Bad Blood: Elliman accuses Taylor Swift entity of stiffing broker on commission

Look what you allegedly made her do

TRD New York /
Jan.January 25, 2018 11:25 AM
Taylor Swift and 153 Franklin Street (Credit: Getty Images and Town Residential)

Taylor Swift and 153 Franklin Street (Credit: Getty Images and Town Residential)

Sorry, the new Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Probably because her companies are being sued by Douglas Elliman.

The pop star’s LLC stiffed an Elliman broker on the commission for the Tribeca townhouse she bought last year for $18 million, according to a lawsuit filed on Thursday in New York Supreme Court. Though Andrew Azoulay showed Swift representatives the townhouse at 153 Franklin Street, another broker took the commission for the deal. Azoulay is seeking roughly $1.1 million in damages — or roughly 6 percent of the property’s purchase price.

Representatives for Swift declined to comment. It’s unclear why Elliman is seeking 6 percent, since buyer’s brokers are typically entitled to 3 percent. The seller is usually responsible for the commission, so it’s not clear why Swift’s entities would be on the hook for it. Representatives for Elliman didn’t immediately return calls for comment.

According to the complaint and an email filed with the court, Azoulay had a written promise to exclusively represent Swift in her purchase of the townhouse. The broker showed Swift’s representatives 15 Leonard Street and offered up the Franklin Street property as an alternative.

The broker allegedly did a lot of legwork at Swift’s behest, including measuring the townhouse with a laser device, introducing the former owner of the townhouse to representatives for Swift and obtaining blueprints for the property. Azoulay also pointed out to Swift’s reps that 153 Franklin abuts her duplex penthouse at 155 Franklin Street, which would potentially allow the singer — with an alteration to the connecting wall — to leave her penthouse through the new townhouse through an indoor garage without being spotted.

But the Elliman agent was ultimately cut out of the deal, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit doesn’t name the alleged interloping agent, but a listing by Town Residential does appear during a search for the property online. A spokesperson for the brokerage declined to comment.

The complaint doesn’t specifically name Swift, but includes Firefly Entertainment, 13 Management and Euro Tribeca — an LLC that she’s used on her previous real estate transactions — as defendants. The lawsuit notes that Firefly and 13 Management — both companies affiliated with Swift — acted on behalf of a “famous celebrity.”

Swift couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, but her advice to Elliman may go something like this.

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