Manhattan Actress Refuses to Leave $25M Southampton Estate

By James Fanelli on March 21, 2013 7:27am 

UPPER EAST SIDE — A Manhattan stage actress won't let the curtains fall on her late shipping-magnate husband's $25 million Southampton estate.

Tara Tyson Kulukundis, 51, has illegally locked herself inside the breathtaking beachfront property and refuses to leave — even though the home is in contract with a buyer and scheduled to close on Friday, new court papers charge.

The executors of her hubby's estate claim in the filing that for the past six weeks she has allegedly blocked movers, cleaners and real estate agents from entering the home, jeopardizing the $25 million sale.

Kulukundis, who has performed in New York theater and played bit roles in the '70s TV classics "Charlie's Angels" and "Starsky and Hutch," was married to M. Michael Kulukundis, the heir to a Greek shipping fortune who died in 2010. His will provided for his widow financially, but it didn't leave his properties to her.

At the time of his death, M. Michael Kulukundis' properties had a total value of $70 million and included another Southampton home, a swanky apartment in Fifth Avenue's Pierre Hotel and a five-story townhouse on East 67th Street.

The will's executors, Albert Sigal and Barbara De Mare, are selling the Southampton home at 320 Murray Place to raise cash to pay off the estate's $30.5 million mortgage debt and to support Tara Tyson Kulukundis' "extravagant lifestyle," the filing says.

In Monday's filing in Manhattan Surrogate's Court, they requested a court order to force her out of the five-bedroom, five-bathroom East End pad because she has "locked herself in" and turned away movers on four separate occasions in the past month.

On March 7, Tara Tyson Kulukundis' son, Eric, even offered to move his belongings from the home and persuade his mom to leave. The son cleared out antler chandeliers, a Cadillac Allante and three motorcycles, but he couldn't change his mom's mind, court papers say.

"Mrs. Kulukundis appears to be very resistant to the idea of moving out, and Eric is reluctant to do things which upset her," Eric's attorney wrote to the executors, according to the court papers.

The executors fear that if Friday's closing collapses, then the estate will pile up mortgage payments at $2,174 a day, plus additional charges of $20,000 a month, the documents show. The estate is also shelling out for a gardener, chauffeur, two housekeepers and other staff at both the Southampton home and the Pierre residence.

The executors have brought legal action in the past to get Mrs. Kulukundis to cooperate.

De Mare and Sigal got a court order in October to pry away the keys to the Southampton home from her. They then contracted with Sotheby's International Realty to find a buyer for the estate, which comes with an Olympic-size pool and two waterfall spas.

The executors' victory was short-lived because Mrs. Kulukundis later changed the locks on the home.

In 2011, she also refused to allow appraisers to assess the Southampton property's artwork for the preparation of a federal estate tax return, according to the filing. 

The executors also claim that in 2012, they informed Mrs. Kulukundis that they needed to sell the estate's sizeable art collection, which includes impressionist and modern paintings, to raise cash. So far, she has stalled on allowing Sotheby's agents from appraising them, court papers say. 

De Mare did not return a call for comment.

Mrs. Kulukundis' lawyer declined to comment.

In the 1970s, the actress performed in the Off-Broadway plays "Foreplay" and "Porno Stars at Home," according to movie database IMDB.com.

She was gossip fodder in a 1979 issue of New York magazine when she threatened to sue Elaine Kaufman, the late proprietor of Upper East Side eatery Elaine's, after a dust-up inside the literary hangout.

Kulukundis claimed Kaufman scratched her face as she tried to leave. Kaufman told the magazine that the actress' lit cigarette caused her dress to go up in flames.

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