Mohamed Hadid claims he is the ‘victim’ of bitter feud with lender after filing fifth bankruptcy

Financially troubled real estate developer Mohamed Hadid — the famous father of models Gigi and Bella Hadid — claimed he was the “victim” of a predatory lender after filing for bankruptcy on a prized California property, the Post has learned .

Hadid, who made appearances on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” when it starred his ex-wife Yolanda Hadid, has been engaged in an ugly legal battle with real estate mogul Zach Vella – another reality TV alum from Bravo’s “Million Dollar.” SEO.”

Their long-running dispute stems from a $31 million loan that Vella’s company, Skylark Capital, gave to Hadid’s Tree Lane LLC in 2018 to develop a four-acre plot of land in an exclusive Beverly Hills enclave which includes Hollywood stars Ashton Kutcher and his wife, Mila. Kunis, as residents.

Mohamed Hadid with his famous daughters and ex-wife Yolanda Hadid. Getty Images for Victoria’s Secret

Last month, Hadid, 74 — a Palestinian born in the Israeli town of Nazareth and a staunch critic of the Jewish state — pushed the property into bankruptcy. It’s the fifth such suit in less than five years in Los Angeles to stop a land grab by Vella, he told The Post in an exclusive interview.

“I believe I was a victim and now I have to fight my fight,” Hadid said.

“They gave us enough money to hang us, then they stopped funding.”

A rendering of the Bella Vista Estates property on Summitridge Dr. shows the chic design of an undeveloped home. Courtesy of Mohamed Hadid

Vella, Skylark and her attorney Matthew Lewis did not return repeated calls and emails for comment.

Vella, who has developed properties in New York, Miami and Los Angeles, is far from media shy. His 2015 wedding to jewelry designer Michelle Campbell took place at Ashford Castle in Ireland and was featured in Wedding Style magazine.

In 2022, he sued Hadid over the expensive Bella Vista Estates land at 2451 Summitridge Drive, located next to gated homes that “feature expansive living space, gourmet kitchens, and lavish amenities such as personalized cinemas, games rooms, wine cellars”. according to real estate company RubyHome.

Zach Vella’s 2015 wedding to jewelry designer Michelle Campbell took place at Ashford Castle in Ireland and was featured in Wedding Style magazine. zachvella/Instagram

A rendering of the 30,000-square-foot property provided by Hadid to the Post shows he planned to build a four-level mansion with floor-to-ceiling windows, complete with infinity pools overlooking a private tennis court. Plans also include a spa, home theater and eight-car garage with elevator.

However, it remains undeveloped six years after Skylark signed the loan deal, with Hadid having suffered several financial setbacks, including a $100 million debacle over a Bel-Air mansion, dubbed Starship Enterprise, that a judge ordered it to be demolished in 2019 before it was completed. .

Vella’s lawsuit accuses Hadid of “outright theft” and “fraud.”

Mohamad Hadid claims to have been the “victim” of an unscrupulous lender. Anadolu via Getty Images

“It was and remains very important to Hadid to present herself as a wealthy and successful real estate developer and to appear in the public eye as such,” Skylark claimed in the lawsuit.

Hadid regularly frequents well-known Beverly Hills restaurants, “seating in a location that is easily publicly observable and photographable, and surrounds herself with young women close in age to her daughters,” the complaint states.

Hadid filed for bankruptcy protection on April 26 — the same day a court hearing was scheduled to appoint an independent receiver for the Summitridge property.

This unfinished mansion on Strada Vecchia Rd. in Bel Air was never completed after the city ordered Hadid to dismantle it for safety reasons. P.A.

In a legal filing ahead of a May 29 court hearing, Hadid asked the judge to approve a $7.7 million emergency loan from a new lender — 364 Capital LLC — that will finance repairs to urgency of the property while looking at other lenders to help it complete. the project.

Once the property is fully developed, it will be worth up to $85 million and the sale will make everyone whole, Hadid claimed in the filing.

The judge has not yet ruled on Hadid’s request.

Hadid and Vella’s complicated history began with a meeting Vella initiated in 2018, Hadid told the Post, at a time when he was desperate for funds to begin work on an even more expensive development in Beverly Hills, at 9650 Cedarbrook Drive, nearby.

The two discussed a deal while walking around the 37-acre site, which was then listed at $250 million but was reduced to just $68 million last September.

According to renderings, the Cedarbrook complex would include a 78,000-square-foot main house with 19 bedrooms, a 36-person home theater, a Turkish bath, a wine cellar with a tasting room, a hot yoga room, living quarters for staff and a car collection room. garage, as well as a guest house.

“We met across the street from the Beverly Hills hotel and (Vella) said, ‘let’s go to the property,'” Hadid told the Post.

“Vella said, ‘I have a lot of money I want to invest,’ and I said, ‘That’s music to my ears.’

Hadid pleaded no contest to violating building codes at that Bel Air mansion and was sentenced to three years of probation. P.A.

Shortly after that fateful tour, Vella formed Skylark and entered into two loan commitments, according to court records. Skylark agreed to a $92.7 million loan for Cedarbrook for Treetop Development, owned by Hadid, and $31 million for Summitridge at Tree Lane, according to Hadid and court records.

But their relationship quickly deteriorated. Hadid alleges that Vella approached Kutcher and Kunis with a secret deal to develop the Summitridge parcel shortly after the loan closed.

Vella purchased land below and adjacent to Hadid’s property to build a separate house, then transferred an acre of the Summitridge land to her own property, Hadid claimed in a court filing.

The Cedarbrook Dr. property in Beverly Hills spans 27 acres. MLS

Hadid said Vella led him to believe the one-acre parcel would be part of a subdivision the two would develop together, thereby increasing the value of the entire project, according to court documents.

Instead, Vella contacted two neighbors who had “certain easement rights” and offered to “partner with the neighbors to take over and develop” the property, Hadid claimed in the complaint a few years ago.

Those neighbors were Kutcher and Kunis, more recent court documents reveal.

The Post reached out to the couple for comment, but a representative did not return the call or email.

A distressed assets expert said Vella’s alleged move could raise eyebrows in court.

“A judge might find it strange,” Adam Stein-Sapir told the Post.

“This is not typical lender behavior and might seem like a lender with ulterior motives.”

Hadid said he received only $21.4 million of a $31 million loan, according to court filings. Of that amount, more than $13 million went toward fees and paying off Hadid’s debts, according to court records.

He claimed in court that Skylark’s goal all along was to force him into foreclosure under a “loan-to-own scheme” by failing to disburse the funds to Tree Lane in a timely manner.

The lawsuit filed by Zach Vella’s company against Hadid alleges: “It was and is very important to Hadid that Hadid ‘present himself as a wealthy and successful real estate developer and appear in the public eye as such.’ Angela Pham/BFA/Shutterstock

“I was too eager to start these projects (and) I didn’t really ask him where he got the money from,” Hadid told the Post.

“He was trying to take advantage of my disappearance,” Hadid said of Vella.

The Cedarbrook property also suffered from excavations for the foundations. Vella sued Hadid for default on the Cedarbrook loan in 2021, leading Hadid to file for bankruptcy on that property in 2022.

The two men settled that legal dispute April 4 to expedite the sale of Cedarbrook, but the bankruptcy case is still pending.

Hadid pushed another property into bankruptcy in 2019 after the Bel-Air disaster.

The monstrous mansion at 901 Strada Vecchia Road was deemed a “clear and present danger” to the homes below because Hadid had violated building codes.

He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to three years probation.

This unused mansion was nicknamed “Starship Enterprise” due to its immense size. MEGA

Its other bankruptcy filings occurred in 2021 on projects near Santa Monica, California.

According to experts, it is difficult to reconcile five bankruptcies in such a short time, regardless of the circumstances.

One of the jobs of a developer is to screen lenders and contractors,” Stein-Sapir said. “In this situation, Vella did not prove to be a good lender for him and, whether Vella screwed him or not, Hadid signed on the dotted line.”

Hadid made headlines in April for a homophobic rant targeting Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx) over his support for Israel.

“You are worse than the rats in the New York sewer system. They have bigger brains than you. You could get a job as a bouncer at a gay bar,” Hadid wrote.

He then apologized.

New York Post

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