Actress Audrina Patridge testified Tuesday that lawyers for her former Hollywood Hills neighbor, “How I Met Your Mother” star Josh Radnor, responded with an intimidating letter when she complained of improvements he was making on an easement she believed they were supposed to share.
Patridge said she was pregnant at the time and that she soon decided she did not want to pursue the matter further.
“I felt it was aggressive and kind of stressed me out,” Patridge said of the February 2016 letter. “After that, I didn’t want to deal with it anymore.”
The 34-year-old onetime cast member on “The Hills” was called as a witness in the Los Angeles Superior Court trial of a lawsuit brought against Radnor by his current neighbors, Scott and Diana Anderson, through a family company, Rancho Carlton Properties LLC.
The plaintiffs are seeking $1 million from Radnor for making a series of improvements in alleged violation of the terms of the longtime easement. They sued the 45-year-old actor in May 2017.
The couple bought the home from Patridge, who told jurors she lived at the home from 2008, after it had recently been built, and remained there until 2016, when she moved to Orange County to be closer to her parents.
According to plaintiffs’ attorney Sean Macias, previous owners of the Rancho Carlton home in 1965 granted an easement to the then-owner of the Radnor home to build a walkway and a barbecue. But after he bought the home, Radnor demolished the existing deck, brick walkway and barbecue, built a larger wood deck, added a cantilever and seating area and converted the existing barbecue into a much taller fireplace.
The modifications were done without building permits and caused the easement to be terminated, Macias said.
In her testimony, Patridge said she believed she could be liable if someone was hurt because of the work on the easement.
“I wanted to fix the problem,” she said.
But she said the hostile tone of the correspondence from Radnor’s attorneys convinced her it was not worth the fight, so she wrote a letter back saying she was no longer claiming the easement was terminated.
“Basically I was standing down from the issue and I was focusing on me and my health,” she said.
Patridge said Radnor was unfriendly to her from the time she moved in, citing as an example his reaction when he saw filming outside her home.
“Is this how it’s always going to be?,” Radnor asked, according to Patridge.
Patridge’s home was burglarized on Oscar night in 2009 by members of the “bling ring,” a group of teenagers and young adults based in an around Calabasas. The break-in was capture on Patridge’s home surveillance video.
Radnor has countersued Rancho Carlton Properties, asking that he be left alone and allowed to enjoy his property without interference from his neighbors. His attorney, Edith Matthai, told jurors that he made the improvements because conditions on the easement were unsightly and unsafe. She said there were termites in the wood of the previous deck and some of the bricks in the walkway were raised and could cause someone to trip.
Radnor acknowledged in testimony earlier Tuesday that he took photos of Scott Anderson outside his neighbor’s home when he saw him cleaning the area near the easement.
“I didn’t know what he was doing,” Radnor said. “I found it odd. This was an area that for a decade my gardeners had cleared.”
Radnor said he sent the photos to his lawyers.
Radnor said he believes he has the right to use the easement and make the modifications he has in order to make the surface and railings safer. He also said he would be open to paying his neighbors for the exclusive use of the easement.
“I would like nothing more than to buy this land from them,” said Radnor, who has lived at the home since 2007.
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