Mohamed Hadid is speaking exclusively to DailyMailTV about how the disastrous mega mansion has ‘destroyed’ his life
Property tycoon Mohamed Hadid has blamed the fallout over his controversial Bel-Air mega-mansion on a ‘nightmare neighbor,’ says he regrets ever starting the project – but denied he has been driven into personal bankruptcy by the order to demolish it.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV, Hadid says the fight over the development has ‘destroyed’ his life.
And he claims disgruntled ‘nasty’ neighbor Joe Horacek – the man who has spear-headed the campaign against him – is ‘obsessed’ with the case and has ‘harassed’ and ‘stalked’ him in a bid to derail the project.
The outspoken father of supermodels Gigi and Bella Hadid also insists he is not personally bankrupt and says the case has been tough on his two daughters who must constantly field questions about their dad’s property problems.
Hadid said: ‘The whole thing has been a nightmare. Yes, I regret starting it. It has destroyed my life, it has destroyed my reputation and affected my family.’
The magnate lays the blame on Horacek.
‘He’s the worst human being, the worst neighbor. He is one of the most vicious, vindictive, angry, most horrible neighbors one could ever have. He is trying to run me out of town,’ he said.
‘He’s obsessed, it’s his life. Him and his wife they do studies every day to attack me. Three years ago he said he had put over 6,000 hours into this.
‘Who in their right mind does that unless they are obsessed.’
Last month a judge ordered Hadid’s controversial home to be torn down out of safety concerns, saying it was a nuisance and a danger to the public
The total teardown of the property would cost $5million and the property tycoon claims he can’t even afford a $500,000 fee. Hadid accuses the lawyers representing his neighbors for creating ‘exaggerated numbers’ when discussing the property
Hadid claimed bankruptcy and said that he cannot afford to pay for the demolition of the home, but he tells DailyMailTV that it is his LLC that is bankrupt, not him personally
Hadid accuses Horacek of poisoning other neighbors against him in a bid to get them to join a civil action he launched.
He also accuses the neighbor of running a smear campaign to paint him as a criminal.
He said: ‘Whenever Joe says something it goes worldwide because of my daughters’ names, even the bankruptcy thing was bad for me, I received a call from Saudi Arabia from someone asking me about it, I have to explain to people what’s really going on.’
At a hearing before Judge Craig Karlan earlier this month, LA Superior court heard that Hadid ‘can’t afford’ to pay around $5million for the demolition.
Nor could Hadid, 71, pay proposed receiver Douglas Wilson’s fee of $500,000.
Judge Karlan, who last month was photographed doing a walk-thru of the half-built property, deemed it a ‘clear and present danger’ to nearby homes and said it ‘must come down.’
He also checked out neighbors’ claims that illegally graded slopes, unapproved retaining walls and inadequate foundation supports all make the colossal site so ‘frightening’ and ‘precarious’ that Hadid’s own architect said, ‘I’m worried that building will slide down the hill and kill someone.’
Hadid told DailyMailTV of his alleged financial trouble: ‘I’m not bankrupt, my LLC (Limited Liability Company) is bankrupt. The money in the LLC is from bank loans, the bank is not going to give you $5million to demolish a house, especially when I’ve already put $18million in.
‘I have other projects around the world, I have a huge project in Cairo being built today, we just got in the Guinness Book of Records for being the world’s largest residential building.
‘We’re doing things in Casablanca (Morocco) and in Athens (Greece).’
On Tuesday a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge essentially cleared the way for Hadid’s mansion to be torn down.
The demolition – originally ordered by Judge Karlan – was last week put on hold when Hadid’s construction company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Angry neighbors filed a motion challenging Hadid’s bankruptcy filing – accusing him of fraud and saying that it was ‘obviously not filed in good faith’ and calling for the bankruptcy filing to be dismissed.
And Tuesday morning US Bankruptcy Court Judge Sheri Bluebond granted their motion, telling Hadid’s lawyers: ‘This is a bad faith attempt to use me to undo, to undermine what the state court has done and it is not appropriate.
‘The state court has decided that this property is a public hazard and needs to be demolished. It’s not my place to stop that.’
That means the massive mansion must surely be razed to the ground.
Hadid blames his disgruntled ‘nasty’ neighbor Joe Horacek (pictured in front of his home with Hadid’s home in the background) Horecek is the man who has spear-headed the campaign against him
The 30,000 square-food mansion towers over other homes in the area, including Joseph Horacek’s home, pictured below. The property has been dubbed the ‘Starship Enterprise’ because of its enormity. Hadid bought the hilltop plot on Strada Vecchia Road in Bel Air in 2011
Neighbors have been fighting for years for the demolition of the property because of all the alleged unapproved construction. The development of the home has also been an eyesore to nearby residents
Hadid was the architectural engineer for the record-breaking Skyline, a 2.15 million square feet luxury residential complex in Cairo, Egypt.
Hadid – who says he’s not a billionaire as has been reported – currently has a $17million loan on the Bel-Air property, which he has personally guaranteed, said Michael Fazio, attorney for First Credit Bank – who estimated that the site is now only worth about $8million.
‘The whole thing has been a nightmare, yes I regret starting it. It has destroyed my life, it has destroyed my reputation and affected my family,’ Hadid says
Hadid said in total – through loans and money he and other creditors have invested – he’s put $50million into the huge home which he had hoped to sell for more than $100million.
And each year the real estate developer must pay a whopping $325,000 in property taxes even though the home is unlivable.
Speaking to DailyMailTV at one of his favorite restaurants in Beverly Hills, Hadid accuses the lawyers representing the neighbors for creating ‘exaggerated numbers’ when discussing the property.
It was claimed in court that Hadid had illegally doubled the permitted 15,000 sq ft property to 30,000 sq ft, adding a 70-seat movie theater, plus a pool deck and a third floor, but Hadid says that’s wrong.
‘That is not true, they exaggerated the numbers,’ he bemoans. ‘We built a pool deck and underneath you have a lot of space for equipment and storage. The neighbor (Horacek) said I was planning on putting in suites, but I don’t have any power there, any sewage, any water, nothing.
‘In the future, if you get permits, you can in fact do it. But at that time it was just a building with a pool on top and a deck.
‘So then they start exaggerating things so much that it became obvious I couldn’t fight with them, the guy was going crazy.
‘He wanted me to finish the house and then he would start asking me for money, he said, ‘well I’m going to tell them (the City) that you have suites in the bottom’, you have this, you have that.’
Hadid claims Horacek, 78, demanded $3.5million to ‘go away’ but when he refused to hand over any money he says his neighbor became his sworn enemy.
In a transcript of the conversation seen by DailyMailTV, Horacek says, ‘I don’t get in your way, you don’t get in my way,’ while discussing a compensation agreement based on Horacek’s claim his house had been devalued by Hadid’s mansion.
A deal was never struck.
‘Every single day when he was in town he would take his camera and start taking pictures of us, he was like a stalker, he stalked my kids, he would find where I am, where I eat,’ claims Hadid.
‘You would see him in a tree near the building site with binoculars, it was a joke. He was there every day, he called the City every day and they came every day, so there was no way either I or anyone else on the job would have gone around anything.’
DailyMailTV revealed that Judge Karlan visited the construction site to see first hand the progress on the removal of the home’s illegally-built third floor and pool deck, a partial demolition he had ordered to make the building safer and bring it into line with local planning regulations
A glum looking Hadid, flanked by his two attorneys, was photographed following the judge around the property
Developer Hadid was ordered to demolish the illegal third floor of his unfinished Bel-Air mega-mansion on February 1. The top floor is pictured before it was demolished
Original plans: The mansion was intended to be 14,000 sq ft and two stories high (pictured) but Hadid expanded the home to nearly double its size without the city’s approval
Hadid says Horacek went out of his way to find planning issues with the property which he could report to the City of Los Angeles planning department.
But he insists the building was inspected over 700 times.
‘There were plans, there were inspectors, deputy inspectors, you have the mechanical engineer, geology engineers,’ explains Hadid.
‘Everything was approved by an inspector, 100%. Every time you dig a hole several people are there watching.
‘You have nine, ten people looking at this one thing before you pour cement, it’s all documented and I was not involved with these things. But it’s crazy that they think I have somehow added 10, 20ft to things without permission.’
Hadid claims that the foundations were laid and they had a survey done and were ready to complete the main structure of the house before Horacek approached him.
He cites a transcript of a recorded conversation between the two men which was submitted into court.
‘He said, ‘I’m gonna make your life miserable’. Up until that point everything was fine with the City,’ Hadid recalls.
Hadid said he planted 200 mature trees around the house so neighbors couldn’t complain the structure was an eye-sore – but Horacek even complained about that.
‘I had to take them down, that alone cost me $1million,’ says Hadid.
The businessman claims that Horacek’s constant complaining led to the City putting his project under the microscope.
‘You can go to any house in LA and find problems if you look hard enough,’ he said.
Ultimately Hadid says he found himself in hot water when it was discovered a concrete bridge was built illegally connecting two buildings on the site.
The City made an ‘order to comply’ for him to remove it but Hadid admits this is where he fell down.
‘They revoked my permit and I started fighting them, they didn’t like that,’ he said.
Hadid was criminally charged and pleaded no contest to illegal construction.
‘I wanted to take responsibility, all the others they are small guys and I didn’t want to ruin their lives, the manager of the LLC for example, I didn’t want them to take away his license,’ he explained.
‘Everything has a consequence and it’s always someone’s fault, I could blame the contractors or the engineers – I wasn’t there – but I said you know what I’ll take it and I’ll move on.’
Mohamed Hadid, 71, the property tycoon father of supermodels Gigi and Bella Hadid. He tells DailyMailTV the ordeal has affected his family
The 71-year-old posted photos from his new Beverly Hills digs, which was purchased in May for $4.5 million
Meanwhile, Hadid downsized from his lavish mansion, known as the House of Hadid, to a modest bachelor pad amid claims he’s broke and has his split from his fiancée Shiva Safai, 39, (pictured together in 2016) DailyMail.com previously revealed
In the criminal case Hadid is serving three years probation on condition he bring the house into compliance with building regulations – or tear it down – within that time.
Earlier this month LA City prosecutors filed a motion calling for the massive home to be completely demolished by April 1 next year.
But the project ground to a halt many months ago when the City hit Hadid with a ‘stop work order’ as well as an ‘order to comply’.
‘We couldn’t comply because we had a stop work order,’ he said. ‘You can’t combine the two, it’s ridiculous, it just doesn’t work – make me coffee but you cannot use the machine. It was the weirdest thing.’
As well as attacking Hadid over building compliance Horacek claimed in court the tycoon dodged much of his court ordered 200 hours of community service.
The question also came up in the civil lawsuit lodged by the neighbors against Hadid and the City itself.
In a legal declaration in that case, former construction manager Russell Linch said that Hadid had sent his security guard to a church to do his community service in his place.
The guard allegedly complained to Linch that he was doing community service for Hadid without pay.
And Linch said that Hadid bought refrigerators and a vacuum cleaner for the church.
But Hadid brands the claims ‘stupid’, but does admit to buying the church six refrigerators as well as other items but only after he had completed his community service and wanted to help.
And he says he now sends the church food to dish out to the homeless at Thanksgiving and at Christmas and donates money to buy winter socks and gloves.
Hadid, who is countersuing the neighbors, alleging that Horacek tried to extort him, added: ‘I saw him (Horacek) with his Porsche taking a video of my kids coming out of the house.
‘The guy is obsessed with me, he was stalking me. I’m his target and will remain so until he gets what he wants.’
In an interview with DailyMailTV in January Horacek branded Hadid a ‘cheat’.
‘He has a history of cheating and not complying. Once, just days after he received one of his ‘stop-work’ orders from the City, he sent in a crew and put in a driveway. The guy is not to be trusted – he’s famous for ignoring city orders.’
And in response to Hadid’s allegations Horacek’s attorney, Ariel A. Neuman, told DailyMailTV Monday: ‘The court findings speak for themselves: Hadid is a convicted criminal, his structure has been ruled a danger to the community that must be demolished, and the judge recently held that a jury will likely find his conduct towards our clients was malicious and oppressive.
‘All of this is the result of Hadid’s own actions over the last seven years.’
DailyMailTV last week revealed that Hadid recently downsized from his $56 million Bel-Air château-style estate, known as the House of Hadid, moving into a modest $4.5million Beverly Hills bachelor pad.
Court ordered demolition had already begun in June on an illegal third floor of the property – seen here in exclusive DailyMail.com photos
But he says he rents the new place while he’s in between homes and prefers a smaller property now that his daughters are older and he has split from his fiancée, model Shiva Safai.
‘I don’t need that big house, I don’t have the big parties anymore,’ he said. ‘The smaller house is a transition but I don’t mind the quaint, smaller home.’
As for his Bel-Air mega mansion, the developer says he will ultimately have to demolish the property but plans to rebuild something a little more ‘modest’ to keep everyone happy.
He said even if the judge hadn’t ordered the demolition, water damage means it has to come down.
‘The judge wouldn’t allow me to waterproof the property, there is now water inside the house, it penetrates into all the walls and floors, it’s finished. But we will rebuild, within code or below,’ he said.
He added: ‘All of this would have never happened, the house would have been finished, if I had given Joe $3.5million when he asked for it.’
The dispute over the property is long from over.
The neighbors are disputing Hadid’s bankruptcy claim and the developer says his lawyers are trying to ‘restructure’ the demolition order through the court.
‘Hopefully a deal will be struck with all the creditors where we demolish it to the slab, retro-fit the slab and build a new house. We’re trying to do the right thing for everyone, I want to square everything off.
‘The only person who hasn’t suffered in all this is Joe. If you ever buy a house, check your neighbors first.’