Carolina Gildred and Michael Foster
  • Carolina Gildred and Michael Foster
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Since 1929, the Gildred family has been prominent in San Diego. Its first project was construction and operation of the Fox Theatre, now known as Symphony Hall. Through the years, Gildred Companies has developed properties throughout Southern California as its commercial property portfolio has surged to more than one million square feet, including Balfour Court in North County and Midway Industrial Park in the center of San Diego. Rancho Santa Fe’s Tom Gildred is on the board of the company and was founder of FMT Consultants and Emerald Textiles, an ecologically friendly commercial laundry operation.

Michael D. Foster, the tango instructor from New York.

Tom Gildred’s website paints him as an exemplar of business acumen, civic virtue, and philanthropy, and generally speaking, those claims are valid.

But a lawsuit the Supreme Court of the State of New York reveals a good deal of turmoil in the lives of Gildred and his wife, Carolina Gildred, whom he married in 2015. (The Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, is a trial-level court equivalent to superior court in San Diego.)

On April 17 of this year, Carolina Gildred filed suit against Michael D. Foster, aka Darren M. Foster, a New York tango instructor whom she accuses of a “relentless campaign of harassment, defamation, and infliction of emotional distress.… This campaign has included lying about [Carolina’s] fidelity, setting up sham websites in the name of [Carolina] and her husband, falsely accusing [her] husband of criminal conduct, contacting her husband’s business office personnel with false information regarding her husband,” and leaving crude and repugnant voice mail messages.

Tom Gildred. Foster has called him a “boarder[sic]-line pedophile.”

Immediately after her suit was filed, the flamboyant New York Daily News and New York Post gleefully played up the story.

Before her marriage to Tom Gildred, Carolina was active in New York tango circles, and “Foster was present at some of the tango events [she] attended,” according to her suit. But she wasn’t introduced to him as a tango instructor until last year, the suit says. After she returned to California, they stayed in contact, and he persuaded her to have him come to San Diego and give her friends tango lessons.

Then he began pushing her to open a California tango studio with Tom Gildred’s money, according to the suit. The deal did not come together, and Foster accelerated his harassment of Carolina, claims the suit. Carolina made clear to Foster verbally and in writing that she wasn’t interested in the studio idea, according to the suit. Indeed, I have unearthed among Foster’s court documents — not Carolina’s documents — this email: “Michael, I have noticed that you are calling me every day. The dance partnership did not work out. I am okay, I am acting on my own and I appreciate if you stop calling. Carolina.”

Through an attorney, Carolina first hit Foster with a cease-and-desist order, but he continued his campaign. After she filed the New York suit this year, he bombarded the court with lengthy filings, including exhibits of phone calls and text messages between Foster and Carolina. Foster’s exhibits — if they are not contrived, edited, or taken out of context — reveal that the two did exchange a number of very friendly phone and text messages, but a large number of them appear to concern the aborted plans for a tango studio. After that business failed to get off the ground, Foster asserted in filings that he lost money and he is the one who suffers emotional distress.

When the project fell through, “Foster became unhinged,” says Carolina’s suit. He sent an email to her and to others claiming that the two had been “making love to each other.” Carolina’s suit, and her lawyer’s court filings, repeatedly say the sex charges are not true.

“She denies outright any sexual [activity],” says her lawyer, New Jersey–based Seth Rafkin. At one point, Foster himself said his charges were false, but then, in subsequent filings, he made the charges many times again. “One week it is, the other week it isn’t,” sighs Rafkin.

It was in September of last year when one of Carolina’s lawyers demanded that Foster knock it off. The following month, according to Carolina’s lawsuit, Foster sent an email to the marketing department of one of Gildred’s companies. Foster said that Tom Gildred was a “boarder[sic]-line pedophile” and had subjected Carolina to “psychological abuse” and that she was in an “abusive marriage.” She would be “the subject of a ‘murder suicide,’” said the message.

According to Carolina’s suit, Foster said that if he did not receive $10,000 from the Gildreds, he would create a “live blog” about their lives. The Gildreds refused to give him money, and he created sites such as and The latter is titled “JERK_OFF TOM GILDRED” and features photos of Carolina and Foster dancing with their heads close together. (My reaction: So what? After all, they have danced the tango together.)

Foster told Carolina that Tom Gildred “prefers you DEAD” and “desires to euthanize his partners” — charges the suit strongly denies. The suit says that in February of this year, Foster impersonated Tom Gildred and “attempted to hijack control of [Tom Gildred’s] Facebook account.” The following month, Foster emailed an executive of one of Tom Gildred’s companies and claimed that Carolina was being unfaithful to her husband.

On March 16 of this year, Foster wrote the letter in which he “admits that his prior statements asserting that [Carolina] had been unfaithful to her husband and had a sexual relationship with… Foster were false,” according to the suit. Despite that statement, her suit was filed in New York the next day. Then Foster began filing his defenses and counterclaims, in which he asserts, among other things, that Tom Gildred was aware of Carolina’s purported affair and that she told Foster, “I am tired of living beneath the shadows of another mans [sic] title.”

I have looked over Foster’s court filings, exhibits, emails, blogs, and YouTube videos, and I don’t think they make a very convincing case that the two had been sexual partners, as Foster claims, but I am not the judge.

At one point, a Brooklyn lawyer, Brian Figeroux, told the court that he would represent Foster, who had been filing for himself. But last month, Seth Rafkin, Carolina’s lawyer, told the court that Figeroux has not signed Foster’s pleadings. Further, Foster’s filings are “unintelligible and incoherent” and don’t state claims with precision or clarity. Rafkin doesn’t know when the case will be wrapped up.

Despite multiple efforts, the Gildreds, Figeroux, and Foster could not be reached for comment.

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Don Bauder July 27, 2017 @ 1:54 p.m.

Diane Cunningham: According to Foster, Tom Gildred's wife is unhappy with terms of the pre-nuptial agreement. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan July 28, 2017 @ 9:17 a.m.

No, it's gotta be Foster who doesn't like being cut out of a better pay day. He should catch a Greyhound bus back to New York and leave the couple alone. Don - did you hear the language outta Trump's new (Jersey boy?) bestie mouthpiece? So funny that guy!


Don Bauder July 28, 2017 @ 12:50 p.m.

shirleyberan: Yes, Scaramucci seems to be in an ideal job: the top communicator for Trump. Scaramucci appeals to Trump's base, just as his attempt to boot transgenders out of the military gets rabid applause from his followers.

When I was in high school, I worked for the street and sewer department in the summer. The full-time workers were hillbillies from Missouri who had somehow found their way to our Chicago suburb. Their language was similar to Scaramucci's, but the words were more old-fashioned, given that this was about 65 years ago. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 28, 2017 @ 6:31 p.m.

SunCha: You may be right that Tom Gildred picked up garbage at SeaWorld. But Gildred comes from a very rich family. I am certain he did not have to handle garbage at SeaWorld. Keep that in mind. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 28, 2017 @ 8:29 p.m.

SunCha: I confess I cannot follow all your arguments. One thing: I have been able to keep earning an income -- never an impressive one -- for more than 53 years a journalist. I consider myself a columnist, not a reporter, although I do write many items that involve straight reporting. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 28, 2017 @ 8:32 p.m.

Sun Cha: I will let shirleyberan answer this one. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 28, 2017 @ 12:56 p.m.

Sun Cha: Foster, the one being sued for defamation, flooded the court with photographs and documents that he believes proves his case. In one alleged telephone call between Foster and her, she supposedly mentions that she is unhappy with the pre-nup. But I don't know that those phone calls actually took place. I read through those documents, and Foster has a credibility problem. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 28, 2017 @ 6:34 p.m.

SunCha: We had six cats and two dogs at one time. (Plus two sons, along with my wife and I.) Taking care of the cat litter was one of my jobs. I preferred it to working on the street and sewer department. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan July 28, 2017 @ 2:34 p.m.

I think Trump and the people he admires are disgusting. Stupid is as stupid does. Finally John McCain has an awakening.


Don Bauder July 28, 2017 @ 6:36 p.m.

shirleyberan: Republicans stuck with Nixon for awhile, but when his guilt in the coverup and his unstable personality became public, those in his own party deserted him. I expect the same thing to happen with Trump. Politicians have to be reelected. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan July 28, 2017 @ 2:59 p.m.

Still trying to figure out how to pronounce Reince. Still on the side of well-off Priebus. See what the bags just did.


Don Bauder July 28, 2017 @ 6:38 p.m.

shirleyberan: You must not be listening to the news. Reince (pronounced Ryence) is out of a job. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 28, 2017 @ 6:39 p.m.

shirleyberan: He takes pride in being called "Mooch." Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan July 28, 2017 @ 5:45 p.m.

Don - I am mistaken. RP does not give smoot about low/middle income families.


Don Bauder July 28, 2017 @ 6:44 p.m.

shirleyberan: It interests me that the Republicans were willing to vote for a bill that only 16 percent of the population favored. Reason: the Koch brothers and other billionaires wanted it. I can't think of another reason. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 30, 2017 @ 7:26 a.m.

kevynsexton: Yes, the polls might be inaccurate, but if so, they would be EXTREMELY inaccurate in this case. The polls showed Hillary would win. She won the popular vote by 3 million but lost the electoral college vote.

But did she lose the electoral college vote? We don't know if the Russians tampered with voting machines, particularly in states such as Michigan and Wisconsin that Trump "won" by narrow margins. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 28, 2017 @ 6:47 p.m.

SunCha: That is a good picture of her. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 28, 2017 @ 8:35 p.m.

SunCha: The internet makes research easier than it used to be. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan July 28, 2017 @ 10:05 p.m.

SunCha - My mother died in her sleep at the age of 51. Half brother was a self-centered thief, Susan Luzarro wrote about him. She saved me with her kindness toward me in responses. I was a hard drinker till then. We met twice in person. I begged Don Bauder to explain the San Diego mayor Filner problem with crazy women back when. DB has great kindness as well. I will never forget. My sanity was saved by the best of lovely people with a grace and their face of God.


Don Bauder July 29, 2017 @ 8:58 a.m.

SunCha: I understand "a retort avalanche," but I don't quite get "a clear dissension of insanity." Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 29, 2017 @ 8:56 a.m.

shirleyberan: Yours is a moving story. The late Susan Luzzaro helped many people bv exposing corruption. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan July 29, 2017 @ 7:11 a.m.

SunCha, I can't see sanity in what you do but I was (as usual) playing with Don Bauder. Oh and I'm probably a better dancer than you or your "artist" friend. Have fun.


Don Bauder July 29, 2017 @ 9 a.m.

shirleyberan; What's this "playing with Don Bauder?" Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan July 29, 2017 @ 7:20 a.m.

Don if he's creeping on a married woman and causing problems after she showed kindness he's not a nice person. I don't understand SC's Big reaction at all.


Don Bauder July 29, 2017 @ 9:03 a.m.

shirleyberan: If you watch his lectures on YouTube and read his court materials in response to the suit, you will conclude that he is not a very nice person. Best, Don Bauder


Nowandthen July 29, 2017 @ 2:29 p.m.

A true artist. Not prone to immoral behaviors Never a smoker, drinker, drug user and not in anyone's opinion who knows his a liar. That lawsuit is all the footprints of the ego of the man described in it. That man is not a family man and he certainly looks creepy. If there was infidelity involving Michael that would also be ashamed. He's not that kind of person. He's a person Ive known to have extremely high morales. Any woman would want to have him as a friend, spouse, father or a dance partner. He's right not to have a wealthy San Diego Gildred OJ-his person and honest character. I see exactly why his intent is to hold at minimal his moral convictions. Judging from most of your comments and his pleadings it's clear he was used. For the better or for the worst that's up to the Gildred's and hopefully not a New York State Supreme Court, because the proponents of circumstances outweighs the probabilities of an organic case Law commencement far less an appearance or testimony from any of the Gildred's. It is beholden upon the esteem Gildred if there's some earnest family integrity in them left at all to nip and scold that boy tom gildred. he's too much for his own self by whitchhunting on his wife possible infidelity. Just look at the Del Mar reports (hidden) and see how much troubled a guy this tom is really.


Don Bauder July 30, 2017 @ 7:33 a.m.

Nowandthen: If he is to win the suit, Foster has to put a comprehensible defense together. He has not done so to date.

However, you are correct that there may be more to this situation than I mentioned in this column. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder July 30, 2017 @ 7:37 a.m.

SunCha: I don't know who the Law Books of San Diego are, but whoever they are, they probably don't care how Shirley's mother died. Best,Don Bauder


shirleyberan July 30, 2017 @ 8:13 a.m.

Suddenly. The moral of the story is, men lie to get what they desire and then discard (her) when no longer useful. Hope she can put her marriage back together and move on.


Don Bauder July 30, 2017 @ 10:50 a.m.

shirleyberan: If that is what she wants, yes. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan July 30, 2017 @ 8:28 a.m.

Don - This morning my screen-saver came up with a Sally Lightfoot crab. Colorful and beautiful. You remember her, right? Don't want to sound too crazy but Somebody has to teach the government about consequences for their actions.


Don Bauder July 31, 2017 @ 8:26 a.m.

shirleyberan: The name Sally Lightfoot seems slightly familiar. Best, Don Bauder


NewToMe July 30, 2017 @ 8:13 p.m.

Your articles are interesting, but please keep your politics to yourself.


Don Bauder July 30, 2017 @ 9:03 p.m.

NewToMe: Trouble is, in this environment, almost any local story is affected by the national political situation. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan July 31, 2017 @ 10:36 a.m.

I knew I should have refreshed your massive memory but I was playing games. Galapagos Island bright yellow and orange, looks pretty big from the picture. What year were you there?


Don Bauder July 31, 2017 @ 3:44 p.m.

shirleyberan: We went to Galapagos in 1988. Wonderful experience. Spent a day or two in Quito, Ecuador, also and enjoyed that. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan July 31, 2017 @ 10:48 a.m.

Think I need to clarify CRAB, didn't even mean it the suggestive way, still a little bit funny.


Don Bauder July 31, 2017 @ 3:45 p.m.

shirleyberan: You have me scratching my head on the CRAB reference. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan July 31, 2017 @ 6:20 p.m.

Sorry but You mentioned the Galapagos Blue-Footed Booby bird back whenever and there's apparently Sally Lightfoot crab also, happened to see online. Love you Don, Scary Mucho's out! >


Don Bauder July 31, 2017 @ 7:03 p.m.

shirleyberan: The boobies got their pejorative appellation long, long ago when sailors and pirates who visited the island laughed at how the birds had no fear of humans. These days, they do just sit there when humans walk by, but they do peck at your feet now and then. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2017 @ 8:48 p.m.

SoDoYouKnowSEO: Valished? Jonas Polsky? You have lost me. Best, Don Bauder


JustWondering Aug. 2, 2017 @ 10:01 a.m.

I'm just wondering is this the most bizarre comment thread ever posted on The Reader?

If not the most bizarre, certainly the most grammatically challenged as well as the most geographically diverse. From the streets of San Diego, New York, Chicago to the Galápagos Islands and Ecuador.

From a Blue-Footed Booby Bird, to the extremely short lived White House Mooch, and a phony tango trist, there is always something new, not necessarily interesting to put it politely, to learn while reading Don Bauder's column in The Reader.

May your keyboard and mind remain active for years to come.

While this is certainly not a laughing matter for the Gilred family, I had a chuckle or three reading the comments.


Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2017 @ 10:14 a.m.

JustWondering: Foster's prose is as decipherable as those of the people on this blog who wrote to support him. I suspect they came from the same country. Best, Don Bauder


SanDiegoRead2VillageVoice Aug. 2, 2017 @ 10:03 p.m.

Hitler's camp wasn't supposed to be for Jews - it was misinterpreted. Problem with deciphering information a longtime problem. Now on with the story i.e. Don Bauder the plagiarism articles he calls it his retort or Don Bauder's Corner (he's like dealing intellectual illegal drugs): [now I've got your attention] "@Just wondering", @Shirleyberan is @NowandThen is @NewToMe is really the same person @DunBauder all Fake News C/O the Gildred's of San Diego who's got apparently a lot to clear up. I mean reading some documents (luckily) prose it's right up the dark alley of coverup and help please I'm drowning-Dear very Old friend Don Bauder (multiple personality old man columnist without a steady pay-check). Granted Tom & the Gildred's do have a free meals on wheels food truck for its senior citizens who's complacent enough as Don Baudelaire (now there's a misspelling). Don - to put it in Tom Gildred's words: "you're the man". Who needs friends if you have enough personalities in you to like yourself on Facebook @Donbauder who is @justwondering @shirleyberan while he's @NowandThen @Shirleyberan. Guess that's San Diego's cosmopolitan lifestyles c/o the Gildred's. Who says they're rich anyways? What's the purpose of becoming rich with no heart nor integrity. And Don? To all of your personalities? Question? Do you awake your wife or any of your personalities in the middle of the night and say "Here Take This" and .....(fill in the blanks) or ask any of the Gildred's to Tom maniac sicko wacko friekco San Diegan probably like Don who's got not a warm embraces or an imaginative fraud Tango jolted up his spine. Oh dear old man, men! How faint are your insidious suspicions self-full and self-least in projecting honest human natures outside of your cave. is 100% TRUTHFUL. He doesn't have a wife - had better date one of Don bauder's personalities then?


Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2017 @ 6 a.m.

SanDiegoRead2VillageVoice: This is called stream of consciousness. Some poets did it effectively. But "multiple personality old man columnist without a steady paycheck." I will have to check a shrink on that. Best, Don Bauder


SanDiegoRead2VillageVoice Aug. 2, 2017 @ 10:46 p.m.

Cats got his tongue! Hey Don???? Are you there pussy-cat? D...o...n? Maybe you'd be his attorney! No one reads this column besides dons personalities- not even the Gildred's of San Diego. From the great names which are today's San Diego the word is simply Thank you Gildred. Our San Diego history is perhaps ready to live on. Don is also gone farther out on the fairgrounds- Can San Diego moveOn? Why OJ an otherwise Mexican x-wife, and torment her allege x-tango-lover with fake news report binge on a fake lawsuit that have nothing to do with his wife or its contents of consequence are prerogative to preemptive defamation upon the Gildred of San Diego??? There's no defamation in any Truths so far. But this case is not about infidelity don? It's about gut shame on a man who cannot get it up right and say "honey I am Sorry". Seams like don and his "intellectual-crack" personalities can imagine enough for themselves and Tom Gildred on this night like many gone past...where's my wife. Perhaps he'll get himself some cats - they want know what pills he's giving them each night. They're nice and fuzzy even if they're s-o-u-n-d!!! Asleep! is the truth. Just interesting the hype paid for as don nicely put it i.e. Daily news & New York post flamboyantly played it up - Not for the price of a meal i.e. Do. Bauder. Is tom Gildred spending enough for Who takes out google Adwords o. His own name? Who doesn't have a trophy wife tonight since how long? And who fakes his wife by filing a fake lawsuit to Pinterest his ideal about a prenuptial and her hopeful admission to adulterous acts? Time is definitely telling what grievances lie beneath the Gildred throne. Don? Care to give nearly as much? Do you still want to crack this case for the San Diego intellectually unsecured alledge p-file? He'd better not stop paying x-wife's barely teen daughters college fees. Tom Gildred's fake interlocking-intellectual-crack-personalities is similar to an old geek like don bauder. At least the entertainment i.e. "$$$" at real news @NYPost and Daily News :) Julia K. Marsh have already gotten paid and run. They won't even blog about the Tom and his idea of fake wife in bed this cold San Diego Del Mar night with no one around to Love. Only Cats!!! Don.,?


Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2017 @ 6:34 a.m.

SanDiegoRead2VillageVoice: Again, I will have to get a shrink to deal with my "intellectual crack" personalities. Best, Don Bauder


JustWondering Aug. 2, 2017 @ 10:54 p.m.

Gotta love all these "new" commentators adding their incoherent comment. Just wondering if their IP addresses are as identical as their inane comments? I suppose this is the part of the Internet that many people object to.


Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2017 @ 6:36 a.m.

JustWondering: I don't know their IP addresses. Best, Don Bauder


SanDiegoRead2VillageVoice Aug. 2, 2017 @ 11:19 p.m.

Invaluable similarities There. Stories well told feeding its readers with "intellectual crack". Boys & girls? Doesn't that hurt all languages: Thanks Don i.e. We've got all the content that's needed. Now guys and girls you can continue on i.e. "Blogging-yourselves".


Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2017 @ 6:39 a.m.

SanDiegoRead2VillageVoice: "Intellectual crack" again. Best, Don Bauder


SanDiegoRead2VillageVoice Aug. 2, 2017 @ 11:38 p.m.

Friends keep telling hers & his - hey? You cannot keep shouting get-out-of-the-ways, i.e. Don bauder and company (it's your blog-your cave - your world). But it's called PLAGIARISM! Consequently! i.e. Fake news, fake publicity anything that's fake needs fake blogs & pathetic bloggers who couldn't feed themselves without [bib] assistance. No intellectual table manners. So the turtles at this feast is ridiculously rumpled the feathers i.e. Guest of honor "Michael Foster & Carolina Gildred. Where ever they are tonight I am sure it's not too hot as well as not as cold as the bed of Tom Gildred of San Diego - but if you are rich you could order extra warmth via uber.


Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2017 @ 6:41 a.m.

SanDiegoRead2VillaageVoice: "Fake news." Where have I heard that before? Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan Aug. 3, 2017 @ 7:49 a.m.

and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make - the beatles


Don Bauder Aug. 20, 2017 @ 10:56 a.m.

shirleyberan: I had almost forgotten the Beatles. Best,Don Bauder


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