A new lawsuit alleges that HuffPo queen Arianna Huffington caused $275,000 worth of damage to a swanky Chelsea loft that she rented for $32,000/month from filmmaker Eric Steel for two years. DNAinfo first reported the lawsuit, which says "virtually all of the walls of the apartment were gouged, stained and otherwise damaged by clothing racks, furniture, luggage and general carelessness." And this wasn't just any Chelsea condo?the 4,400-square-foot pad was designed by Steel's famous father, the architect Charles Gwathmey. Allegedly, a custom Gwathmey dining room table had to be carted out of the apartment and repaired by the original manufacturer. Yikes!
The list of damages goes on and on: a blood-stained mattress, steel window seats ruined by candles and cosmetics, broken kitchen cabinets, gouged floors, a stained bathtub, and a whole slew of things that needed to be replaced, including, somewhat oddly, a drawer in the refrigerator and dish racks (really, dish racks?). The damage was supposedly caused by Huffington's frequent parties and large work events, both of which violated her sublease, as she was not allowed to have more than 12 people in the apartment at once. Tsk, tsk.
Huffington denies everything. "Every single claim in this suit is false except the square footage and the address," she said in an official statement. She claims that Steel visited the apartment multiple times and happily renewed the lease, and now he is refusing to return $93,000 in deposits. "He is obviously trying to extort more money from me.... It won't work."
· HuffPo Founder Arianna Huffington Accused of Wrecking Chelsea Pad [DNAinfo]
· Arianna Huffington trashed rented Chelsea loft, leaving gouged walls and a bloodied mattress, claims lawsuit [NYDN]