Kate Gladstone, nicknamed “West Village Grifter”, was expelled

Photo: Courtesy of Heidi Russel

Heidi Russell, the West Village co-op landlord who was kept out of her apartment for three years by a woman who she says lived there with her teenage daughter without paying rent, is finally back home. Nicknamed “the West Village crook” by local residents, Katherine Gladstone, whose legal name is Katherine Klein, first moved into the apartment owned by Russell and his partner Valentina Bajada as an Airbnb guest off book in 2019.

Like I reported Last year, Russell says Gladstone only paid rent once in his 34-month life in the 860-square-foot walk-up second-floor second bedroom. Shortly after moving in, Russell says Gladstone started moving his stuff into their shared living room. Our previous report found that Gladstone had a history of moving into Airbnb apartments and other homes and disputed payments, as well as an ongoing criminal case filed by an ex-girlfriend. Gladstone was charged with grand larceny, forgery and harassment. A relative who said Gladstone stayed at home said she ‘got her out of my life as quickly as possible’.

When Russell decided to cut Gladstone’s stay short in order to give the room to a family member, Gladstone refused, sparking an incredibly long legal and personal battle. Russell accused Gladstone of stalking her inside the apartment and Gladstone accused Russell of robbing her. Gladstone eventually agreed to an evacuation stipulation in March 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic eviction moratorium instituted halted all eviction proceedings. In July 2021, Gladstone applied for an emergency housing assistance program which further delayed the eviction.

Gladstone’s ERAP request was ultimately denied, and on August 5, Judge Evon M. Asforis ordered the eviction to continue. According to Matt Porges, one of Russell’s lawyers, Gladstone filed three separate appeals, one of which was dismissed on August 24, the night before the marshals carried out the eviction.

Gladstone then attempted to restore possession and prevent Russell from removing his items from the apartment, but this was refused on August 29, thus cutting off his last legal recourse. Gladstone was out of the apartment for good. Where she, her daughter and her dog would go next was unclear. (The New York Jobthe first outlet to write Russell history in the summer of 2020, reports which Asforis told Gladstone during an audience in which she appeared virtually, “You have to go to a shelter if you have nowhere to go.”)

In a statement sent to Curbed, Russell said she felt like her ordeal would “never end.” “Now cleaning and cleaning to move on,” she wrote.

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