A lawsuit has been filed against Arianna Huffington, the top editor of the Huffington Post Media Group, claiming that she caused $275,000 in damages to her rented Chelsea loft prior to vacating it in January.
The suit says that when Huffington left the 4,400 square foot, seven-story apartment at 227 W. 17th Street, it had damages ranging from "gouged, stained and otherwise damaged" walls, to "scratched, punctured" wood floors. The suit also charges that Huffington left bloodied mattresses and broken appliances.
The fully furnished apartment was designed by acclaimed architect Charles Gwathmey, the stepfather of the apartment’s owner, Eric Steel. "Dishwasher racks, stove knobs and a refrigerator drawer were broken and had to be replaced," Steel says in the complaint.
An “irreplaceable” dining room table designed by Gwathmey was damaged as well. "The Gwathmey designed, custom made dining room table was damaged and scratched and the finish compromised," the complaint alleges. "It had to be crated, hoisted out of the apartment and repaired by the original manufacturer."
"Huffington was using the apartment for large parties and business functions in breach of the sublease and Huffington's promises," court papers claim. Even though Huffington agreed to be the fancy apartment's sole occupant, she often let her daughters and their friends stay in the office and den, according to the suit.
The media mogul paid between $27,000 and $32,000 a month to rent the loft, according to the New York Post.
Huffington said in a statement: “Every single claim in this suit is false except the square footage and the address. 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.”