The billionaire heir to cosmetics giant Estée Lauder is ramping up his bitter legal battle with his former partner after their 13-year-old daughter referred to the family’s dirty laundry in a social media post.
The court conflict between Estée Lauder chairman William Lauder, 60, and socialite Taylor Stein, 54, was laid bare in a New York Post article published Saturday.
Lauder is reportedly asking the Los Angeles Superior Court to kick Stein out of the $7million, 6,000-square-foot Bel Air mansion he purchased for her.
He is also trying to terminate a 2007 settlement agreement under which he promised to pay Stein $1million a year to keep the identity of their love child shrouded in secrecy.
Lauder allegedly claims that Stein violated the agreement when their daughter described her parents as being ‘divorced’ in a social media post last December.
Billionaire cosmetics heir William Lauder (left) is ramping up his bitter legal battle with his former partner Taylor Stein (right) after their 13-year-old daughter referred to the family’s dirty laundry in a social media post, a new report claims
Lauder and Stein’s fraught relationship is described in detail in the Post article, citing heavily-redacted court documents and sources with knowledge of the situation.
The couple met Lauder’s mansion in Aspen in 2000, when he was still married to his wife Karen.
Lauder and Stein began an affair the following year. She became pregnant in 2005, and Lauder allegedly told her to have an abortion because he was in the middle of negotiating a settlement agreement with his wife, whom he divorced in 2009, the Post reported.
Stein – the daughter of New York City nightclub entrepreneur Howard Stein – got pregnant a second time in 2006, and welcomed a baby girl the following spring.
Desperate to keep the birth under wraps, Lauder allegedly sent Stein and the baby to Aspen to keep them out of the ‘gossip press’, the Post reported.
He also drew up an agreement that would see Stein receive an annual payment of $1million if she did not publicly disclose the identity of her child’s father and stayed at least 100 yards away from any member of the Lauder family in Aspen, Palm Beach, and New York.
Stein took Lauder to court in 2018 and alleged that he had reneged on their settlement deal and was attempting to kick her and her daughter out of their Bel Air home.
By November 2020 they appeared to have reached a truce, with Stein’s attorney drafting a letter to the judge stating that the case had been settled, according to the Post.
William Lauder is pictured with his billionaire philanthropist father Leonard A Lauder at the Lincoln Center Corporate Fashion Gala in New York City in November 2019
Taylor Stein (second right) attends the LEVIEV Party for ‘GLAMOUR GIRLS’ at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles in 2008 with Patrick McMullan (left), Lara Shriftman (second left), and Dean Winters (right)
However the feud was apparently reignited the following month when the couple’s daughter mentioned their relationship online.
Lauder saw the post as a clear violation of his demands for strict secrecy, a source told the Post.
Lauder’s attorney, Thomas Nolan, wrote in January legal filings that the aforementioned November settlement was not ‘formal’.
Stein’s lawyers hit back: ‘How is it that suddenly, almost 2½ months after the fact, “Looks good” has been transformed by Lauder into, in essence, “Looks terribly wrong?”‘
Stein has now again accused Lauder of breaching their court-brokered arrangement to support her.
She also claims that Lauder launched a harassment campaign against her, including by hiring high-profile private detective Jack Palladino to spy on her, a source said.
The latest developments in the couple’s legal battle came eight years after Stein and Lauder engaged in a shouting match on a street in Los Angeles, which ended with her punching him in the face.
Stein ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge and served 19 days of community service.
Stein has now again accused Lauder of breaching their court-brokered arrangement to support her