Thursday, December 1 2022

Aubri Peele and Christopher Burnside of BHS (LinkedIn, Brown Harris Stevens)

James and Laura Glen were expecting an easy payday when they listed their three-bedroom condo on a hot Hamptons deal with Brown Harris Stevens last spring.

But listing agents Christopher Burnside and Aubri Peele had other uses for the unit in mind, the couple claimed.

In a lawsuit filed last December, the Glens alleged that instead of soliciting offers for the home, officers used the guise of an open house to engage in a ‘sex capade’ in her master bedroom.

The lawsuit, which alleged that Burnside and Peele breached their contractual and fiduciary responsibilities in addition to inflicting emotional trauma on their clients, sought $100,000 in damages. Burnside, Peele and Brown Harris Stevens of the Hamptons were named as defendants.

“Defendants’ complete lack of interest in acting appropriately for the Exclusive Agent List was compounded by utter disregard for the privacy of others and blatant disrespect for the property of others,” reads- one in the complaint.

The case was settled confidentially in February, when the parties signed a nondisclosure agreement. The defendants and their attorney declined to comment, and the plaintiff’s attorney did not respond to requests for comment. A representative for Brown Harris Stevens also declined to comment.

According to the complaint, James and Laura Glen gave Christopher Burnside the exclusive right to sell their apartment on May 15. Burnside reportedly told the couple that their waterfront condo in Southampton, with a private dock, would be an easy sale.

Shortly after handing over the listing to Burnside in May 2021, the Glens left for Florida, according to the complaint. Burnside informed them that a brokers’ open house was scheduled for May 25 and an open house for May 27, according to the suit.

But rather than an open house, security cameras reportedly captured May 25 Peele and a shirtless Burnside entering the unit’s bedroom before emerging 39 minutes later.

Confronted with this information, according to the lawsuit, Burnside confessed to using the room for a sexual encounter and offered to pursue the commission-free listing and fulfill his fiduciary obligations under the exclusive contract. He also allegedly offered to personally rent the condo to compensate for the defendants’ financial damages.

Feeling “violated” by the revelation, plaintiff Laura Glen refused to sleep in the bedroom, according to the complaint, and “wants nothing to do with the property.”

In September, the Glens reached out to Brown Harris Stevens CEO Bess Freeman to express their “utter frustration” that their unit had received no offers, while a neighboring unit received three this summer- there, according to the complaint. The couple filed a complaint three months later.

Burnside has been one of BHS’ “top producers” since 1999, according to his website, which claims he’s “consistently ranked in the top 10 by sales volume in the Hamptons.”

Among his notable listings was the estate at 30 Spaeth Lane in East Hampton, which hit the market for $72 million in 2020 and closed for $60 million last year, according to appraiser Miller Samuel.

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