A New York landlord is alleging that model Emily Ratajkowski, 27, and her filmmaker husband Sebastian Bear-McClard, 38, have become unwelcome squatters in his chic NoHo loft, reports The New York Post.
“Here is a prime example, in prime NYC real estate, where an uber-wealthy celebrity couple and tenant can take advantage and exploit a law that was intended for truly struggling artists and low-income families in need of affordable housing,” said Carolyn Daly, spokeswoman for a coalition of loft building owners.
The law that Daly references, known as the Loft Law, is a legal loophole enacted in 1982 that prevents landlords from evicting tenants who lived illegally in commercial loft spaces if those spaces lacked a certificate of occupancy. Bear-McClard’s building lacks the certificate.
However, the law’s intention was to protect struggling artists and other low-income individuals from being priced out of buildings they had lived in for years.
Neither Ratajkowski nor Bear-McClard could be described as struggling artists. According to Celebritynetworth.com, Ratajkowski is worth around $6 million; her filmmaker husband, meanwhile, is worth a whopping $11.7 million, according to The New York Post.
The unit in question is located at 49 Bleecker Street in the trendy enclave of NoHo — short for “North of Houston” — and is nestled between the exclusive SoHo and Greenwich Village neighborhoods. In addition to its generous 1,100 square footage, the apartment was once owned by famed oil painter Joanne Corneau.
Landlord Antoni Ghosh claims that after Bear-McClard’s lease expired in 2017, he stopped paying the $4,900 monthly rent. Ghosh estimates that Bear-McClard owes over $120,000 in back rent and is the process of taking Bear-McClard to Manhattan Civil Court.
Though the $4,900 rent was far from free, it was considerably lower than that of similar apartments in the neighborhood. A search on Streeteasy.com reveals that most apartments that have over 1,000 square feet are well over $10,000 per month. Bear-McClard had been living in the unit since 2013.
Ratajkowski has since responded to the allegations on Twitter.
“He’s an independent movie producer so people thinking he’s rich is real nice but not based in fact. He was raised in the neighborhood he lives in now, both of his parents are artists who were priced out of their homes in downtown New York. I moved in w/ him a year ago. I’m proud he’s fighting the good fight against a real estate conglomerate that bought the building he lives in for 40 million and has continued to spread misinformation on its tenants in order to profit.”
Despite the legal woes, Ratajkowski continues to be active on Instagram, recently posting a sultry bikini shot after modeling a blonde wig and Texas-style attire earlier in the week.
Bear-McClard is also likely keeping busy. He is producing two films that are currently in post-production.
Ratajkowski, who shot to fame as a dancer in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” video, famously married her husband in February 2018 in a mustard suit from popular retailer Zara. The marriage was a surprise to many, as the two had only dated a few months.