October 28, 2011 8:56am PT by Eriq Gardner
Lawsuit Claims Company Was Duped Into Hosting Vanity Fair Oscar Event
In Hollywood, stories abound of D-list celebrities trying to pay good money to get into the exclusive Vanity Fair Oscar party. A new lawsuit provides an odd twist on that level of desperation.
J. Ben Bourgeois Productions was sued Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court for allegedly tricking another company into handing over a luxurious private estate for free so it could be used as the location of a Vanity Fair Oscar event. The plaintiff in this lawsuit allegedly got nothing but starry nights and broken dreams for lending its lavish residence while JBB is said to have walked away with a cool $75,000 facility fee.
The plaintiff in this case is Accomplice Lifestyle, an upstart personal management company which says it has created a new business model blending "lifestyle fulfillment" with a private estate club for high net worth individuals. Whatever that means.
To grow its brand, Accomplice consulted JBB, which supposedly advised that it would be a "great opportunity" to lend its renowned Delfern Estate for Vanity Fair's exclusive Oscar viewing party.
Accomplice says the company was promised to be made a "marketing partner" of Vanity Fair, so it could showcase its services to "all chairs and presidents of the top luxury brands."
So Accomplice went ahead with the idea, according to the lawsuit, not only handing over the residence of company CEO Elizabeth Mazzochi for free, but also obtaining insurance for the event and paying JBB a $37,500 deposit on its consulting fee.
According to the claims, JBB then attempted to conceal Accomplice's involvement, telling Vanity Fair that Mazzochi was merely the home's "groundskeeper," which the complaint calls a blatant lie concocted to denigrate Accomplice and deter Vanity Fair reps from communicating with the company.
So on the day of the Oscars, Mazzochi says she sent an email to Vanity Fair asking for information. In response, an associate publisher of creative services allegedly called Mazzochi back and told her that the publication had never heard of Accomplice nor Mazzochi.
The event is said to have happened at Mazzochi's compound (despite much evidence that the official Vanity Fair Oscar event happened at the Sunset Tower in West Hollywood) and cost the company a great deal of money. Accomplice, represented by attorney Michael Kernan, is now suing for breach of contract, fraud and deceit, negligent misrepresentation, intentional and negligent interference, and unjust enrichment.
Mazzochi isn't the first person to be left out in the cold on Oscar night. The Vanity Fair event is reputed to have top security preventing all those not on the invite list from coming in and hobnobbing with Hollywood elite. Well, there was that reporter who snuck into the party with a pig, claiming it was the star beast from Babe. Talk about lifestyle fulfillment.