Homeowners sue to demolish Marilyn Monroe’s former home

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

The owners of the Brentwood home where Marilyn Monroe lived and ultimately died are suing the City of Los Angeles for the right to demolish the property.

Brinah Milstein, of the Milstein real estate dynasty, and her reality television producer husband, Roy Bank, filed a Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit on Monday, alleging “illegal and unconstitutional conduct and abuse of power” by the city regarding the property they bought in July 2023.

According to the Los Angeles Times, they purchased the home for $8.35 million.

Their plan was to demolish the home and expand their current residence, which is located next door, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs claim they were issued a demolition permit from the city, which was initially “held” for 30 days to allow for objections.

An aerial view of Marilyn Monroe’s final home in the Brentwood neighborhood on September 14, 2023 in Brentwood, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)An aerial view of a Brentwood home once belonging to iconic actress Marilyn Monroe is seen on Sept. 6, 2023. (KTLA)An aerial view of a Brentwood home once belonging to iconic actress Marilyn Monroe is seen on Sept. 6, 2023. (KTLA) Marilyn Monroe leaves the home she briefly shared with Joe Di Maggio in a car driven by her attorney, Jerry Giesler. (Getty Images)

In January, the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission recommended landmark status for Marilyn Monroe’s home, which could potentially save the home from being demolished.

An attorney for the homeowners said in a statement to KTLA, “The City invoked an unconstitutional ‘stay’ of city-issued and vested demo and grading permits, secretly worked with third parties (including for-profit tour operators and a local conservancy organization) to assure their desired outcome.”

The homeowners claim that no objections were raised and permits were subsequently issued, which led to them incurring over $30,000 in expenses before receiving actual notice of a “stay” invoked by the city.

KTLA reached out to representatives for the city of Los Angeles and Councilwoman Traci Park, who represents the 11th District, where the home is located, for comment but has not yet heard back.

Milstein and Bank argue in their lawsuit that the home has had 14 owners since Monroe’s death, and at least a dozen permits have been issued for remodels over the past 60 years.

Meantime, fans of Marilyn Monroe, and conservationists claim the residence is a part of Hollywood history.

Monroe died from an overdose in the Brentwood property at the age of 36.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.