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‘Shark Tank’ inventor sues neighbor who said he ran ‘whorehouse … |

‘Shark Tank’ inventor sues neighbor who said he ran ‘whorehouse …

The “Shark Tank” reality show contestant who boasts of inventing sanitary dinnerware has filed a defamation lawsuit alleging a former neighbor wrongly accused him of “running a whorehouse” out of his co-op unit.

Kyle Donovan, 46, claims Marina Shafir-Zats, 41, his one-time neighbor in a co-op on E. 25th St. at Second Ave. in Gramercy, fired off an email blast last September to board members with the bombshell assertion.


“It came to my attention that the owner of the basement is running a whorehouse,” Shafir-Zats’ email stated, according to Donovan’s suit, filed late Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court.

She also allegedly wrote she “constantly see(s) women dressed like prostitutes and walking into the building and going downstairs to the basement,” the suit states.

The comments, the suit alleges, caused Donovan “damage to his personal and professional reputation, personal humiliation, mental anguish, lost business opportunities, and emotional distress.”

Shafir-Zats couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

But Donovan told the Daily News he was raised by grandmothers who took him to church three times a week, and emphatically denied Shafir-Zats’ allegations.

“She obviously defamed me and slandered my name,” he told The News. “In the end, all I have is my reputation.”

Donovan explained he’d hosted a party at the building when he got back from filming Shark Tank, which aired in January — and that nothing inappropriate happened.

The Gramercy building features both commercial and residential units, and his was used for business, said Donovan, who sold his share in January, records indicate.

It isn’t immediately clear whether Shafir-Zats lives in the building or uses her unit for business.

But emails attached to Donovan’s civil complaint indicated he’d been embroiled in a long-running legal dispute with the co-op board — and that members were weighing ramped up security in the wake of Shafir-Zats’ email.

Donovan admits there were several years of bad blood, and claimed it was related to selling his unit.

When Donovan tried selling his unit, he claimed he learned the space was actually classified as “storage” and not commercial as he had been told — dragging down its selling price.

Donovan told The News he and the co-op have since settled that dispute.

Donovan, who bills himself as a “multifaceted entrepreneur and inventor,” recently appeared on Shark Tank to pitch products related to his iFork line, according to reports in January.

These products are utensils featuring a small ball on the back, so that they don’t make contact with a table – which Donovan claims reduces contact with germs.

These utensils can then attach into the interlocking iCup and iPlate, allowing diners to carry their dinnerware in one trip, said Donovan, who now lives in Orange, N.J.

Donovan also runs NV Magazine, a publication geared toward “urban business professionals and entrepreneurs.”

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