Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rihanna Gets Mad and Sues A Lot of People

Gossip juggernaut TMZ and others reported today that four time Grammy winning superstar Rihanna is hella heated up and hopping mad about (alleged) construction defects that affect the livability and value of the the big ol' Beverly Hills, CA mansion she bought back in September of 2009. The music industry phenom and tabloid headliner is so furious she's filed a lawsuit against just about everyone who had anything to do with the construction and transactional due diligence of the high-priced property.

Property records and previous reports show the Barbadian bombshell–née Robyn Fenty–paid $6,900,000 for her newly constructed/renovated contemporary crib dramatically situated on a promontory at the tail end of a curling cul-de-sac in the Beverly Crest neighborhood.

Riri's lawsuit filed with the Los Angeles County Superior Court encompasses a handful of causes of action including fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, breach of contract, and breach of implied warranty. The lawsuit claims the seller–named in the lawsuit as Heather Rudomin–was (or should have been) aware but failed to disclose major waterproofing and construction defects that resulted in significant damage to the fancy mansion after what the legal documents called a "moderate rainstorm" in January 2010. The lawsuit claims that the defects devalue the house by millions less than what the sartorial daredevil paid for the place and Riri wants some of her money back plus attorney's fees.

TMZ reported that along with former owner Adrian Rudomin Miss Riri's lawsuit also names a number of others including the property inspector, the engineers who worked on the house, and at least one of the real estate agents involved in the transaction, Shelley Brown of Prudential California Realty who represented Miss Riri in the purchase. Redfin shows the property was listed at the time of the sale with Joyce Rey, one of the highest of the high-powered grande dames of Platinum Triangle real estate. Miz Rey is not named in the suit.

Listing information from that time Miss Riri purchased the property shows the gated contemporary crib sits heavily on .86 hill top acres at the tail end of a short cul-de-sac and measures more than 10,000 square feet over three floors with 8 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms

The heart of the hulking house is a dramatic airplane hangar-sized living/dining area with milk-chocolaty hardwood floors, fireplace, towering walls of glass with city to ocean views, and glass-railed bridge that connects two second floor wings of the modern mansion. Other interior spaces include a den/family room with fireplace, eat-in kitchen with not just one but two gigantic center islands, office, staff quarters, art studio, fitness room, media/music room, wine cellar and home theater with wide screen and state-of-the-art projection equipment.

The gated grounds encompass a tight motor court with two-car attached garage, flat lawn the narrows to a small sun deck with city and ocean views, and a small swimming pool and spa surrounded by an entertainment terrace and deck cantilevered over the canyon.

Anyone want to take bets that regardless of the outcome of her legal matters Little Miss Riri will soon if she doesn't already desire new digs, preferably one not freighted with the psychic weight of judicial trauma?

aerial photo: Google
listing photos: Coldwell Banker Previews International


Anonymous said...

RiRi ain't that clever, is she?

Making such a noise, she's just squished the resale value.

Don't care for the house. Can't anyone do 'cosy' any more?

Babe Parish said...

she's just mad that jay-z knocked up the queen B.
(did i just type that? umm..i'm sleep walking)


Anonymous said...

I'd sue the architect for creating such an ugly house (unfortunately there is really no legal action for bad taste/style)

Anonymous said...

How horrendous can a house be?! That... that thing! is such an eyesore, so immensely ugly! Yuck!

I was right all along :) said...

yea but if she could have flipped it and made at least a million she would have not been mad would she ?

this is just the beginning, RE agents, brokers, banks are going to get sued more and more in the coming years as more and more flippers, investors cannot make a profit or even break even,

I am sure a few RE folks will also end up in a mysterious deaths, suicides,

music, movie and oil people are the most dangerous customers to have,

if they make money off of you they are thrilled, if not they have you killed,


Mr. Tibbs said...

I had a RE license during the boom 2003 era, I had a feeling that a vicious payback would be in my future, I saw psychics , numerologists, astrologists about it,

they all told me to get out of the RE biz if I did not, I would receive a horrific death,

I listened, I did not sell one house, estate, or condo to anyone and now I do not have to look over my shoulder,

Everyone I know is in fear for their lives 99.9% are broke, many are dead, unsolved homicides, suicides, entire families vanished, kids kidnapped,

they can't afford to pay back their commissions, hire bodyguards, or lawyers and yet back then they owned 10 condos, 10 homes a few mansions living it up like they were the next trump, what a difference a decade makes,


Anonymous said...

But don't buyers get inspectors to inspect the house before they buy it for defects? Due diligence, and all that? And publicizing its problems is not wise if she ever wishes to sell it. She will have to spend lots to correct the defects
and even then there will be a stigma. What about insurance? Getting stuck with a lemon sucks. Really sucks.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that many, agents, inspectors, etc. are in cahoots with one another to make the sell.

I would NEVER take a recommendation from a realtor regarding whom to hire for an inspection.

Anonymous said...

buyers can get any inspection they wish....17 days worth. she probably fell in love with the house and wanted it without any inspections because it was "new construction". i'd place money on miss rey getting the listing when she sells this architectural gem

Anonymous said...

No. At the risk of sounding assholish: Read the actual lawsuit papers Mama links to.

Rihanna did have an (engineers) inspection that turned up a number of concerns noted in the report about water drainage and possible damage due to poor drainage.

She requested the seller remedy the problems prior to releasing inspection contingencies. The seller did whatever they did–I have no idea if they did or did not fix anything–and the same inspector, the one hired by Rihanna, returned to re-inspect and allegedly signed off on the requested repairs.

Rihanna completed the purchase based on her understanding the proper remedies were taken and some months later the water began to seep into the house.

I am no legal expert so I have no idea who if anyone is liable for anything here. Just summarizing the legal docs as I read/understood them.

Anonymous said...

Another no-talent nobody. Can't wait till she loses all her money and has no career to fall back on when the next hot young thing comes along.

Anonymous said...

The term is "Bajan" not "Barbadian"
thanks, love the site

Anonymous said...

Umm, Anon 10:27, if Mama says it's "Barbadian" it's "Barbadian". True or not, this is Mama's world.

Anonymous said...

I've seen lots of stuff in residential construction:
Everything from the city not admitting they own the infrastructure (newly city installed street water main in new sub-division, supposedly the home owner is responsible for city property, plus they have to repay with property taxes);
to professional surveyors not being able to read grading maps (topography), thus home owners need a winch to pull the lawn mower up both sides of the house;
to workers hiding mistakes or ineptness;
to inspectors being strong armed, intimidated (not by the tough guys either), lazy or inept;
to suppliers dumping lumber from a dump truck and forever twisting it, placing/leaning all materials in one area of the house causing damage;
to manufactures' just staring in awe at their factory defect in the presence of their customer (builder & son) at their home they were personally constructing,
to fussy trades complaining the house is tooooo strong (which takes extra effort and time to drill plumbing holes) rather than being a toothpick-made tornado-appetizer-house;
to workers using every area of the basement and surrounding area as an outhouse;
to wrong measurements and calculations because of ineptness or in a rush to go home.
The list goes on, and on… oh, yeah... to immigrant family tradesmen being Tony Montana'ed to do sabotage against an awarding winning builder in order to stay in construction or the country (maybe even worse).

With this experience of mine, since my young teenage years, I can tell you that the best in real estate are those in their retirement, and/or those with obsessive compulsive disorder (perfectionists), and/or those with strict self discipline (military background), and/or respectful tough guys with high IQ (sometimes, that's what it takes to implement the building code and planning in a wild west construction culture).

In some cases the government(s) is the problem. Many years ago OREA released a video stating politics is a factor in the Real Estate business. I guess the best place to live is in a state that do not hide their kills (aka death penalty with due legal process), and do not ban pitbulls.

Anyways, I love Rihanna. I hope this experience does not affect her cutie patootieness.

Brandon said...

If this isn't just a big (enormous) misunderstanding, it's yet another good reason to have a good relationship with your agent/broker, or at least check them out.

hippie canyon said...

She bought the house "As Is." She was aware of several issues that needed to be addressed. Some where addressed, others were not addressed (a common excuse for the buyer to get a price reduction). Now R Double becomes her own worst enemy by filing a law suit? If Fiona ever pays me back my $500.00, I'll put that up as my bet that the Judge will decide in favor of the defendant. As we used to say in the business, you get what you paid for.

Anonymous said...

Being in Real Estate for many years, I can not imagine how she can sue her broker and not the listing agent as well? This house is just ugly and she undoubtedly has buyers remorse. As another child said, she has tainted the possible resale of the property now, so I hope her suit prevails, or she made a mistake of S & M proportion.

Mr Tibbs said...

a new trend ?

L.A. real estate titan Sandy Gallin -- who has made untold millions selling homes to the likes of Frank Sinatra, Mark Burnett and Kenny G -- has been sued over a $16.5 million Bev Hills mansion he sold to one of the most powerful men in Hollywood.

The man going after Gallin is Roger Birnbaum -- the head of MGM Studios -- who bought a Gallin home in 2007 ... only to discover it had more leaks than Whoopi Goldberg after a Big Gulp.

FYI -- Gallin was one of the most powerful talent managers in Hollywood before abandoning entertainment to become the most powerful house flipper in town. Gallin used to rep everyone from Dolly Parton to Barbra Streisand and even Michael Jackson.

According to Birnbaum's lawsuit, filed in L.A. County Superior Court, the house began to leak like a sieve last winter ... along with an unhealthy dose of dry rot, rust, and, worst of all, his wine storage room was severely damaged.

Birnbaum claims Gallin had a hand in the construction of the home -- and therefore, should be forced to pay the $500,000 in repairs and related costs to bring the mansion up to snuff.

Calls to Gallin have not been returned.

Anonymous said...

Nice tidbit, Mr. Tibbs.That place has been on the market for years - Mama wrote about it when it was first listed. Does Birnbaum think he's going to be able to sell it now with the lawsuit?

New construction built during a boom is more often than not shoddy. This is why "gently used" condos in NYC are selling faster and for more $ than the brand new ones. Let someone else break the place in, deal with the leaks, pealing, crooked, half-assed work and the lawsuits, then move in.

Lady J

Anonymous said...

I am still in the real estate business and I am still making great money.
If you can sell you can always sell, if you can't well you should never have been in the business anyway.

In my neck of the woods, unless you pay cash, the bank always requires a proper and well documented inspection. The seller also has to fill out a Seller's Disclosure Statement. If these were done, then the inspection company and the seller are on the hook if there are any major defects.

She could try to sue me the agent till the cows came home, but I am not an inspector and I do not own the home so I have no culpability. She would end up being countersued and having to pay me damages and expenses.

I require all my clients to get an inspection whether they want to or not, just for these reasons.

This house is hideous BTW.

And the correct term is Bajan. I know, I am from the damn country.

I was right all along :) said...

" Anonymous said...
I am still in the real estate business and I am still making great money. "

where are you china ?

or in your mom's basement,


angie said...

Talk about overkill re: her lawsuit(s). It sounds to me like she got stuck with a lemon in her quest for instant real estate gratification.

I'd never buy a spec house. With her uber generous budget, she could have hired a talented and reputable architect who, besides designing something more appealing than this trendy mess, would have been an invaluable resource to assist in making good decisions and safe choices for every facet of the building process.

Anonymous said...


I have sold over $10 million this year and there are people that do ten times that.
Don't be mad because you are a terrible Realtor.

There is tons of money out there you know, business owners, physicians, pro athletes, corporate executives even flippers. Christ just in my town there are at least 7 multi-million dollar homes being built or completed right now and I am working on buying a house for a client right now to tear down and build a $2 million house on.

FYI, the people that always make the same lame a$$ mom's basement jokes are usually the ones that do actually live in them. Perhaps you should get out into the daylight and learn how to sell.

The good agents in this country know how to sell and are still in business. This housing market was great for separating the wheat from the chaffe.

Anonymous said...

reckless move by reckless girl

Babe Parish said...

just read today that Rhi Rhi FIRED,'s like totally about the leaky roof.

Calgary Realtor said...

There is a helluva difference between a property inspector and a structural engineer. What was it? A leaky roof? Or "construction defects" that were structural? I'm also in shock that the listing Realtor was not named in the lawsuit. That's pretty standard where I practice.

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