The hairy chair at the heart of a million-dollar Manhattan marital splitAugust 30, 2020
A hairy beast is part of a big-bucks Manhattan marital squabble — but it’s not another man. It’s a chair.
Designed by Los Angeles artists the Haas Brothers, the $31,500 “Beast Chair” is one of several high-priced gifts at the heart of a legal battle stemming from a “sham” wedding between a car dealership heiress and her hairstylist ex.
Andi Potamkin and William Jordan Blackmore are duking it out in a series of lawsuits filed in Ulster County state court to untangle millions of dollars worth of gifts and property, including the hirsute sitter — which is covered in lush brown Icelandic sheepskin, and boasts a set of ebony horns, four bronze goat feet, and a bronze penis and testes to boot.
The two simply can’t ‘comb’ together on the chair, which was a wedding gift — or anything else.
Potamkin, 31, wants to sell an 80-acre Hudson Valley plot on which they planned to build a dream home — and keep the profits, because she paid for the land, she claims in court papers she filed in December.
But Blackmore, 37, says in his own legal filing that the property was actually paid for by Potamkin’s father, Alan, and that Andi Potamkin told the court a “false tale” about how they came to own it.
And he thinks he should get the money from the property sale, because Blackmore’s parents were “working all day every day for months on end” on the real estate deal, he counters in court papers filed August 21.
He wants to sell the chair, along with other wedding gifts such as an $8,500 bar cart, a high-end digital clock, a $7,500 credit with a Feng shui master, along with other unidentified “expensive luxury objects,” he says in legal papers.
Making matters hairier, his ex — whose family’s car dealership fortune has given her a $30 million trust fund — is refusing to return some of his prized possessions, including a treasured Blackmore family heirloom: a mounted ram’s head, he says in the court papers. Other items include six paintings, including an Andy Warhol, he claimed.
His ex — who Blackmore has claimed faked a lavish, four-day desert wedding just to bask in the social media spotlight — even tried to settle, offering him $1 million, the Hudson Valley land, and a Cadillac for a year, according to court papers.
But Potamkin said her ex-hubby is a wolf in Icelandic sheepskin.
He “wrongfully” took $198,000 cash “for his own use ” she alleged in her lawsuit. He denied the claim, noting the funds came from a joint account they shared.
The strife between the couple came to light last year, when Blackmore sued Potamkin over their split.
Blackmore believed he and Potamkin had been legally wed during an over-the-top 2015 ceremony at the 600-acre Amangiri resort in Utah, where guests were flown in by private jet and the spectacular scene was covered by magazines.
But in a 2019 lawsuit, he accused Potamkin of convincing the friend who conducted the ceremony not to get ordained, making the union non-binding. He later dropped the suit.
Potamkin has told misleading tales in court before, Blackmore notes in his latest legal salvo.
In one May 2019 legal filing, Potamkin claimed the friend who officiated their Utah ceremony had “professed to have authority to perform their marriage.” But later, in a separate court document filed after the union fell apart and Potamkin’s alleged scheme came to light, Potamkin took the position that the friend had “always known and understood” the wedding wasn’t legal, Blackmore said in court papers.
Potamkin, who allegedly kept up the scheme for three years, didn’t respond to a message.
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