André Leon Talley eviction gets ugly: Insiders back ex-Manolo Blahnik CEO

André Leon Talley eviction gets ugly: Insiders back ex-Manolo Blahnik CEO

Fashion insiders are backing former Manolo Blahnik CEO George Malkemus in the messy legal battle to evict Vogue legend André Leon Talley from his New York mansion.

The Post exclusively revealed Talley has filed a bombshell lawsuit in Westchester Supreme Court claiming Malkemus and his business partner and husband, Tony Yurgaitis, were unfairly forcing him out of the $1 million White Plains home he says he owns.

But Malkemus and Yurgaitis insist they are the true owners, and had leased the picturesque colonial property to Talley, alleging he owes them up to $500,000 in rent.

The fashion insider, who asked not to be named, said, “I worked for George Malkemus and Tony Yurgaitis for many years, and can confidently say that [Talley’s] accusations are complete stuff and nonsense. 

Andre Leon Talley
Vogue legend André Leon Talley is facing eviction from his New York mansion.
Magnolia Pictures

“They are two of the most generous, loyal and forgiving people on the planet. They would give you the shirts off their backs and would never expect them to be returned. That they’ve maintained these qualities for decades, in an industry made up of so many egomaniacal vipers, is astonishing. 

“They are also extremely private, so I can only imagine they feel betrayed and saddened that their friendship and devotion have been distorted into a web of petty lies.”

Malkemus — who has more recently partnered with Sarah Jessica Parker on her SJP shoe brand — last year launched an eviction action against Talley in a bid to get him out of the palatial White Plains property, where the famed fashion editor has lived since 2004.

Talley, 72, has long insisted that the historic 11-room colonial home with sumptuous gardens at 75 Worthington Road is his own, telling the New York Times in 2018, “It is my sanctuary” and that he bought it in 2006. Ironically, the home features numerous items from Blahnik in pride of place, including a sketch of a shoe by the famed designer himself.

George Malkemus (left) Anthony Yurgaitis
Court papers claim George Malkemus (left) and Tony Yurgaitis bought the home in 2004 for just over $1 million.
FilmMagic

But court papers seen by The Post and Page Six allege that the real owners are Malkemus and Yurgaitis, and that they bought the home in 2004 for just over $1 million.

The pair have known Talley for nearly 40 years. Yet this past November, Malkemus “commenced a summary non-payment proceeding in White Plains City Court … seeking to evict Talley from the home and for a money judgement against Talley in the amount of $515,872.97 representing alleged arrears,” the court papers state.

“The complaint only tells [Talley’s] side of the story. We have not yet filed our answer or counterclaim, which will explain the real story. 

Edward David, Malkemus and Yurgaitis’ attorney

Talley — who in 1988 was appointed by Anna Wintour to be the creative director of Vogue, the first African-American person to ever hold the position — responded by filing his own lawsuit against Malkemus and Yurgaitis in Westchester Supreme Court on Jan. 25.

He claims the pair, who were “longtime, trusted friends,” agreed to buy the home for him and transfer the title once he had repaid them the $1,020,000 purchase price.

The papers state that “over time, as friends, Talley and Malkemus assisted each other not only in professional matters but in personal matters as well … as [Talley] rose in the fashion world and found his circumstances frequently changing and demands on his time increasing.”

The papers allege that in 1999, Talley needed to buy a new car but was unable to do so because of “issues with his credit.” Malkemus allegedly offered to buy the car on his behalf, using $45,000 in funds provided by Talley.

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