From Robert Downey Jr.’s sleepover to Mel Gibson’s Almost DUI, 9 of Malibu’s most notorious scandals
A short history of Tales of the Town includes David Geffen’s beach access battles to Matthew McConaughey’s paparazzi brawl – and then there’s Bob Dylan’s offensive portable toilets.
1966? THE CASE OF THE PAINTED NAKED LADY Legal Secretary Lynne Westmore, moonlighting as a muralist, painted a 60-foot nude piece of art, dubbed the Pink Lady, on the rocks above the Malibu Canyon tunnel. Days after completing it on October 28 – she had scaled the cliff after dark – road workers were dispatched to cover the painting with 14 cans of gray paint. Westmore sued Los Angeles County for $ 1 million; the county asked for $ 26,000 to recover its costs. Both lawsuits were dismissed.
1996? SLEEP OF ROBERT DOWNEY JR. Before his Hollywood resurgence, Downey spent the mid-1990s in a drug and alcohol stupor, which led to a tabloid tidal wave in July 1996, when he walked into his house. neighbor in Malibu, stripped of his underwear and slept in their son’s bed. It was the second time in three weeks that police had accused Downey of being under the influence.
2002? BEACH ACCESS BATTLE David Geffen spent three years fighting an easement allowing access to a public beach trail along his Carbon Beach property. In 2005, he finally stopped blocking access and agreed to pay $ 300,000 in legal fees. There is now an app to help surfers and other nature lovers navigate to hard-to-find beach access points. Created by writer Jenny Price and public radio producer Ben Adair, Our Malibu Beaches reveals, Price says, “everything you need to know about each access channel and which ones you can ignore and why.” It allows users to flag such scenarios as false “no parking” signs.
2008? PAPARAZZI GATHERING In 2008, paparazzi invaded Little Dume Beach to take a photo of Matthew McConaughey surfing, who had attracted a pack of grass-watchdogs to stand guard. A fight ensues. Two years later, two of LA’s top defense attorneys, Harland Braun and Stefan Sacks, clashed with Assistant District Attorney Bill Penzin to decide whether Philip John Hildebrand and Skylar Peak (currently Malibu’s youngest mayor) were guilty of assault and battery against the paparazzi. or responsibly remove intruders. The charges were dismissed after an overturned trial was declared. Peak told THR today: “The incident I was in was disproportionate. There was definitely shade.
2009? THE BAD SMELLS OF BOB DYLAN Five years ago, something devil was blowing in the wind near Dylan’s property in Point Dume. The guilty? The security personnel’s portable toilets, which made some neighbors sick. A resident whose home was directly behind the washroom installed five industrial-size fans in the yard to remove odors.
2011? MELTDOWN OF THE MANOR U2 After U2 guitarist The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, purchased a 156-acre property above a ridge line in 2006, they offered to build five mansions there. The project received broad opposition from conservation groups, and in 2011 the Coast Commission rejected the plan. The agency’s executive director called it “one of the three worst projects I’ve seen in terms of environmental devastation,” citing problems with extending a road through landslide-prone areas and leveling over 70,000 cubic meters of soil.
2012? THE SAND WARS Broad Beach residents such as Steven Levitan and Steven Spielberg of Modern Family have come up with a $ 20 million plan to reshape the coast as part of a beach power project, bringing 600,000 cubic meters of sand from a site yet to be determined. “You can’t walk on the beach except when the tide is very low,” Levitan told THR last year, of the erosion of the beach. Opponents believe this is a myopic project that will only benefit owners and have disastrous effects on the coastline.
2013? ALMOST DUI OF MEL GIBSON Having learned little from his infamous drunken anti-Semitic ramblings in 2006 after a DUI, the actor was arrested at a checkpoint on PCH, where he had previously been arrested. When asked if he had been drinking, Gibson replied, “No. He then shouted, “Why are you harassing me? I had problems with you Lost Hills [Malibu] deputies in the past. The actor was fired without being charged.
2014 ? REPRESSION ON REHABILITATION Since posh Passages opened in Malibu 13 years ago, the city has developed a notorious niche as Southern California’s “Riviera Rehab”, attracting figures including Britney Spears, Ben Affleck, Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen In fact, so many dedicated treatment centers have invested mansions in private quarters (there are at least 35 documented drug rehab centers, not counting many sober unlicensed homes) along the coastline that the city has started to build. trying to curb the industry. “Residential neighborhoods are not designed for this kind of activity,” says city councilor Lou La Monte, who has been at the forefront of these efforts. State health departments joined in the crackdown, ending Passages’ practice of cramming six beds into single-family residences.