ALLEGED MISTRESS SUES ELDERLY RABBI

John Slattery
Reporting

(CBS) NEW YORK Janet Pizzo is a 48-year-old woman who says she became the mistress of a married Manhattan rabbi shortly after meeting him seven years ago, and is now suing the spiritual leader in a $15 million suit.

The Rabbi is Joel Goor, 73, who heads the Metropolitan Synagogue on East 35th near Park Avenue. Pizzo claims in the suit that she and Goor frequently had sex in the synagogue's office around the corner from the synagogue.

She further says that after he lived with her in the apartment she shared with her daughter Mary, now 17, she and her daughter moved into the rabbi's Dean Avenue home, on Long Island Sound, in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx.

Janet Pizzo said, "I loved this guy. I revolved my life around him." She said she devoted herself to the rabbi: cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and providing him sex.

Pizzo's attorney said that with her client recently suspecting there was a new woman in the wings, Pizzo found herself living in a hostile environment. Rosemarie Arnold says her client was denied use of appliances in the home, and charges that the rabbi was abusive.

"He called her fat. He called her stupid, made fun of how she spoke," said Arnold. Pizzo said Goor criticized her improper English and lack of culture.

Pizzo says she was paid $350 a week for working in the Throgs Neck home, but then paid back the full amount to Goor toward co-ownership of the home. She provided a copy of a contract she says was executed by the two.

Pizzo claims the rabbi reneged on their contract, and recently has tried to get her and the daughter out of the house. She provided an audiotape of a conversation she says was recorded in the home last week, indicating he wanted her out. Attorney Rosemarie Arnold says he was: "inhumanly cruel to her, while threatening to walk around nude in front of her 17 year old daughter."

On the audiotape, a voice identified by Pizzo and her attorney as that of Goor, is heard saying, "I checked this out carefully, legally. I'm allowed to walk around nude in my house...You better tell Mary she may walk out...I'm allowed to walk around this house nude. I can't go to the windows and give an exhibition for the street. But I can walk anywhere here and I'm going to."

Pizzo's suit was filed Monday in Bronx State Supreme Court. Pizzo said in the meantime she and her daughter are still living in the Throgs Neck home with the rabbi, because they have no place else to go, according to Pizzo.

Calls to both Rabbi Goor and his attorney, Barry Berger, were not returned.

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