The only thing more thrilling than being a genuine celebrity is living incredibly close to one. Who among us would not like the chance to borrow a quarter-cup of sugar from Nancy Grace or to ask Philip Roth to please turn down the music?
Yet it turns out there’s a downside to superstar proximity. In October 2004, poppy hard rock guitarist Lenny Kravitz was sued for $333,849.77 on account of the “catastrophic water damage” his toilet plumbing caused downstairs neighbor Joel Disend, a retired finance executive.
The musician’s lavatory problems must have been traumatizing, because Mr. Disend has left their hip loft building, 30 Crosby Street. Last month, city records show, he sold off his 4,164-square-foot apartment for $6.2 million.
On the bright side, that’s a nice markup from the $2.84 million he reportedly paid in 2001.
According to the suit three years ago, Mr. Kravitz somehow allowed his “commode to become blocked, clogged and congested with various materials” sometime that August, doing well over $300,000 in destruction below.
Two more neighbors’ insurance companies have sued Mr. Kravitz for $9,387.87 and $457,339.11. One neighbor happens to be board president Dan Pelson. “[O]ur insurance companies went after his INSURANCE COMPANY (not the unit owner) for reimbursement, or subrogation, as lawyers call it,” he wrote The Observer. “The unit owners are not involved in any way.”
Either way, it’s not much money at all compared to Mr. Kravitz’s current $19.5 million asking price for his 5,818-square-foot penthouse. Reportedly it was decorated by his nine-person design squad, so its decor includes beaded curtains and fake elephant tusks. Yet it’s lingered on and off the market for years.
Mr. Disend’s buyers, banker Do Woo and Ae-Ri Kim, probably won’t have any trouble in the new place, considering that they’re no strangers to high-end real estate. Just last year, they sold a Fifth Avenue apartment for over $9.6 million, and a year earlier they paid $12.25 million for an apartment in the Carhart House off Fifth.