The ex-landlord of Jennifer 8. Lee, the New York Times reporter who drew attention for the parties she threw for well-connected twenty-somethings in her apartment while on assignment in D.C., says she intends to sue Lee for damage inflicted on the place during her tenancy.
Lee’s soirees were the subject of 2004 articles in the New York Sun and the Washington City Paper, which portrayed her as a junior version of the late Katherine Graham. Perhaps that was the problem.
Beth Solomon, owner of the 1,500-square-foot penthouse condo in the neighborhood of Shaw, is preparing to sue Lee in D.C. Superior Court for more than $60,000 for loss of use and damage incurred during Lee’s residency there from January 2003 to August 2004.
The $2,800-per-month rent included a fully furnished living room and fully stocked kitchen.
Among the damage alleged in the complaint is destruction of flooring, some subfloor areas and kitchen cabinets, resulting in full replacement; stains on wall-hanging artwork, rugs and all living-room furniture; a broken tabletop; damage to an heirloom baby grand piano; and missing kitchen items.
In addition to damage to the apartment and its furnishing, Solomon’s fellow condo owners complained about Lee’s parties, citing instances of beer raining “down onto us,” the walls of the building “shaking” due to the number of people in the building, and party guests relieving themselves wherever the spirit moved them.
Said one e-mail, “At every gathering there, you can anticipate that racket on their floor and upon the roof will ensue until 2:30 a.m., when sufficient noise and litter have been created to pacify themselves.”
Lee’s attorney, Larry Bank, said, “I think [Lee] is less responsible” for the damage than alleged. “I think Beth Solomon had existing conditions and she put them off on Jenny.”
After months of negotiations, the parties have reached an impasse and Solomon has taken a previous offer of a $20,000 settlement off the table.
Bank said he thought the previous negotiations were “fair and reasonable,” adding, “I guess she just wants her pound of flesh.”