Heiress and sex cult financier sues over West Hollywood swimming pool

LLC created by Clare Bronfman files suit regarding spec home

Los Angeles /
Aug.August 04, 2020 03:30 PM
Clare Bronfman and 8517 Franklin Avenue (Patrick McMullan/Getty, Zillow)
Clare Bronfman and 8517 Franklin Avenue (Patrick McMullan/Getty, Zillow)

A West Hollywood spec mansion tied to an heiress and accused sex cult financier has a problem with its pool.

An LLC created by Clare Bronfman, daughter of former Seagram’s CEO Edgar Bronfman, has filed suit against general contractor Epic Construction and subcontractors for botching the pool design at a planned 7,000-square-foot home at 8517 Franklin Avenue.

“Defendants completely failed to properly construct the pool,” states the complaint from 8517 Franklin LLC, filed Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The sixteen-page complaint runs down various failings of the “infinity” pool — including a prolonged leak into the main house — and demands over $2 million from Epic Construction, a Torrance company, for negligence and breach of contract.

“As a direct result of the pool defects and the need to repair those defects,” the lawsuit reads. “Plaintiff was forced to remove the property from being listed for sale.”

Redfin currently values the home at $10.4 million.

The construction defect lawsuit is linked to a plaintiff with their own legal issues.

Bronfman, who incorporated the LLC in 2014, per state records, hails from a line of Montreal business patriarchs who built Seagram’s into a multinational conglomerate and at one point the world’s largest liquor vendor. Bronfman was never part of the family business, but rather became an equestrian champion.

In 2018, federal agents arrested Bronfman and charged her with money laundering and identity theft in connection with Nxivm, a company operating in Clifton Park, New York on the outskirts of Albany. Nxivm has been widely reported to be a cult that trafficked and coerced minors into having sex.

Last year, Bronfman pled guilty to the charge of harboring illegal aliens for financial gain amid reports she was the financier of the Nxivm organization. A month later a federal jury convicted Nvixm’s leader, Keith Raniere, of sex trafficking children and conspiracy to committ forced labor.

Bronfman has a tentative sentencing date on her guilty plea for Sept. 30, according to the Albany-Times Union. She owns homes in Manhattan and Clifton Park, and is in Manhattan home detention on a $100 million bond.

According to Los Angeles County records, the LLC acquired control of the property in 2014, with Bronfman as its signatory. The LLC owner is listed as having a Clifton Park address.

County records place a 6,484-square-feet property as being built in 2018, but Kyle Grasso, an architect on the project, told The Real Deal that the home is still under construction.

Messages left this week with Andrew Haley, the plaintiff’s lawyer on the construction case, were not returned. Epic Construction also did not return messages.

The West Hollywood home would not be Bronfman’s first foray into L.A. real estate. An LLC linked to the heiress filed plans in 2018 to build an apartment complex in Encino.


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