Nearly since he purchased the property in 2011, real estate developer Mohamed Hadid, who happens to also be the father of none other than sister-supermodels Gigi and Bella Hadid, has been embroiled in a conflict with the City of Los Angeles over his construction of a massive mansion in the hills of Bel Air.
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported he was finally sentenced to 200 hours of community service, three years’ probation, and approximately $3,000 in fines, in addition to a sum paid to the city to compensate for building department costs, after he pled no-contest to the charges levied against him in May.
Hadid’s yet-incomplete mansion, a sprawling, 30,000-square-foot Bel Air complex, looms over the neighborhood, nearly two times taller than its permits allowed and allegedly threatening the homes below. According to the prosecution for the case, the house also had balconies, bedrooms, and an entire IMAX movie theater that had not been approved by the city (so at least when its next billionaire owner is placed under house arrest, they will be able to watch Dunkirk in its final form); when the city rescinded building permits, construction continued regardless.
It earned the nickname the “Starship Enterprise” from “outraged neighbors,” as the New York Times described the building’s opponents in a 2015 investigative piece. (Other Los Angeles residents, feeling the “mega-mansion” didn’t accurately convey the scale of the massive homes that have been constructed around the city in recent years, instead coined the term “giga-mansion.”)
Over the past few years, neighbors have documented landslides descending from the hill where the mansion is being built and have complained of the sound of jackhammers. In addition to the sanctions placed on Hadid himself, the court ordered him to hire an engineer to work on stabilizing the hillside. The judge did not decide whether Hadid will have to pay the cost for demolition if construction cannot be finished within the city’s limitations.
Hadid, who did not appear in court for sentencing Thursday, is represented by Robert Shapiro—the same lawyer who represented O.J. Simpson in 1995, and who now represents the Kardashians. Shapiro described the so-called “Starship Enterprise” as “safe as any building that’s ever been built,” according to the Los Angeles Times. “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.”
Still, it’s estimated the building could take as much as three and a half more years to complete, and, as Jezebel noted Thursday evening, the sentence is functionally a “slap on the wrist.” Whatever the result, this drama is certainly not going to appear on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Bella Hadid, a bubble bath, and Jenga—what more could you want?