The Real Deal New York

Robert Durst’s wife files $10M defamation suit against tenants

Debrah Lee Charatan claims tenants set up websites that have damaged her reputation
February 17, 2017 03:30PM

Debrah Lee Charatan (credit: debrahleecharatan.com), Bennat Berger and Robert Durst

The estranged wife of accused murderer Robert Durst filed a $10 million defamation suit against tenants who set up websites calling her and her son “abusive landlords” and Durst a “murderous and animal-decapitating sociopath.”

Debrah Lee Charatan, who co-owns BCB Property Management, and her son Bennat Charatan Berger, who partly controls Novel Property Ventures, own multifamily buildings across the city.

Unnamed tenants at six of those buildings – 362 Lincoln Place, 164 Havemeyer Street, 442 Lorimer Street and 101 Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn; as well as 409 East 6th Street and 411 East 6th Street in Manhattan – made websites badmouthing their landlords, according to a lawsuit cited by the newspaper.

The tenants claim the owners “engage in abusive practices,” let bedbug infestations go unchecked and refuse to clean anti-Semitic graffiti from one of the buildings.

Charatan and Berger’s companies say the tenants’ claims have subjected them to “public contempt, hatred, ridicule” and damage their “character and reputation,” the New York Post reported.

Durst, 72, is facing charges in Los Angeles claiming he murdered his friend Susan Berman in 2000 after he confided that he killed his first wife, Kathleen Durst, who went missing in 1982.

Durst is not directly involved in Charatan and her son’s real estate firms, but Charatan is believed to have used her husband’s fortune to start BCB Property Management.

He was arrested in New Orleans in 2015 just before the popular HBO documentary series “The Jinx” showed him allegedly muttering a murder confession.

Advertising executive Nick Chavin claims that Durst confessed to murdering Berman during a dinner conversation in 2014. [NYP]Rich Bockmann