Marlborough Gallery Scion Max Levai Claims He’s Being Targeted for Extortion

Max Levai. Photo: Patrick McMullan.

Happy Ending, a Lower East Side restaurant and nightclub that opened last fall and quickly became an art world hot spot, has made headlines recently for two unfortunate incidents: in May, club manager Teddy Perweiler allegedly assaulted an ex-girlfriend on the premises, and on July 28, a young woman was allegedly raped in the bathroom of the bar by an employee.

The Observer reports that Max Levai, co-owner of the establishment and son of Marlborough Gallery owner Pierre Levai, believes the incidents may be “tied directly to repeated attempts to extort and embarrass the club owners and damage the business’s reputation.” Levai was not directly involved in either of the incidents.

An investigation regarding the alleged rape is ongoing. The victim, a 25-year-old employee of Danziger Gallery, alleges that a bar back at the establishment drugged her before following her into a bathroom and raping her. When she reported the incident to the NYPD, she was asked whether or not she was a “party girl,” according to Gothamist.

The case against Perweiler, in which ex-girlfriend Julia Fox alleged that he physically assaulted her and broke her cellphone, was adjourned ‘in contemplation of dismissal’ and Perweiler was ordered to pay $600.

Happy Ending.

Happy Ending.

Fox was also an investor in the nightclub, and Levai claims that she was offered “her full investment in the club back, but in return, she has demanded nearly double the amount and utilized harassment via text message, e-mail and social media, both towards the gallery and me personally.”

A fourth party furnished text messages to the Observer that seem to imply that Ms. Fox was trying to drum up more press coverage of the recent alleged rape “to embarrass the management of Happy Ending.”

Inside Happy Ending.

Inside Happy Ending.

“Max Levai, in an email to the Observer, noted the May argument between Ms. Fox and ex-boyfriend Mr. Perweiler, then the club’s manager, was “an event symptomatic of a long-term romantic relationship gone sour” and that it was unfortunate that the relationship ‘unraveled on the premises of Happy Ending.'”

Fox has not commented on the allegations, other than to say that she has reason to believe the alleged rape was not an isolated incident.

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