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He complained the apartment was "attic-like" with small windows, low ceilings, obstructed views and ugly drainage grates. He demanded the return of his $10.7 million deposit and $30 million in damages.
In a counter suit, El-Ad accused Vavilov of libel and demanded $36 million in damages.
The Plaza overlooks Central Park and has inspired writers such as Kay Thompson, author of the "Eloise" stories about a 6-year-old girl who lived at the hotel, and Neil Simon, who wrote the Broadway play and hit film "Plaza Suite."