By: Ellen Cans
A Manhattan resident, dreaming of a beachfront oasis, has sued fashion designer Elie Tahari, after renting his Hampton’s home for the summer, sight unseen. As per the NY Post, Bridget Maguire rented the home from July till Labor Day for $750,000, but soon discovered it was far from the paradise she was expecting. The glossy promotional pictures had depicted a luxury home with a glistening kitchen, sprawling master bath, pristine pool and basketball court, said her lawyer Adam Leitman Bailey. The three-bedroom, three-bath Sagaponack estate was said to feature a private staircase to the ocean and a “great room” with 10-foot-tall glass doors.
The lawsuit brought by Maguire, alleges that the home was “infested with flies, mosquitoes, and various vermin,” and that the house “reeked” of mold, urine and feces,” with a pool “green with algae”. Also, the suit claims that the air conditioning was “completely nonfunctional,” none of the bathrooms worked, and the garage door was broken, as per court papers. In addition, the suit says that Maguire had to pay $415,000 of the rental costs up-front, which the lawyer claims is against tenant laws. Leitman Bailey says that the Tahari leasing company was contacted but allegedly refused to help with the repairs or cleaning. “They wouldn’t fix it. They wouldn’t come help … they gave her nothing,” he said. “The way the Hamptons properties usually are, they’re turnkey, you come in and everything ‘s great.”
The lawyer says, Maguire had to spend her vacation finding and hiring contractors and ended up spending a total of $150,000 to make the place livable. “She paid a lot of money for contractors to come fix everything, turn everything on, get everything working,” Bailey said.
The suit brought in in Manhattan Supreme Court is seeking over $13 million in damages — about $10 million of which is “punitive” or way above the rent and repairs she paid, as per the legal documents.
Tahari had previously put the Hamptons home up for sale with a price tag of $45 million. The listing price was then cut to $39 million in 2019. The famed Jerusalem-born designer, who has stores across the globe, had emigrated to the United States in 1971, with nothing to his name and began working as an electrician in a clothing boutique in NYC’s garment district. By 1974 he had launched his iconic brand name and opened his own store in Madison Avenue.
Tahari and his reps did not respond to request for comment.