Tom Selleck accused of taking water for California ranch

Actor Tom Selleck is accused by a California agency of unlawfully taking water from a public hydrant to supply his ranch as the state grapples with a devastating drought, court papers showed on Wednesday.


The Calleguas Municipal Water District filed the lawsuit against Selleck and his wife Jillie Monday in Ventura County. For the documentation of the case, the water district pays off $22,000 the temporary fee of private investigator.

California is in the middle of a relentless drought that has been going on for four years and communities have been ordered to cut water use by 25 percent compared with 2013.

But even after they were issued with a cease-and-desist notice, the lawsuit claims, the Sellecks continued to take tankloads of water from Thousand Oaks to bring back to Hidden Valley in Westlake Village, where they have lived for 30 years.

The district claims that between September 2013 and March, the vehicle was seen taking water from a public hydrant back to Selleck’s property. The district’s investigator reportedly documented two years of water thefts.

Eric Bergh, the water district’s manager of resources, said the suit wasn’t meant to be an example of “drought shaming”, a peculiarly California activity in which people suspected of hugging water are publicly called out.


“After multiple reports and firsthand sightings, Calleguas Municipal Water District documented numerous occasions… where water trucks/ tenders filled their tanks at connections within the Calleguas service area and then apparently off-loaded that water… within Hidden Valley, including your property”, the letter said. “That’s so illegal, especially how we’re in a drought, and everyone’s trying to save water”. Selleck owns a number of properties in other areas as well including Fallbrook, Freedom and Prescott, Arizona and is known for his love for growing avocados.

Associated Press