Millions of Americans face eviction when the federally mandated moratorium on evictions expires in March. Former Vogue magazine editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley says he is among them.
Talley, 72, says he's being evicted from his colonial New York mansion in a messy rent battle with former Manolo Blahnik CEO, George Malkemus, who Talley owes $500k in back rent.
Talley claims Malkemus originally bought the home for him for just over $1 million in 2004 -- and that he is the rightful owner.
He now claims that Malkemus wants to evict him from the 11-room mansion in White Plains, NY, so he can sell it at a profit.
Talley said there is no lease agreement on the home and that he made "episodic payments" over time based on his income.
He said he had a "gentlemen's agreement" to transfer the title of the home to him after he paid back the purchase price.
In court documents obtained by the NY Post, Talley claims Malkemus and his life partner Anthony Yurgaitis 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 title would then formally be transferred to Talley," his court documents say.
He now claims that Malkemus and Yurgaitis are pressuring him to move out so they can sell it for their own profit.
"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."
In their eviction papers, Malkemus and Yurgaitis allege the former Vogue editor owes them $515,872 in back rent.
But Talley says he paid $1,075,588 by January 2020, and that he made the $120,000 down payment when the house was originally purchased. He also says he invested more than $200,000 for home improvements over the years.
In his lawsuit, Talley is demanding that he be allowed to stay in the property and that the title be transferred in his name.
An attorney for Malkemus and Yurgaitis said he is preparing a counterclaim. "Malkemus and Yurgaitis are the record owners of the house and want to sell it," the attorney said.
Talley was appointed creative director of Vogue by Anna Wintour back in 1983. In his memoir, he said his once close relationship with the Vogue editor-in-chief was over.
He officially retired from editing in 2014.