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The father of supermodels Gigi and Bella Hadid has avoided jail after being accused of flouting planning laws with a 30,000-square-foot mega mansion he built in one of Los Angeles’ most exclusive neighbourhoods.
Millionaire developer Mohamed Hadid was ordered to serve 200 hours of community service and pay more than £11,500 in fines and restitution to the city.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Eric Harmon told Mr Hadid he would go to jail if he did not comply with the court order, which changes to the gigantic house on a Bel Air hillside – dubbed “Starship Enterprise” by neighbours – so it meets regulations.
Mr Hadid is the former husband of Yolanda Hadid, an American-Dutch former model and TV personality best know for her appearances on reality show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. The couple had three children, Gigi, Bella and Anwar, who all become models.
Construction was stopped three years ago after Mr Hadid was cited for building a house that was bigger than the city allows. The mansion had bedrooms, decks and an IMAX theater that were never approved, according to court documents.
Neighbours fought to stop the construction, fearing the illegal over-building could cause landslides that would destroy surrounding homes.
Some complained the punishment was “a slap on the wrist”.
Steve Twining, president of the Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council, called the sentence “atrocious”.
“He should be in jail,” Mr Twining told the Los Angeles Times. “He violated the city’s ordinances over and over again.”
“We’ve basically just escalated this situation to the supervision of the court, and all I can hope for is that we may still yet see ordinances complied with,” said Bel Air resident Daniel Love.
“At least it will be supervised by the judge and the prior threats by Mr Hadid – that he would walk away and simply let it rot if he didn’t get his way – I think the judge will be on top of not letting him do that,” added Joe Horacek, another neighbour.
Mr Hadid pleaded “no contest” to three counts of violating building regulations and ignoring orders to stop construction.
Prosecutors had asked for him to be jailed for 180 days – 60 days for each offence.
Mr Hadid, who did not attend the hearing, has been given three years to secure proper permits and finish the job.
“We’re interested in one thing and one thing only – bringing this building into compliance,” his lawyer Robert Shapiro said after the sentencing hearing.
“I can assure you that when this building is complete, it will be one of the most beautiful homes in Bel-Air, if not the country,” he added.
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