Group sues over Marilyn Monroe's demolished LA home
Los Angeles city bosses rode roughshod over state and local laws by allowing a home where Hollywood beauty Marilyn Monroe briefly lived to be bulldozed to make way for a condominium project, a court action claims.
A residents' group is seeking to roll back the city council's approval for the five-unit project in the San Fernando Valley.
The house where the Some Like It Hot actress lived for a year was pulled down days before a hearing on whether to consider making it a historic monument, according to the Los Angeles Times.
City chiefs did not recommend considering the house as a monument since Monroe did not break into the film industry until years later. The demolition permit was obtained before the monument application was filed, officials said.
Monroe "only resided at the property for one year and did not live in the unit during the productive period of her career", a report by city planning officials concluded.
The residents' group, Save Valley Village, argues that the home captured the essence of Monroe's life at a critical stage.
"While Norma Jean (Baker) was born at County Hospital in Lincoln Heights, Marilyn Monroe's career was born while living in this house," the lawsuit states.
The group also claims the council illegally made a deal to support any development project supported by the council member who represents the area.
"If your hands are bound by a behind-the-scenes voting agreement, then obviously you're not deliberating in public," said Richard MacNaughton, a lawyer representing the residents' group.
The city is reviewing the complaint.
Vanessa Rodriguez, the spokeswoman for council president Herb Wesson, said she had not seen the details of the lawsuit but saw no issue, in general, with council members listening to the politician who represents the area of a new project.
"The locally elected representative is the best equipped individual to provide their city council colleagues with guidance" on issues in that district, she told the newspaper.