David A. Siegel

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David Siegel
BornDavid Alan Siegel
(1935-05-03) May 3, 1935 (age 79)
Chicago, Illinois
ResidenceWindermere, Florida
NationalityAmerican
Alma materUniversity of Miami (dropped out)[1]
OccupationBusinessman
OrganizationWestgate Resorts Ltd
Political party
Republican
ReligionJewish [2]
Spouse(s)Geraldine Florence Sanstrom (1961–1968)
Bettie Irene Tucker (1970–1997)
Jacqueline Elaine Mallery (2000–present)[3]
ChildrenJackie: Jonquil (1994), Victoria (1997), David (2000), Daniel (2001), Debbie (2002), Drew (2004), Jacqueline & Jordan (2007)[4]
Geri: Steven, Valerie, Richard Bettie: Susan "Stacey" Siegel
ParentsSidney and Sadelle Siegel
RelativesBarry Siegel (brother)
 
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David Siegel
BornDavid Alan Siegel
(1935-05-03) May 3, 1935 (age 79)
Chicago, Illinois
ResidenceWindermere, Florida
NationalityAmerican
Alma materUniversity of Miami (dropped out)[1]
OccupationBusinessman
OrganizationWestgate Resorts Ltd
Political party
Republican
ReligionJewish [2]
Spouse(s)Geraldine Florence Sanstrom (1961–1968)
Bettie Irene Tucker (1970–1997)
Jacqueline Elaine Mallery (2000–present)[3]
ChildrenJackie: Jonquil (1994), Victoria (1997), David (2000), Daniel (2001), Debbie (2002), Drew (2004), Jacqueline & Jordan (2007)[4]
Geri: Steven, Valerie, Richard Bettie: Susan "Stacey" Siegel
ParentsSidney and Sadelle Siegel
RelativesBarry Siegel (brother)


David Alan Siegel (born May 3, 1935)[5] is an American businessman. He is the founder of Westgate Resorts Ltd, where he serves as president and chief executive officer. He also serves as the CEO of CFI Resorts Management Inc. and Central Florida Investments Inc. Siegel's businesses includes real estate, timeshares, construction, hotel and apartment management, travel services, insurance, transportation and retail.

Personal life[edit]

Siegel was born in 1935 in Chicago, Illinois, to Sadelle Siegel and grocer Sid Siegel[1] who later moved the family and grocery business to Miami, Florida in 1945.[2][6] Siegel grew up in Florida where he graduated from Miami Senior High School in 1953, and later studied marketing and management at the University of Miami, before dropping out.[1]

Siegel married in March 1961 to Geraldine Florence Sanstrom.[7] The union bore three children, but ended in 1968.[1] Married again in 1970, Siegel moved from Miami to Orlando with second wife Bettie.[8]

Divorced for a second time in 1997, Siegel met his current wife Jackie Siegel in 1998.[9]

Siegel's businesses, family, and personal life were adversely affected by the 2008 financial crisis, as seen in the documentary The Queen of Versailles.[10]

Politics[edit]

Siegel campaigned for George W. Bush in 2000.[11]

In a February 2012 interview by Susan Berfield, Siegel elaborated:

"Whenever I saw a negative article about Gore, I put it in with the paychecks of my 8,000 employees. I had my managers do a survey on every employee. If they liked Bush, we made them register to vote. But not if they liked Gore. The week before [the election] we made 80,000 phone calls through my call center—they were robo-calls. On Election Day, we made sure everyone who was voting for Bush got to the polls. I didn’t know he would win by 527 votes. Afterward, we did a survey among the employees to find out who voted who wouldn’t have otherwise. One thousand of them said so."[12]

During the 2012 United States elections, Siegel caused controversy and public debate when he sent a mass email to his employees, suggesting that they vote for Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney or he might have to take drastic measures in how he operated the company (including cutting back on his company's workforce).[13][14]

Sexual Harassment Lawsuit by Dawn Myers[edit]

In 2008, Siegel was found liable in a sexual-harassment lawsuit brought by former Westgate employee Dawn Myers. After a trial in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the jury awarded $5.4-million but the judge reduced the award to $610,000.[15] In the trial award, Myers recovered $103,622.09 in compensatory damages and $506,847.75 in punitive damages arising from her claim of battery under state law, but her claims of sexual harassment were found to be time-barred.[16] The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit dismissed an appeal and cross-appeal, affirming the district court's verdict.[16]

The Queen of Versailles[edit]

The Queen of Versailles is an award winning 2012 American documentary film by Lauren Greenfield. The film shows Jackie Siegel and David Siegel, owners of Westgate Resorts, and their family as they attempt to build the Versailles house, the largest and most expensive single-family house in the United States, and the crisis they face as the U.S. economy declines.

The film also shows Siegel trying and failing to retain ownership of Westgate's Las Vegas high-rise resort, the Ph Towers Westgate. Siegel's son and senior Westgate executive, Richard, is quoted as saying that David Siegel's determination not to lose the Ph Tower was a major source of the company's financial troubles in 2009-11. On November 22, 2011, a controlling interest in the property was sold to Resort Finance America LLC.[17]

On January 10, 2012, David Siegel and Westgate Resorts, Ltd filed a lawsuit in Florida against the Sundance Institute and the filmmakers of The Queen of Versailles, claiming that Sundance's published film description was defamatory. On January 23, 2013, the United States District Court Judge Conway of the Middle District of Florida, ordered a stay of the lawsuit pending arbitration. In her order, Judge Conway called the testimony previously offered by Mr. Siegel during court hearings, "inconsistent and incredible and thus lacking weight".[18][19][20]

The matter was subsequently heard before an arbitrator for the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) in June 2013. On March 13, 2014, the arbitrator awarded in favor of the filmmakers, Lauren Greenfield and Frank Evers, including an order that David Siegel and Westgate Resort pay $750,000 to the filmmakers.[21][22]

The arbitrator wrote in the award, "Having viewed the supposedly egregious portions of the Motion Picture numerous times, [the Arbitrator] simply does not find that any of the content of the Motion Picture was false." The arbitrator also wrote that Westgate had failed to show how it was damaged from the documentary. Finally, the arbitrator wrote that Westgate "did not remotely establish the type of malice required for a defamation claim on behalf of a public figure."[23]

A second lawsuit filed by David Siegel (and Jackie Siegel) in February 2013, against the filmmakers of The Queen of Versailles, was subsequently heard by Greg Derin of the American Arbitration Association in Los Angeles. On February 28, 2014 Mr. Derin ruled that the filmmakers' agreement with the family, pertaining to certain life rights, was "invalid and unenforceable". The Siegels' attempt to sue for $5 million in damages was also dismissed by Mr. Derin.[24]

The Mystery Fun House[edit]

The Mystery Fun House was one of his earliest ventures back in the 70's. It was a fun house, mini golf, and arcade all rolled into one place the whole family could enjoy. Later on they added an audio-animatronics show and laser tag.

Recent Activity[edit]

He is now the owner of the Orlando Predators, an arena football team. He also bought the Cocoa Beach Pier and the Las Vegas Hotel (LVH) [Las Vegas Hilton].

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "David A. Siegel". Nndb.com. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  2. ^ a b "Sadelle Siegel worked into her 90s, was 'woman with golden arm' in Vegas - Orlando Sentinel". Articles.orlandosentinel.com. 2008-06-08. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  3. ^ "All Florida Marriage Collection". Ancestry.com. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ Waring, Jana (March 12, 2009). "Queen of Versailles". Playground News Magazine. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ "David A. Siegel". Articles.orlandosentinel.com. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  6. ^ "Is David Siegel The Magic's Man? - Orlando Sentinel". Articles.orlandosentinel.com. 2002-02-03. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  7. ^ "All Florida Marriage Collection". Ancestry.com. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  8. ^ Berfield, Susan. "Inside what would be the biggest house in America - MSN Real Estate". Realestate.msn.com. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  9. ^ "Inside what would be the biggest house in America - MSN Real Estate". Realestate.msn.com. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  10. ^ Liston, Barbara (July 30, 2012). "Time-share king restarts work on Florida Versailles as business booms". Reuters. 
  11. ^ Goldberg, Adam (2012-07-31). "David Siegel, Florida Real Estate Mogul, Claims To Be 'Personally Responsible' For George W. Bush's 2000 Victory". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  12. ^ Berfield, Susan. "Why Time-Share King David Siegel Thinks He Got Bush Elected". Business Weed. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  13. ^ Berfield, Susan (October 10, 2012). "Why David Siegel Told His Employees to Vote for Romney". Business Week. 
  14. ^ Gawker "The CEO Who Built Himself America’s Largest House Just Threatened to Fire His Employees if Obama’s Elected"
  15. ^ "Mr. Big". Orlando Magazine. June 2009. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  16. ^ a b "Dawn Georgette Myers v. Central Florida Investments, Inc., David Siegel, et al.". United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  17. ^ Ph Towers has new owner
  18. ^ Eriq Gardner (2013-01-25). "'Queen of Versailles' Filmmaker Wins Key Ruling in Defamation Fight". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-02-06. 
  19. ^ "Westgate Resorts, Ltd. v. Lauren Greenfield, Frank Evers and Greenfield/Evers LLC". 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2013-02-06. 
  20. ^ Deshayla Strachan (2013-01-29). "'Queen of Versailles' Spat Heads to Arbitration". Entertainment Law Digest. Retrieved 2013-02-06. 
  21. ^ Eriq Gardner (2014-03-13). "'Queen of Versailles' Filmmaker Beats Westgate's Defamation Claim (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. 
  22. ^ Adam Benzine (2014-03-17). "IFTA backs filmmakers over "Queens of Versailles" complaint". Hollywood Reporter. 
  23. ^ "IFTA Award by Roy Rifkin in matter of Westgate Resort Ltd versus Frank Evers, Lauren Greenfield, and Greenfield/Evers LLC". 
  24. ^ http://realscreen.com/2014/03/20/exclusive-queen-of-versailles-subjects-ink-nbc-studio-deal/


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