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Woman Keeps Shining Bright Lights Into My Apartment, Neighbor Says

 Suellen Epstein started Children's Tumbling in her Murray Street loft in 1978.
Suellen Epstein started Children's Tumbling in her Murray Street loft in 1978.
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DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro

LOWER MANHATTAN — It's a case of bright lights, big TV.

A longtime TriBeCa children's gym owner is shining spotlights — and even a strobe light — into her neighbor's window because he refuses to close his shades when he watches TV, which glows into her apartment, according to court papers recently filed in Manhattan Civil Court.

Richard Miele is accusing his neighbor Suellen Epstein, who has run Children's Tumbling from her 9 Murray St., loft since 1978, of engaging in a "campaign of harassment" against him and his family with the use of her lights.

According to Miele, after he, his wife and young child moved into the building in 2014, Epstein, a member of the condo board, started to complain that the light from his TV was "bothering" her.

Miele lives directly across from Epstein in the U-shaped building, about 50 feet away. They both have three large windows that face each other.

Epstein, along with the landlord at Epstein's request, "demanded" that Miele close the blinds on all three windows whenever they watched TV, something he thought was unreasonable, since not all residents of the building are asked to close their shades each time they watch TV, Miele said in court papers.

Instead, he suggested Epstein closed her blinds if the TV light annoyed her — he even said he offered to pay for remote-controlled blinds for her loft.

But those offers were rebuffed, Miele claimed, which is when the fight really started to light up. 

Epstein installed "a series of large, extra bright spotlights against her windows" set up to shine into Miele windows, he claimed. The lights were turned on from sundown until late into the night, he said.

Miele claims Epstein even went so far as to install timers on the lights, so that even when she was on vacation, they'd still shine into his apartment.

"At one point in time," Miele said in court papers, Epstein "installed a large, nightclub like strobe light and began shining those spinning color lights into my apartment in addition to the spotlights."

Most recently, Epstein allegedly installed one large "Broadway style" spotlight that shines directly into his bathroom doorway and bathroom, which means anytime his little kids, ages 3 and 1 walk out of the bathroom — sometimes unclothed after a bath — they can be seen through the window because of the light, he says.

Miele said he's fearful for the well-being of his children since it now seems that Epstein is purposefully shining that Broadway-like light when the kids are using the bathroom.

He also said that Epstein is a "serial harasser" who previously blasted music directed at another neighbor's apartment.

He is asking a judge "to stop her outrageous behavior" as she "believes she can operate with impunity as a member of the condominium board."

Epstein did not immediately return requests for comment.