A former Twitter honcho rained distress on his Soho neighbor after a bathe in his $8 million loft sprung a leak and ruined the art work of the famend painter downstairs, a brand new lawsuit costs.
Richard Costolo, who was the CEO of Twitter from 2010 to 2015, waited hours earlier than stopping the torrent that broken or destroyed 176 items belonging to Dorothea Rockburne, 88, an summary painter whose work is in main museums together with the Metropolitan and MOMA, in keeping with the lawsuit filed Friday in state Supreme Court docket in Manhattan.
The swimsuit seeks $2 million plus unspecified punitive damages in opposition to Costolo and his spouse, Lorin. It got here after Costolo’s insurance coverage firm denied legal responsibility for the flood, authorized papers say.
“I feel it’s a query of the massive fish eat the little fish,” Rockburne instructed The Publish. “He thinks he doesn’t must cope with it as a result of I’m previous; as a result of I’m a girl; as a result of I’m an artist.”
Rockburne stated she’d by no means met Costolo, who purchased the Grand Road loft in April 2020 from Alexandre de Betak, a trend present producer. The pad got here full with a secret occasion room with a stripper pole and is in a loft constructing that for years housed the properties or studios of artists like Rockburne and trend photographer Arthur Elgort.
Costolo, 57, who lives outdoors San Francisco, was not within the loft when the Jan. 25 flood occurred. A good friend staying within the condominium turned on the visitor room bathe for the primary time since Costolo owned the property and it began to leak, authorized papers say.
Costolo was instructed of the issue about 1 p.m. Jan. 25 however “refused to permit repairs … till a plumber of his selecting was accessible,” the swimsuit costs.
The plumber didn’t arrive till 5:30 p.m. and stopped the flood a half hour later, authorized papers say.
In the meantime, the water was pouring onto Rockburne’s work, together with sketches relationship to her time as a pupil at Black Mountain Faculty and different work from the Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties. She has lived within the 6,200-square-foot loft since 1973 and it’s each her dwelling and work house.
“It simply breaks my coronary heart to see this,” Rockburne stated Friday, taking a look at one broken drawing. Different items grew to become caught collectively and plenty of have stains.
Rockburne and staffers from the Higher East Aspect David Nolan Gallery, which represents her and the place she could have a present in October, tried to salvage as a lot as potential, however 25 items value $1.3 million have been “irreparably broken,” the lawsuit costs.
Costolo, whose internet value was reportedly greater than $400 million when he left Twitter in 2015 to get replaced by co-founder Jack Dorsey, appeared to initially take duty for the flood.
“Let me know if there’s something in your house that wants restore,” Costolo wrote in a Jan. 25 e-mail, authorized papers say.
He despatched one other word the subsequent day saying “Preserve us posted and honest apologies.”
The turnabout got here in April when a lawyer for Costolo’s insurer, Chubb, stated the art work may very well be despatched out for restore after which reneged, authorized papers say.
Rockburne doesn’t have the estimated $576,000 to restore the artwork, the swimsuit says.
Irwin Rochman, a lawyer representing Rockburne, stated Costolo’s failure to cease the leak shortly had “an immoral facet to it.”
“It’s not merely careless or reckless habits. It’s intentional and irresponsible habits,” Rochman stated. “It’s willful.”