Every so often, a scandal occurs that rocks those at the very top of high society – this is one such occasion.
In case you missed it, there’s quite the tale unfolding around William Lauder (the billionaire heir to the iconic Estee Lauder brand), socialite Taylor Stein and Stein’s 13-year-old daughter – who has revealed on social media that she is Lauder and Stein’s lovechild.
Now, Lauder is at the centre of two high-profile legal battles to cancel and take back benefits that he granted ex-mistress Stein in exchange for her secrecy, having reportedly promised to pay the socialite $1,000,000 per year to keep the identity of her child’s father under wraps.
Lauder is also looking to have Stein and the estranged pair’s child evicted from the opulent $7,000,000 Bel Air mansion that he purchased for them. The business giant believes that these rights should be relinquished, as the revelations recently made about Lauder by his daughter breech the terms of their 2007 agreements.
While this story, and the arguments involved, only just appears to be coming to a head, it has been over twenty years in the making.
Lauder met Taylor Stein at his mansion in Aspen, Colorado, back in 2000. Lauder was married to his former wife Karen Lauder at the time, though this didn’t prevent Lauder from pursuing an affair with Stein around a year later.
The pair’s secret went undetected for four years but they faced a problem after Taylor announced to Lauder that she was pregnant with his child. Shockingly, Lauder allegedly demanded that Stein have the baby aborted, as he was in the process of negotiating a settlement agreement with Karen, from whom he had recently filed for divorce.
Stein agreed, but it wasn’t long afterwards that she discovered she was pregnant once again, this time deciding to keep the child – she welcomed her baby girl in the spring of 2007. Lauder, however, was not supportive of the decision and made every effort to keep the birth of the baby a secret, for fear that it may interfere with his ongoing divorce. He quickly made arrangements to have Stein and her newborn moved to Aspen to avoid any unwanted attention from the media.
Lauder also drew up the aforementioned agreement to buy Stein’s secrecy regarding his identity for an annual payment of $1,000,000, another condition of the agreement being that she was not permitted to be within 100 yards of any member of the Lauder family.
However, it hasn’t always panned out that way – Stein and Lauder have been involved in legal battles previously. In 2013, Stein was sentenced to community service after reportedly punching Lauder in the face during an argument in LA and, in 2018, she took Lauder to court after alleging for the first time that he was attempting to evict herself and her daughter from their home. The pair have remained quiet regarding each other since, but their 13-year-old’s mention of their relationship online has acted as the catalyst for further drama between the two.
While Lauder is looking to dissolve agreements he made regarding the financial support that he provides to his former mistress, Stein has hit back with counterclaims of her own, alleging that Lauder has already breeched these agreements and, furthermore, that he has launched a campaign of harassment against her.
Stein even claims that her ex-lover hired the high-profile private detective Jack Palladino to spy on her before his untimely death following a robbery in February.
As of now, relations between the two are in a particularly contentious place, with the case exploring unresolved issues with seem to date back years – whether or not they’ll reach an agreement quietly, we’ll have to wait and see.