Here's a story that makes the seemingly charmed lives of interior designers—jet-set travels! beautiful houses! superhuman Twitter feeds!—come plummeting back to Earth: last week, New York-based designer Micky Hurley and his wife were sued by their former nanny, who says "she was forced into virtual slavery," "imprisoned her in a room with their children," and "physically abused every day by the three brats she was caring for," according to the Post.
Now the Chilean news site The Clinic has uncovered
another thorn in Hurley's side a 2010 email exchange with Roque Rodríguez, a Chilean photographer who shot some of Hurley's work the year before. Hurley reached out about seeing the photos, Rodríguez replied that he'd deliver the photos after being paid the outstanding $240 he said he was still owed, and Hurley replied, "Stop with your nonsense. I DO NOT OWE YOU ANYTHING!!!! How am I going to PAY if you don't deliver the job to me."
Eventually the exchange escalated into this email from Hurley, translated into English by Gawker:
So, who is this guy, anyway? The Observer profiled the Hurleys' apartment in April, painting it with a rather rosy glow:
"Color flares across homes designed by Micky like the sweep of a bullfighter's cape, coating rooms arranged with antiques and oil paintings. Say ciao to austere upholstery and restrained behavior: In Hurley's world, life is splashed with Champagne (it doesn't matter what vintage as long as it is poured into beautiful glasses), lit by candles and filled with books, interesting people, gorgeous children (the Hurleys have four of them) and family photographs in silver frames." One of his projects at the time was an 1891 Brooklyn apartment filled with elegant, expensive Fortuny fabrics: "It may all sound very grand and aristocratic, but money is not the currency here–chic is, and above all, authenticity. 'Living fantastically' is a favorite phrase of Micky's." And then: "After all, the most charming accessory in a Hurley & Company interior is probably the Hurleys themselves."
For a glimpse of Hurley's portfolio, head to the—wait, actually, after this whole hullabaloo the official site is down.
· Fotógrafo confirma que esposo de Malú Custer -nieta de Agustín Edwards- lo trató de "roteque" y "bisnieto de costurera" [The Clinic via Gawker]
· Color Me Bad: Micky Hurley and Malu Hurley's Exuberant Design [NYO]
· Chilean nanny claims Upper East Side socialites kept her as a slave [NYP]