Mohamed Hadid, dad of Gigi and Bella, ‘happy’ to start trial over Bel Air mansion set to be demolished

Mohamed Hadid, dad of Gigi and Bella, ‘happy’ to start trial over Bel Air mansion set to be demolished

LOS ANGELES — Mohamed Hadid, the developer dad of supermodels Gigi and Bella, was “happy” Friday to finally face a jury in what has become one of the nastiest wars in the rarefied world of luxury real estate, his lawyer said.

Clad in a tightly tailored black suit and his signature chin-length bob, Hadid appeared in a Santa Monica courtroom as the long-delayed trial over his soon-to-be demolished $50 million Bel Air “spec” house , dubbed the “Starship Enterprise” by suing neighbors, began.

“It’s important for you to know Mr. Hadid is happy to be here. He welcomes this trial,” lawyer Jeff Reeves said in his opening statement, calling his client “a unique master-class home designer” who builds “works of art.”

“This case is going to be talking about the most shocking violation of Los Angeles building and safety code that city investigators had ever seen,” Gary Lincenberg, the lawyer representing the two plaintiff couples living below the mega-mansion countered. From left, Gigi Hadid, Mohamed Hadid and Bella Hadid attend the Victoria’s Secret After Party at the Grand Palais on Nov.r 30, 2016 in Paris. (Dimitrios Kambouris) While the neighbors accuse Hadid of building an illegal monstrosity by using a second set of secret plans, false walls, a trap door, bribes and lookouts, Hadid claims he was the subject of a $3.5 million “shakedown” and “vengeance” campaign orchestrated by one of the plaintiffs.

Not long after Hadid, 72, started the project in 2011, the telegenic tycoon who appeared on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” alongside ex-wife Yolanda Hadid said he hoped it would be his modern masterpiece, capable of fetching more than $100 million.

With an exterior clad in Carrera marble and glass, the home would boast a 5,000-bottle wine cellar, an infinity-edge pool with views to the ocean and possibly even the largest home-based IMAX theater ever built.

But complaints, citations, stop-work orders, a criminal investigation by city officials, a misdemeanor “no contest” plea by Hadid, tear-down orders and the fraud and public nuisance lawsuit followed. The 30,000-square-foot structure is seen unfinished in Los Angeles in 2017. (Damian Dovarganes/AP) In their June 2018 lawsuit, the plaintiff couples claimed Hadid built a “blatantly illegal” structure, “essentially a small hotel,” atop an “unstable hillside,” leaving them in “constant fear.”

In his countersuit, Hadid, claimed plaintiff neighbor Joseph Horacek, a founding partner at the powerful law firm Manatt Phelps & Phillips, tried to extort him for $3.5 million after researching his celebrity pedigree.

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