puerto Rican-born Don Rimx, expressed a totally different notion of his piece, titled "The Walls Speak," on his Tumblr.

"Representing the Street of the Beautiful People who work to support their families and are far away from their countries by things in life," he wrote in Spanish, according to Courthouse News. "And they are going to fly like migratory birds to follow Building their Dreams of giving to theirs that which they never had."

Eric Koch, a spokesman for Mark-Viverito, called Goodwin's claims “ridiculous.”

“These desperate and ­ridiculous allegations by a failed political opponent of Melissa are false, absurd and a waste of the court’s precious time. It’s sad but expected that Melissa’s ­opponents are resorting to these kinds of tactics,” Koch said.

Mark-Viverito just won the City Council seat against opponent Dan Garodnick.

Sources: New York Post (2), Courthouse News