Owners of Marilyn Monroe’s House Are Suing Los Angeles

(NationalUSNews.com) — The current owners of the home of famous 20th-century actress Marilyn Monroe have sued the city of Los Angeles over its attempt to prevent the home’s demolition and declare it a historical landmark.

Homeowners Roy Bank and Brinah Milstein bought Monroe’s four-bedroom home in July 2023 and intended to have the house demolished so that they could expand the neighboring property, which they also owned. The city of Los Angeles granted the homeowners a demolition permit when they first purchased the home, but city officials have now recanted their decision and want the house designated as a historic landmark.

The homeowners filed a lawsuit against the city due to the previous owners’ alterations to Monroe’s home. Since Monroe died in 1962, 14 people have owned her Los Angeles home. Bank and Milstein claim that the previous owners made substantial alterations to the property over the past 62 years, which included repainting, remodeling, changing the furniture, and removing any other evidence of Monroe spending time in the house. Bank and Milstein also highlighted that the house could not be a historical landmark as it’s not accessible to the public due to the lack of access without trespassing over the couple’s other property.

A primary allegation in Bank and Milstein’s lawsuit is that city officials had private meetings with “biased” third parties to declare the home a historical landmark. Some of the meetings allegedly focused on how the city could use house tours on the property to make money from Los Angeles residents. City officials haven’t addressed the allegations of backroom meetings to coordinate the historic landmark designation and instead referred to Monroe’s storied career as an actress and her influence on pop culture as justifications for the decision.

Monroe was born in 1926 and became a model in 1945, leading to her photos appearing in several national publications. The following year, Monroe signed a contract with 20th Century Fox, and her first movie, The Asphalt Jungle, was released in 1950. Monroe was featured in multiple well-known films throughout the subsequent decade and had a famously strained marriage with renowned playwright Arthur Miller. Monroe died in 1962 but had achieved pop culture icon status, resulting in multiple biographical works and frequent references to the late actress in music and television.

Despite Monroe’s storied career in Hollywood and her influence on pop culture, Bank and Hilstein claim the actress’s home fails to meet the required criteria for a historical landmark. While the homeowning couple blames city officials for the roadblock in their demolition effort, other Los Angeles residents have protested the couple’s plans and called for the city’s intervention.

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