Who says wisdom comes with age?
A 73-year-old Italian theater director is suing a much-younger dancer for nearly $2 million, alleging that the 27-year-old faked a romance with him so that he would buy her a swanky $775,000 New York City apartment.
The director, Antonio Calenda (pictured at left), reportedly met Natasha Diamond-Walker (shown above), who performs with the Martha Graham Dance Company, when they were working on a project together in Italy last year. The lawsuit alleges that Calenda offered to loan the dancer money to purchase the luxury apartment in Manhattan's Upper West Side. As a gift, he offered the loan to her at no interest, but it was to be paid off by December 2018.
However, according to the suit, after Diamond-Walker closed on the apartment, she abruptly ended the relationship. The lawsuit also contends that she "declared her intention to never repay the loan, as she viewed the entire transaction as a 'gift.' "
"She manipulated our client and took advantage of him to finance her purchase of a luxury Manhattan apartment," Calenda's lawyer, Marc Fitapelli, told New York's Daily News. "She never had any intentions to repay our client, and she abruptly severed their relationship as soon as she got what she wanted."
Calenda is demanding that Diamond-Walker pay back the entire amount of the loan plus interest -- approximately $800,000 -- as well as an additional $1 million in punitive damages. He also wants the loan to officially be declared a mortgage, and he wants to take a lien on the 795-square-foot apartment.
LaRue Allen, executive director of the Martha Graham troupe, said that she doesn't view the legal wrangling as a matter for the dance company.
"They had a personal relationship.... They're both adults," Allen told the Daily News. "Things don't always have a way of working out."
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