NYC Socialite, 88, Trapped at Home Against Her Will, Friend Claims Suit

Socialite and oil heiress Christophe de Menil is reportedly being confined to his Upper East Side townhouse against his will by his estranged daughter, her friend has claimed in bizarre new court documents.

The 88-year-old daughter, Taya Thurman, is allegedly preventing the jewelry designer from letting visitors into or leaving her home on East 81 Street, according to a complaint filed Wednesday in the Manhattan Supreme Court.

Alina Morini – a woman who describes herself as de Menil’s “dear friend, confidant and moral supporter of 15 years” – files a complaint as she attempts to sue de Menil’s daughter.

Thurman’s lawyer, Sheila Tandy, on Thursday called Morini’s allegations “absolutely false.”

Morini alleged that de Menil’s daughter, who is actress Uma Thurman’s half-sister, was separated from her mother for 30 years after she was recently appointed a power of attorney after they reconciled. Had taken

Christophe De Menillo
Christophe de Menil is reportedly being forced into his home on East 81st Street.
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She said de Menil has since fallen into isolation at the hands of her daughter and has tried to revoke the power of attorney from her child on several occasions, according to the complaint.

The claims of segregation are a far cry from the socialite lifestyle de Menil – a descendant of the international Schlumberger oil dynasty – had maintained in the Big Apple.

De Menil, who was briefly married to Uma Thurman’s father, Robert Thurman, from 1959 to 1961, and Morini were often photographed attending events together.

Christophe de Menil and Alina Morini
Christophe de Menil with Alina Morini. Morini is attempting to prosecute de Menil’s daughter.
Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Morini claims she had been living with de Menil in their townhouse for the past six years, but was evicted in February by Taya Thurman as part of a “well-planned plan” to force a “rift” between the two friends. was done. .

Taya Thurman
Christophe de Menil’s daughter Taya Thurman.
Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

She also alleged that Thurman and her lawyer arranged for Morini to be arrested when she returned to the townhouse in March at de Menil’s request.

As evidence to support her claims, Morini included a written statement, which she claims was written by de Menil on the day of Morini’s arrest, saying that she wanted her friend “with me.” Stay in my house.”

“She stayed with me for 5-6 years…no one impressed me in this statement,” the written statement said.

Morini is seeking $5 million in damages for his false arrest, imprisonment and wrongful eviction.

“These reprehensible allegations are absolutely false,” Thurman’s lawyer told the Post.

“Alina Morini was arrested for breaking into the apartment of Christophe de Menil. We believe this frivolous trial is a ploy to influence other legal proceedings.”

To support Morini’s claims, the complaint includes a June email sent by one of de Menil’s other friends, Nico Iliev, to investigators in connection with the socialite’s alleged imprisonment on June 3 at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. wrote.

According to the letter included in the complaint, Illiv claimed that the separation began at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when Thurman allegedly forced de Menil to rewrite his will in April 2020.

But the situation escalated earlier this year when de Menil’s longtime employees were fired, the locks at his townhouse were replaced, cameras installed and his phones hung, Illiv alleged.

Sue for Christophe de Menil She also alleged that Thurman and her lawyer arranged for Morini to be arrested when she returned to the townhouse in March at de Menil's request.  Morini says it resulted in him spending 30 hours in jail.  As evidence to support her claims, Morini included a written statement, which she claims was written by de Menil on the day of Morini's arrest, saying that she wanted her friend.
Morini presented this letter as evidence that de Menil wanted him to stay in his house.
court documents

“Currently, no one is allowed to meet Kristoff (as we all call him) nor is he allowed to step out of the house,” his email read.

Iliev said he went to de Menil sometime in February to give a birthday present, but claims he was only allowed to stay for 17 minutes, according to the letter.

“It was a heartbreaking experience. De Menil was confined to his bedroom where he never got guests. During the quick visit, which was supervised by a house aide, he shared what he felt was ‘prison’. I have,'” Iliev wrote.

“I found Ms. de Menil to think very sharply and clearly, yet felt like a hostage.”

In his email, Iliev said he is including an audio clip of de Menil “in which she clearly expresses her desire to revoke the power of attorney previously granted to her daughter.”

The Post reached out to de Menil on Thursday, but has yet to hear back.

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