In 1988, Talley made history as the first African-American creative director at Vogue
Vogue magazine legend André Leon Talley has reportedly lost his battle to retain occupancy of his $1 million New York home by its owner, who just happens to be the former CEO of Manolo Blahnik USA.
According to the New York Post, George Malkemus claims Talley owes $500,000 in back rent after the two men who were once very close friends had a falling out. For those who may be unaware, Malkemus is the high-powered shoe exec who helped expand Manolo Blahnik in the United States and later partnered with Sex and The City actress Sarah Jessica Parker on her SJP Collection.
Back in 2018, Talley told the New York Times that the historic 11-room colonial home with its incredibly photogenic garden area was his, stating “It is my sanctuary.”
But court papers reportedly show Malkemus and his business partner and husband Anthony Yurgaitis, who bought the home in 2004 for just over $1 million, are the true owners. They have launched legal action to get the former fashion editor out of the palatial White Plains property.
New court papers state that on November 12, 2020, Malkemus, “Commenced a summary non-payment proceeding in White Plains City Court … seeking to evict Talley from the home and for a money judgement against Talley in the amount of $515,872,97 representing alleged arrears.”
Talley responded by filing his own lawsuit against Malkemus and Yurgaitis in Westchester Supreme Court on January 25, 2021. He claimed the pair who he has known for almost 40 years were “long-time, trusted friends,” and therefore agreed to buy the home for him and transfer the title once he repaid them the $1,020,000 purchase price.
“This action arises out of the Defendents’ improper attempt to evict Talley from a home … that is rightfully his, so that they may sell the property,” his filing alleges.
His court papers also claim he paid back $1,075,588, as of January 2020, which is more than the purchase price, noting “He has also paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to third parties to maintain and improve the home.”
The documents also concede, “Because this promise was not reduced to writing, Talley has no adequate remedy at law,” but he still requested he be allowed to continue living in the home and the title be transferred to him.
When contacted by The Post, Malkemus and Yurgaitis’ attorney Edward David explained, “The complaint only tells his [Talley’s] side of the story,” adding, “We have not yet filed our answer or counterclaim which will explain the real story.”
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