People will do a lot for a 795-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment in a doorman building on West End Avenue and 71st Street—and in the case of one young Martha Graham dancer, that allegedly includes having a 10-month relationship with a 73-year-old Italian theater director. At least that is what director Antonio Calenda claims in court papers that dancer Natasha Diamond-Walker did to him.
According to Calenda's lawyers, the young dancer "manipulated our client and took advantage of him to finance her purchase of a luxury Manhattan apartment. She never had any intentions to repay our client and she abruptly severed their relationship as soon as she got what she wanted."
Of course it isn't quite as simple as that. Calenda and Diamond-Walker met in Italy last year when they worked on a show together ("Cercando Picasso") and hit it off. He gave her expensive gifts, she was a beautiful young woman for him to show off (he's been separated from his wife for years). And then, well, real estate got involved.
According to Calenda, Diamond-Walker asked for help buying her apartment. He said yes as long as they signed a written agreement that it was an interest-free loan that she'd pay back in full in December 2018. She signed on the dotted line and bought herself a swank $775,000 apartment. And then, three months later, she dumped him. According to Calenda's lawyers she also told him she "would never repay him." So now he is suing in court (and taking the tale to the press).
Calenda says he wants the court to void their agreement and either declare the loan a mortgage or make Diamond-Walker, who is currently on tour with the Martha Graham Dance Company, to pay up the full amount now with interest. Oh, and also pay $1 million in punitive damages. Because clearly if she didn't have the money to buy the apartment she totally will have a cool mil lying around?