A former US Wilhelmina model claims her on-again, off-again relationship with a man in his 80s convinced her to ditch her career and move into her sprawling home in Rye.
He sometimes demanded sex 10 times a day, according to a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit, the New York Post reports.
Janet Bedin, 68, claims Vito Verni, 84, made an emotional switch between early 2019 and late 2021 “when they lived together as a couple” in the 5,000-square-foot Westchester mansion, the suit. he says
Bedin is now suing Verni for $80 million, charging a laundry list that includes defamation, fraudulent inducement, harassment and wrongful eviction, according to court documents.
Verni is fighting the process.
The civil suit paints the picture of a woman with a great career deceived by a man who swept her off her feet with promises of love and luxury that he did not fulfill.
Bedin even gave up his dog — because Verni had a cat — and worked like a horse, the complaint alleges.
“The Plaintiff was going to be 100% her caregiver. She wanted the Plaintiff to be available for all of her sexual needs, be her companion, wash her clothes, cook her meals. (It turned out that meant having sex, sometimes up to 10 times per day),” the suit says.
Over the years, Bedin “developed an exciting career well respected by executives and government leaders, traveling from New York to Italy,” the suit says.
From 1991 to 1995, she was executive director of the New York State Economic Office for Italy and Spain under former Governor Mario Cuomo. She served in that position again from 2015 to 2018.
“In that capacity, the plaintiff had the honor of meeting Pope Francis, Mother Teresa, the president and prime minister of Italy, the US ambassador to the Vatican and many others… [who she] continues to count as his friends,” the complaint says.
The duo had been “on and off” lovers for decades, according to the Oct. 26 filing.
In 1976, 21-year-old Bedin came to New York from Rockford, Illinois, “hoping to pursue her dream of modeling and acting,” the suit says. She started as a model for Wilhelmina before becoming a business development executive.
That same year, Bedin became a tenant in the building on 22 West 22nd Street that Verni, then 38, owned at the time, according to court documents.
The former model claims the seeds of the casual relationship were planted when Verni kept calling her to “inspect” the apartment, according to the lawsuit.
Verni “never wore a wedding ring and began kissing” Bedin in her apartment, “which led to a long and intimate relationship” that has been on and off since 1976, the suit says.
Bedin “broke up” with Verni several times, but the married man “continued to pursue her,” according to the complaint.
In late 2018, Verni called Bedin to inform him that his wife had died and he was “single now” and asked her out, the suit says. “Soon after, [Verni] pressured, tricked, induced” Bedin to leave New York City and live with him in his six-bedroom, six-bathroom estate “and to cease to be part of the workforce,” the lawsuit alleges.
Verni told Bedin that he wanted her to be with him “100% of the time” and that she should “just focus on him,” the lawsuit alleges. Verni allegedly promised to cover the bills of Bedin’s sick brother and promised: “we will travel, [at] their club, socialize with their friends, go to museums, take wine classes together.”
But once Bedin moved out, “the relationship changed,” the suit says, accusing Verni of becoming controlling and verbally and physically abusive.
The “knowledgeable and experienced New York City landlord of over 65 years” evicted Bedin, the explosive suit says.
Verni owns “many” apartment buildings in Manhattan, the Bronx, Connecticut and a new development in Harrison, NY, according to the complaint.
The suit alleges that Verni initially showered her with cards and letters and an emerald and diamond engagement ring, and “fraudulently induced her to abandon her career.”
In court documents related to the eviction, Verni called Bedin’s claims “a jolt” and said “we socialize a few days a week and nothing else.”
Verni’s attorney, Eric Grayson, said: “Ms. Bedin’s baseless lawsuit is just another attempt to harass Mr. Verni. Bedin filed almost exactly the same lawsuit in Westchester County Superior Court and last month it was dismissed by the judge Zuckerman in every case.”
Mr. Verni obtained 4 Orders of Protection against Ms. Bedin and at the last hearing, Judge Horowitz stated, “Ma’am, you really need to understand, you’re going to end up in jail and I’m surprised you haven’t already. . . It needs to stop.”
The Court has already given Mrs Bedin full warning and if she ends up in jail she has no one to blame but herself.”
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and is reproduced here with permission.
Originally published as Model sues man in 1980s, claims he demanded sex up to 10 times a day.