He Says, She Says, He Sues….

By: Michael Seinberg

The supermarket tabloids are always full of ill-fated trysts between older men and younger women. Big surprise. But now, we have a pair with the male half possibly taking the cake for letting the wrong body part do the thinking for him.  Italian theater director Antonio Calenda had a 10-month relationship with 27-year-old Manhattan dancer Natasha Diamond-Walker and now the mess has landed in a New York court.

The 73-year-old director is suing the 27-year-old dancer saying she hoodwinked him into buying her a $775,000 Upper West Side condo. He claims they signed an agreement and his help was a loan, she insists it was a gift. He is suing for $800,000 which covers the original amount plus interest and he wants another $1 million in punitive damages. “She manipulated our client and took advantage of him to finance her purchase of a luxury Manhattan apartment,” said Calenda’s lawyer Marc Fitapelli. “She never had any intentions to repay our client and she abruptly severed their relationship as soon as she got what she wanted.”

At the beginning of their 10-month romance, Calenda showered her with expensive gifts, according to reports. And one assumes, she showered him with “affection” in return. It should be pointed out that Calenda is a resident of Rome, where he is still married but has reportedly been separated from his wife for a decade.

Depending on whom you believe, Calenda claims that Diamond-Walker asked him to help her buy the condo. He claims he insisted that the money be a loan and that they sign a written agreement. He says they signed the agreement last July and she closed on the condo in September. He then claims that several months later she “suddenly severed” the relationship. Of course the possibility that a little thing like a 46-year age gap might have finally gotten to her never entered his mind.

Whether the agreement exists, whether it is legally binding and whether the court will rule that the money was a gift or a loan remains to be seen. However, taking spats like this to court is pretty silly and then asking for $1 million in punitive damages sounds like a yelp from a crushed male ego, not a legitimate claim. This probably won’t end well for anyone, except maybe their lawyers.

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