At least there are some real friends in fashion.
Page Six hears that Diane Von Furstenberg wrote a big old check to save her pal André Leon Talley from being evicted from his home before he died.
Talley made headlines in the last years of his life because his one-time friend, former Manolo Blahnik head George Malkemus, claimed he was hundred of thousands of dollars behind on rent for the Westchester mansion he leased from Malkemus and his partner Anthony Yurgaitis.
But sources say superstar designer Von Furstenberg stepped in, allowing Talley to enjoy what turned out to be his final months without the enormous money troubles.
“André was one of my dearest friends,” Von Furstenberg told us when reached for comment, adding modestly, “I would have done anything for him. I would like to respect his memory and George’s for that matter. I have nothing else to say and I thank you for respecting this.”
Von Furstenberg, who created the iconic wrap dress in the early 1970s, was also pals with Malkemus, who died in 2021. She is worth many millions, while her husband, IAC media mogul Barry Diller, is worth an estimated $4 billion, according to Forbes.
Talley’s lawyer during the rent ruckus, Erik B. Weinick, tells us, “We were honored to have been able to assist Andre in resolving his dispute with Mr. Malkemus and Mr. Yurgaitis prior to his passing, but beyond that, have no comment other than what is in the Court record.”
Leon Talley — who passed in January 2022 from COVID-19 — had rented the $1 million White Plains manse since 2004. But things turned ugly when Malkemus and Yurgaitis claimed the rent was massively in arrears.
In November 2020, the couple “commenced a summary non-payment proceeding in White Plains City Court … seeking to evict Talley from the home and for a money judgement against Talley in the amount of $515,872.97 representing alleged arrears,” according to court papers.
Meanwhile, Talley filed his own complaint in January 2021, claiming that he wasn’t really renting the place at all but that he had a “gentleman’s agreement” with the pair that he would make a $120,000 initial payment, and then the home would be his after he paid them the purchase price over time.
In court papers he claimed he had paid $1,075,588 as of January 2020, as well as “hundreds of thousands of dollars to third parties to maintain and improve the home.”
The parties reached an amicable agreement prior to Talley’s death, which saved him from eviction. The matter was officially settled in March 2022, two months after he passed, according to reports.
Talley had said of the home in an affidavit, “The home is far more than just where I sleep and keep my belongings — it is, in its own right, a part of my life. Losing it would uproot the life that I have made here. It would be both devastating and disruptive.”
“Good bye darling André,” Von Furstenberg wrote in an Instagram post following Talley’s death. “No one saw the world in a more glamorous way than you did . No one was grander and more soulful than you were. The world will be less joyful now. I have loved you and laughed with you for 45 years…. I miss your loud screams …I love you soooo much.”
Page Six previously reported that von Furstenberg organized Talley’s memorial service.
She said during the ceremony, “You had more class and elegance than anyone I’ve ever met.” Friends laughed when she added, “We laughed and sometimes fought, as you weren’t always easy.”
The designer, along with supermodel Naomi Campbell, took the fashion giants remains back to his hometown of Durham, North Carolina, a week before the service.
She was also present for a memorial in Westchester.
Talley’s estate, which includes his trademark caftans, Louis Vuitton luggage, and pieces by Andy Warhol, is being auctioned off by Christie’s on February 15. Proceeds will go to the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and the Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Durham.