‘Socialite squatter’ evicted: Melissa Berkelhammer Evicted
Published: July 4, 2015
‘Socialite squatter’ evicted: Melissa Berkelhammer Evicted, The socialite squatter who refused to move out of the her former friend’s luxury apartment for over a year has finally been forced out.
Police showed up to the Fifth Avenue pad of Julianne Michelle Di Palma on June 24 to escort out Melissa Berkelhammer, a Princeton and Harvard Law-educated 38-year-old blogger.
True to form, though, she didn’t go easily.
‘It took hours to get them out,’ a source told Page Six. ‘Julianne hired movers and a large storage space on East 62nd Street so that their belongings would not be thrown out or lost.’
The issue of Berkelhammer’s reluctance, at that of her mother, to leave Di Palma’s Upper East Side apartment went all the way to Washington as congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York penned a letter to the city marshal urging they be removed from the apartment.
Berkelhammer and her mother have moved into a hotel as the Yale law grad moves on to the next phase of her life as a restaurant hostess.
Page Six reported in June that the owner of Prime KO, Joey Allaham, met Berkehammer before scandal erupted when she was caught allegedly shoplifting $4,000 worth of luxury merchandise from Bergdorf Goodman and was then revealed to be squatting in Di Palma’s apartment.
‘I just wanted to help someone out. She’ll make a good hostess and she wants to work,’ said Allaham.
Berkelhammer has also reportedly accepted a position volunteering at the Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home.
She is next due in court on August 17 to face charges after she was found leaving Bergdorf with a $2,700 Christian Dior bag, an $880 Dribs day bag and a $320 Milly skirt stuffed into her purse.
Berkelhammer previously told DailyMail.com that she was simply trying to find her mother JoEllen to show her the merchandise, and stepped outside briefly thinking she may have left the store without her.
She was released on her own recognizance after her arraignment as this was her first arrest.
As for her living situation, Di Palma and her mother Joycelyn Engle Di Palma, who owns the apartment, did all they could to get the Berkelhammers out before enlisting the help of Congreswoman Maloney.
‘Ms Engle and Ms Michelle are understandably concerned about having to live with unwanted tenants who have caused such a disturbance in the building that the co-op board has issued a notice to cure,’ said the congresswoman in her letter, which was obtained by the New York Daily News.
‘Anything you can do to expedite the eviction of the Berkelhammers, consistent with all rules and regulations, would be greatly appreciated.’
The building manager had threatened that the Di Palmas would lose the apartment due to co-op board rules if the Berkelhammers weren’t out by July 10.
The entire scenario was a nightmare for Di Palma a source close to her told DailyMail.com.
‘Melissa told Julianne that she was staying in a mid-town hotel while her apartment was being renovated and asked if she knew of anyone or anywhere she could stay’, said a source close to the situation.
‘She said it would only be for two or three weeks.
‘Julianne knew her from charity and social events. Melissa could carry a conversation and was definitely more than functional so she thought: what harm could a few weeks do if she stayed in her service room?’
Berkelhammer arrived with 50 and took over the apartment, according to the source, forcing the Di Palma to spend her time locked in her bedroom as mother and daughter spent all night arguing with one another.
‘Julianne locks her door and puts on this ocean wave sound device on her phone so she doesn’t have to hear them.
‘She’s called the police a few times because of violent situations.
‘She can’t use her kitchen or entertain because Melissa’s clothes are everywhere.
‘Julianne thinks Melissa is very talented and there are no hard feelings, she just wants her life back.’
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