John Lennon’s Son Is Being Sued for $10 Million Over a Tree
Sean Lennon's next-door neighbors in New York's West Village -- who just happen to be the parents of Oscar-winning actress Marisa Tomei -- are suing him for a whopping $10 million over a tree.
According to the NY Post, a lawsuit filed at Manhattan Supreme Court claims that roots from 60-foot-high ailanthus have "compromised the basement wall and interior" of the Tomei's nearby townhouse, causing "irreparable damage to the structural integrity of the building." Lennon attorney Jonas Herbsman expressed surprise by the $10 million figure attached to the complaint. "Over a tree," he said.
Gary and Addie Tomei say they've been lodging complaints about the "stink tree" with Lennon, the 39-year-old son of late Beatles legend John Lennon, for years -- and to no avail. Now, they say, the damage is so extensive that repairmen won't do any work, at least until the issue with the tree is resolved.
"He refuses to do anything," Gary Tomei tells the New York Daily News. "He’s owned it for six years and neglected it. I like him personally, but he’s stubborn, and he has a lawyer who is very belligerent. ... I hate to see this tree come down, but it’s destroying my stoop. There are cracks everywhere. The masons don’t want to make repairs because they say it’s just going to happen again. I want him to take the tree down and pay my expenses. It’s not cheap. I tried, but you can’t talk to him. He’s always traveling."
The younger Lennon has followed into the family business, starting his own band called Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger. The Daily News says a limited liability corporation based at the Dakota -- where his mother Yoko Ono still lives -- bought the West 13th Street townhouse in 2008 for $9.5 million.
The Tomeis' suit estimates that this ailantus is 30-50 years old, adding that it's become diseased and is partially hollow. Imported from China, the tree can grow as high as 90 feet -- with a widespread root system to match. Worse still, when cut, they emit a rotten odor that has earned them the "stink tree" moniker.
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