New York baseball legend David Cone is putting again against allegations his longtime love Taja Abitbol deliberately began a fireplace of their Upper West Side condominium to land a task on “Real Housewives of New York.”
He referred to as such fees — which stemmed from the small, November 2019 blaze — “surreal.”
A neighbor, Daniel Rice, accused her in a July lawsuit of environment the blaze deliberately, so she’d have a tale to percentage all over an look on ABC’s “Tamron Hall Show” the following day.
Heavy water injury from the incident brought about $320,000 injury to Rice’s condominium under Abitbol and Cone’s. The Army vet and Purple Heart recipient claimed in courtroom papers Abitbol was once looking to “advance her candidacy” for RHONY.
“I didn’t pay a lot of attention to it, because to me it was so frivolous and so bizarre I just assumed it was a play on money or a play on insurance from the beginning,” Cone stated of the claims this week. “I thought it was pretty ridiculous sounding.”
Abitbol, 50, has now filed a defamation lawsuit against Rice.
Rice’s claims have ruined her popularity, Abitbol stated, scuttled or not on time her industry ventures, and nearly averted the circle of relatives from leasing a brand new condominium in Miami.
“It’s like a rippling effect. It just keeps lingering and it’s all false,” she stated.
The fireplace started after the astrology-loving Abitbol lit a candle for her standard morning meditation throughout the circle of relatives’s 4 bed room, 4 bathtub, $6.3 million 14th-floor luxurious condominium on West End Ave.
She blew it out after a couple of mins and was once getting the couple’s then 7-year-old son, Sammy, in a position for varsity when the circle of relatives spotted an extraordinary scent.
“It smelled nothing like a candle. We checked the oven, we checked outside … We couldn’t tell. There was just an odd smell we could not pinpoint,” she stated.
After Abitbol and son Sammy activate for varsity, Cone, 59, stated, “black smoke was once coming throughout the vents. I ran throughout the condominium, discovered there was once a small fireplace within the eating room, And the sprinklers kicked on.
“When you’re in a hi-rise, certainly it is terrifying,” he recalled, talking publicly for the primary time concerning the fireplace. “The problem is the sprinklers didn’t go off for a while, so there was a lot of water. … At that point there were puddles of water throughout the apartment. Immediately the super was at my door, shortly thereafter, the Fire Department. Obviously everything we had in the apartment was pretty much ruined and we had to move out.”
Abitbol, who could also be suing the construction for what she believes are faulty sprinklers, returned from her college run to search out the construction elevators shutdown, the FDNY available, and a soaked Cone.
“It appears this candle was burning from the inside and literally melted through the table,” stated Abitbol, a one time restaurateur who has labored in actual property and now runs a diet infusion industry referred to as TajaDrip.
She’s since handed a polygraph examination confirming she didn’t deliberately reason the hearth, in line with her Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit against Rice, which seeks unspecified damages.
Rice steered a fireplace marshal to analyze the incident as an arson, however the FDNY declared it unintended, Abitbol claims in courtroom papers.
Adding to the aggravation, Abitbol stated, had been studies on the time pronouncing she and Cone had break up — claims she attributed to miscommunication.
“Our relationship has been the same since we started,” she insisted. “I wear a ring, we’re engaged. We just never got married.”
Cone stated he and Abitbol “have been domestic partners for a while, we still are.”
The baseball broadcaster, who pitched for each the New York Mets and the Yankees all over a 17-year occupation in Major League Baseball, stated his dwelling within the Big Apple whilst his spouse and son reside in Florida made issues “a little trickier,” including “we try to make it work.”
“The accusations here are totally false and have affected every aspect of Taja and her family’s life. She’s a mother, a business woman and an active member of her community and needed to clear her name,” stated circle of relatives lawyer Eric Lerner.
Lawyers for Rice didn’t reply to a request for remark.