Plaza Hotel's Developers File Defamation Suit Against That Rich Russian Guy
September 19, 2008 at 11:49 AM
We wrote last week about how the Plaza Hotel's developers were stung last week with a steep lawsuit by Andrei Vavilov, the Russian hedge fund manager not at all pleased with the conditions of his $53.3-million penthouse. This week, the Plaza bit back. That's right, a copy of a defamation lawsuit filed by El-Ad Properties against Vavilov just landed in our inbox.
El-Ad says Vavilov's anti-Plaza statements were made in a "sham lawsuit" that is "solely in an attempt to escape their unconditional obligation to purchase" his penthouse.
El-Ad further claims that Vavilov did not express dissatisfaction with the property until after his wife, Russian actress Maryana Tsaregradskaya, did a walk-through herself and deemed the property was "simply not large enough for her tastes." Turns out she wanted the "biggest apartment at The Plaza." (Hell, if we were married to Russia's former Deputy Finance Minister, we probably would too.)
The developers estimate their damages to be around $36 million, though the official amount won't be determined until trial. Curbed sums the debacle up nicely:
You know, $36 mil plus Vavilov's $10 million deposit would still be less than actually closing on the penthouses, if he chooses to go that route. He'll be $46 million lighter, but at least he won't have to look at those unappealing drainage grates."
Hmmm...Regardless of who's in the right, we can think of a few New York hedge fund managers who probably sort of wish they could sue a real estate company right now for a few extra million dollars for the ol' nest egg.