Shearman & Sterling lawyer SUES Victoria’s Secret model

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By Katie King on

Associate paid to rent high fashion catwalk star’s apartment, but was “horrified” by what he found


A lawyer from US commercial giant Shearman & Sterling has put his legal training to good use this week, filing a claim against a former Victoria’s Secret model whose apartment he was meant to stay in.

38-year-old lawyer Christian Pugaczewski (pictured below) is suing both Airbnb and landlord Lyndsey Scott after he reserved a three-month summer stay at the former catwalk model’s apartment.


According to court documents filed to the Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday, Pugaczewski — who is based at the law firm’s New York office and has worked there for over five years — has claimed the flat’s listing described itself as “comfy”, “fashionable” and “modern”, but that isn’t quite the vibe he got.

When the Boston University School of Law graduate arrived at the five-star rated apartment, on which he paid a $3,000 deposit, he was reportedly “horrified” to find cockroach traps in the kitchen, peeling paint, grime and dirt, rubbish in the hallways, damaged floors, broken furniture and a suspicious smell of drugs. In true lawyer style, Pugaczewski — who is pocketing well over $200,000 a year as a lawyer — has said the jazzed up listing caused him to splash the cash on “a property materially different from the property portrayed”.


Pugaczewski lasted a grand total of one night in the apartment, based in Roosevelt Island, New York, before paying $20,000 for a last minute rental in the city’s Upper East Side — twice the value of the original one-bedroom unit.

Both Airbnb and 31-year-old Scott — who has walked catwalks for the likes of Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, and now codes apps for a living — have not commented on this civil claim. However, Scott did speak about her Roosevelt Island apart in W Magazine in 2009:

Well, my apartment’s bigger for less money, and it’s a nice little community.

UPDATE: 4:50pm Wednesday 31 August

Scott has now issued a statement:

I acknowledge Mr Pugaczewski’s complaints and am working closely with Airbnb to ensure this is settled in a fair and just manner. I wholeheartedly respect Airbnb’s standards and have worked tirelessly to ensure renters have had an above average experience, as evidenced in my 5 star rating on Roosevelt Island is a beautiful neighborhood in New York City, known for its sense of community, family environment and diversity – all traits I wholeheartedly embrace. I have always felt safe in my apartment and proud to call Roosevelt Island my home. I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused Mr Pugaczewski. The photos, description and reviews included in the listing are verifiable and accurate.