Huffington Trashes Loft in Chelsea, Does $275K in Damages, Lawsuit Claims

Image: Huffington Trashes Loft in Chelsea, Does $275K in Damages, Lawsuit Claims Media mogul, author and syndicated columnist, Ariana Huffington.

Tuesday, 02 Apr 2013 08:37 AM

By Megan Anderle

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A new lawsuit claims media mogul Arianna Huffington left her pricey loft in the trendy Chelsea neighborhood of New York City like a dirty fraternity house when she departed from the 4,400 square foot apartment in January.

Virtually all of the white walls in the fully-furnished apartment were "gouged, stained and otherwise damaged," the bathtub was covered in stains, kitchen cabinets were broken, and the steel window seats were stained by candles, wet glasses and cosmetics, alleges Eric Steel, a top editor at the Huffington Post whose famous architect stepfather custom designed the pad.

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Every inch of the two-bedroom apartment had to be renovated, which cost $275,000 and took three months after she turned over the keys in January, Steel says in the suit filed Monday in the Manhattan Supreme Court.

"Dishwasher racks, stove knobs and a refrigerator drawer were broken and had to be replaced," he says in the complaint, according to the New York Post.

Huffington was paying between $27,000 and $32,000 a month for the space, and she allegedly promised Steel she would be the sole occupant. However, the media maven gave copies of the keys to her daughters, who threw large parties there with friends who often crashed in the office and den, according to the suit.

Steel says Huffington made so many copies of the elevator key that the lock had to be replaced.

"Huffington was using the apartment for large parties and business functions in breach of the sublease and Huffington's promises," court papers say.

Huffington leased the space in May of 2011, according to the New York Daily News.

The fully-furnished apartment was designed by renowned architect Charles Gwathmey.

Steel says the millionaire also trashed an "irreplaceable" dining room table Gwathmey designed, whose projects include the 1992 renovation of the Guggenheim Museum.

"The Gwathmey designed, custom made dining room table was damaged and scratched and the finish compromised," the papers say, according to the New York Post. "It had to be crated, hoisted out of the apartment and repaired by the original manufacturer."

Huffington denies the claims, calling the lawsuit an attempt to "extort more money from me by making ludicrous claims."

“Every single claim in this suit is false except the square footage and the address,” she said in a statement. “Eric Steel, who happily renewed the lease twice and visited the apartment multiple times, is holding onto $93,000 dollars in deposits, which he has refused to return."

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Related links

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