TBD if this excuse will work on your landlord.

By Isabel Jones
Updated Mar 27, 2019 @ 3:30 pm
2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals
Credit: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

One of 2019’s most undeniably strange stories features model Emily Ratajkowski, 27, her movie producer husband Sebastian Bear-McClard (who, contrary to Google’s approximations, is 38 — not 32 — years old), and their loft in downtown Manhattan.

Earlier this month, the New York Post reported that the newlyweds had been abusing a legal loophole that allows struggling artists to live rent-free. According to the publication, Bear-McClard (whose estimated net worth is somewhere between $6-$12 million, according to multiple approximations) hasn’t paid the $4,900 monthly rent on his Bleecker street apartment since 2017 and owes around $120,000.

“Loft Law,” enacted in 1982, is meant to protect artists and other low-income tenants living illegally in commercial loft spaces from eviction. Bear-McClard and Ratajkowski’s home technically meets these standards, but neither he nor his bride (who has an estimated net worth of $6 million) quite fits the “low-income” definition as most people view it.

On Monday, Ratajkowski gave her first public response to the situation, tweeting that some of the reported details have been misconstrued.

“Husband is 38, not 31,” she began. “He’s an independent movie producer so people thinking he’s rich is real nice but not based in fact. He was raised in the neighborhood he lives in now, both of his parents are artists who were priced out of their homes in downtown New York. I moved in w/ him a year ago. I’m proud he’s fighting the good fight against a real estate conglomerate that bought the building he lives in for 40 million and has continued to spread misinformation on its tenants in order to profit. NYC has changed so much and it’s a shame that people who work in creative fields are being moved out of the city.”

These are fair points, but believe it or not, there are other, less exorbitant places to live in N.Y.C. than NoHo — we’ve got five whole boroughs. Perhaps this is just one writer's opinion, but not paying your rent seems like a very convenient statement to make, and a pretty low-stakes one if you have a wealthy influencer’s fortune to rely on.