The Informant: Bart Blatstein’s Wife Files for Divorce
Welcome to The Informant, our new gossip column from longtime Philly Mag reporter Victor Fiorillo. Each week, The Informant will bring you the tantalizing tidbits and sensational stories that those in the know are talking about behind the scenes. Got a tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
[UPDATE, 2:20 p.m., January 28th]: Jil Blatstein has withdrawn her divorce filing.
While many of us are starting to think about what to get our significant other for Valentine’s Day (remember: it’s February 14th, gents), something tells us that mega-developer Bart Blatstein isn’t shopping for slinky negligees or chocolate bonbons for the missus. Court records indicate that Jil Blatstein, 59, has filed for divorce after more than 35 years of marriage to her husband, who is 61.
Rumors of the couple’s impending marital doom had been swirling around for some time. The Blatsteins aren’t talking about the split (so much for a good old-fashioned War of the Roses-style separation), but the smart money has Jil keeping their longtime Gladwyne manse and Bart getting the premium pad he’s been building on Rittenhouse Square, which includes plans for a basketball half-court in the basement. Gotta stay in shape for the ladies, Bart.
“They have been very private about it,” a prominent friend of the Blatsteins tells The Informant. “I’m sure it’s sensitive with all the moves he is making.”
Moves, indeed. In addition to his already vast real estate empire, Bart took over the Pier at Caesars in Atlantic City, debuting The Playground there last summer, and he just paid a cool $23 million for the former Showboat casino. He’s also got major developments afoot in Fishtown, on Washington Avenue and on Columbus Boulevard.
They say that divorce is always hardest on the children, and the Blatsteins have raised two of them. Jenna, 29, designs lingerie under the brand Jenna Leigh (sadly, she opened her first boutique in the now decaying Revel), while 31-year-old Ryan seems to have a penchant for posting photos of himself with famous people, having shared pics of himself hanging out with the likes of Gloria Allred, in Puerto Rico with Maxwell, and court-side with World B. Free so far in 2016.
The Canno “Conspiracy”
Developer Arnold Galman might not have the name recognition of Bart Blatstein, but his property portfolio isn’t exactly unimpressive, and it’s earned him his own lavish abode in Bryn Mawr, a recently acquired $2.25 million getaway in a gated community (of course) in Boca Raton, and a beachfront home in Longport.
Through his 36-year-old Galman Group, the silver-haired CEO controls condos and apartment complexes all over Philadelphia, its suburbs and Delaware, and now he’s locked in a legal battle with a familiar Rittenhouse pair: Matt and Gabrielle Canno, whose roofdeck parties overlooking the square are the stuff of legend.
In addition to being one of Rittenhouse Square’s prettiest couples, the thirtysomething Cannos have their own eponymous architecture and design firm, with a client list that includes Free People, Charlie Was a Sinner, Milkboy, and, yep, Arnold Galman, who hired the Cannos to work on his Longport home.
According to a lawsuit that Galman has filed against the Cannos individually as well their firm, Galman paid the Cannos close to $100,000 and was none too happy with the results, accusing the Cannos (whose attorneys did not respond to a request for comment) of perpetrating an “unlawful bait and switch scheme” and of conspiracy.
The lawsuit goes on to accuse Gabrielle of “using buzz words and technical terms to falsely represent that she had actual knowledge and experience … to design high end custom [built] homes.” Galman claims that he had to spend tens of thousands of dollars on top of the Cannos’ fee to clean up the mess he says they made, a mess that includes “tile selection” and “incorrect color paneling.” The horror!
AMEX Fugitive Tori Spelling in Philly
How do you celebrate a $37,981.97 lawsuit being filed against you? Well, if you’re bona fide celebrity D-lister Tori Spelling, you come to Philly and party hardy.
Just days after American Express walloped her with a suit claiming that she has a balance of close to $38,000 and hasn’t paid a dime of it since last summer, the 90210-princess-turned-reality-show-train-wreck arrived in our fair town last week.
She shopped (presumably using the Mastercard), she rode around in a limo — like an actual stretch limo, not an Uber “limo” — with some obliterated-looking friends, she posted aerial selfies (below), she ate and drank at Monk’s per restaurant management (hey, at least she has good taste in bars), and she did all of the other things that you’d expect from someone so utterly fabulous.
But it turns out that Spelling wasn’t actually here just to party. The Informant was told that her visit was part of some new television deal. We wait with bated breath.
We’ve Been Outsourced!
On Tuesday, we told you about the laughably bad new tourism commercial released by Visit Philadelphia, and now we’ve found yet another reason to hate it. We asked Visit Philadelphia CEO Meryl Levitz what firm produced this abomination, and she told us Red Tettemer, the popular Philadelphia ad agency. But that’s not the whole story. As Visit Philadelphia spokesperson Arturo Varela confirms, while the creative agency assigned to the spot was Red Tettemer, both the production company and the director hail from California. For shame!