Photo Credit: Andre Leon Talley/Instagram

Vogue legend Andre Leon Talley is experiencing a worst cast scenario living arrangement. The home he is currently in, he has been paying a friend for since 2004. The agreement was that after he paid for the amount they purchased the home for, the title would be transferred into his name. Since they have known each other now for 40 some odd years, this shouldn’t be an issue. Well real estate appreciates and we know how money can turn friends into enemies.

The house is 5,000 square feet, sits on 12 acres with views of the Meramec River valley and on paper belongs to Talley’s longtime friend Manolo Blahnik CEO George Malkemus. Talley is claiming that Malkemus and his business partner husband Tony Yurgaitis are trying to force him out of the home unjustly claiming he owes another $500,000 in rent.  Talley says he made the $120,000 down payment for the home that they would “use the down payment and funds of their own to purchase the home for Talley’s benefit.” His legal paperwork states “The parties agreed that Talley would exclusively own, occupy and care for the home. It was agreed and always understood that Talley would, over time, ‘pay off’ the balance of the purchase price paid by the defendants, at which point [the] title would then formally be transferred to Talley … In the meantime, the defendants would hold the title for the beneficial ownership of Talley.” And on top of the $1 million + he’s paid for the home, over the amount he agreed to pay, he says he “has also paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to third parties to maintain and improve the home.” 

Talley’s findings state “This action arises out of the defendants’ improper attempt to evict Talley from a home … that is rightfully his, so that they may sell the property.”  And this arrangement is literally the biggest fear and biggest detractor many have about rent to own agreements. It continues stating “while Talley has resided in the home from 2004 to the present, he has made episodic payments to the defendants that he understood to be equity payments. “The timing and amount of these episodic payments were based on Talley’s cash flow … Talley never made these payments to the defendants on a monthly basis, and was not asked to.”

He has insisted in 2018 to the New York Times that he purchased the home in 2006 saying, “It is my sanctuary.” And regarding the hundreds of thousands he’s put into the home he says “Despite this,” court papers go on, “in or around March of 2020, the defendants began discussing with Talley their interest in selling the home solely for their own financial benefit. They began asking him to either make additional payments or vacate the home so it could be sold to a third party. “In return for his decades of friendship and trust,” Malkemus filed his lawsuit seeking Talley’s eviction and a payment of more than a half-million dollars. “Since 2004 Talley has always operated with the understanding the home was his, and that the arrangement could be formalized upon his repayment of the purchase price of the home.”

A fashion insider and source of The New York Post says “I worked for George Malkemus and Tony Yurgaitis for many years, and can confidently say that [Talley’s] accusations are complete stuff and nonsense. “They are two of the most generous, loyal and forgiving people on the planet. They would give you the shirts off their backs and would never expect them to be returned. That they’ve maintained these qualities for decades, in an industry made up of so many egomaniacal vipers, is astonishing. “They are also extremely private, so I can only imagine they feel betrayed and saddened that their friendship and devotion have been distorted into a web of petty lies.”

This situation is very unfortunate and we hope these two work things out. It’s unfortunate seeing a friendship shrivel up arguing over a piece of property.

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