Faye Dunaway offers to give up subsidized New York apartment

NEW YORK Wed Aug 3, 2011 7:15pm EDT

Actress Faye Dunaway poses after receiving The Legion of Honour from French Minister of Culture Frederic Mitterand at a ceremony held during the 64th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, May 15, 2011. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

Actress Faye Dunaway poses after receiving The Legion of Honour from French Minister of Culture Frederic Mitterand at a ceremony held during the 64th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, May 15, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Faye Dunaway, the Oscar-winning actress, said on Wednesday that she intends to give up her rent-stabilized New York City apartment after her landlord filed papers in housing court Tuesday to evict her for not actually living there.

Reached by phone at her production company, Port Bascom Productions Inc., in West Hollywood, California, Dunaway said she left the apartment, at 314 East 78th Street, in May.

Dunaway alleged that the realty company that owns the building, 7 of 8 Realty Co., initiated the eviction proceeding because she insisted the landlord paint the apartment.

"I couldn't even live in it, and it was really quite gross there," she said. Dunaway said she spoke with the landlord, Henry Moses, twice on Wednesday morning. "I have the keys waiting for him," she said.

"It's over, as far as I'm concerned," Dunaway said, adding, "I don't make it a practice to speak about these things."

Reached by phone Wednesday evening, Moses declined comment. His attorney, Craig Charie, said, "These are fabricated allegations to avert the real issue: that she fails to occupy the premises as her primary residence."

Dunaway, 70, who is best known for her roles in "Network," "Bonnie and Clyde" and "Chinatown," said she remained in the apartment because of the comparatively low rent and because it was "Bill's house," referring to her mentor, the playwright William Alfred.

On Tuesday, the New York Times reported, Charie filed a petition in New York City Civil Court asking a judge to evict Dunaway from the apartment because she did not use it as her primary residence, according to court papers. Dunaway was paying a monthly rent of $1,048.72 for the one-bedroom unit. The lease, which Dunaway first signed in 1994, expired in July, the lawsuit said.

Dunaway's son, Liam Dunaway O'Neill, was listed as a subtenant in the lawsuit, but in a statement, he denied ever being a resident of New York.

"I've never signed a lease or a sublease for a New York apartment. I am confident that my name will be cleared," the statement said.

In a notice included in the court filing, the landlord said Dunaway is a California resident. She is registered to vote there, owns a home in West Hollywood, and has a California driver's license.

Tenants who do not use a dwelling as their primary residence are not entitled to the protections of the Rent Stabilization Law, including a renewal lease or continued occupancy, the lawsuit said.

(Reporting by Jennifer Golson; Editing by Greg McCune)

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