Did Lisa Vanderpump know anything about the restaurateurs who planned to develop Gay Varsity before she swept in to develop P.U.M.P.?
It depends on whom you ask.
When RadarOnline broke the story last week, which reported that the reality TV star who runs Sur Restaurant in WeHo was being sued for $4 million over a dispute regarding the lease space at 8948 Santa Monica Blvd. at Robertson, Vanderpump was quick to issue a statement claiming she, and her husband Ken Todd, “had no prior knowledge of Ryan Carrillo and Andrew Gruver or their claim.”
Carrillo and Gruver claim they had a deal with businessman Elie Samaha to open a gay sports bar called Bar Varsity on the site of what was formerly Java Detour, which is owned by Samaha. However, they allege Vanderpump and Todd entered into a leasing agreement with Samaha “intended to disrupt the performance of the (existing) agreement.”
Carrillo and Gruver’s suit alleges they quit their jobs as general manager and promotions manager at the Abbey, met with architects and spent hundreds of hours guiding the project through the permitting process with the city before Samaha refused to invest a promised $500,000 and became evasive. Instead the lease went to Vanderpump and Todd, who plan to open a bar called P.U.M.P.
“We had no prior knowledge of Ryan Carrillo and Andrew Gruver or their claim,” Vanderpump said to RadarOnline.
However, now Carrillo and Gruver’s lawyer, Joe Adams, has fired back, telling RadarOnline “That statement as it pertains to the alleged lack of Ms. Vanderpump’s ‘prior knowledge of Ryan Carrillo and Andrew Gruver’ is false and misleading.”
“The underlying fact is that Ms. Vanderpump has had extensive ‘prior knowledge’ of Mr. Carrillo and Mr. Gruver prior to their filing of the above-referenced legal claim,” he said.
Vanderpump has been quoted as saying, “We took the lease in good faith seven months ago and all of our applications and notices have been posted publicly. Any issue will be between them and the property owner.”
Adams has said there are photos and videos recorded at events in which Vanderpump and Carrillo have “extensively interacted” and that Gruver, in hosting events at Sur, has had a “direct relationship” with Vanderpump.
Gruver and Carrillo are also seeking an emergency temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction stopping the proposed Vanderpump project.