A mother has sued the party-planning friend of Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice, claiming that she hasn't returned more than $33,000 intended for her son's bar mitzvah.
The lawsuit against Elvira Grau, her husband and their business partner, Andrew Zang, was filed this week after the alleged incident began in January 2019.
Barrie Granito, a single mother and Upper East Side real-estate agent, told Page Six that she paid Grau $35,510 to host a bar mitzvah for her young son.
But after the party was rescheduled - and eventually canceled - due to the coronavirus pandemic, Grau allegedly wouldn't refund the money.
Barrie Granito (left), a New York City real estate agent, has filed a lawsuit against Elvira Grau, the party-planning friend of Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice
Pictured: Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice (left) and Elvira Grau (right)
According to Page Six, Grau is friends with local TV celebrity Teresa Giudice and has made appearances on the long-running Bravo series.
Grau, who owns Space New Jersey in Englewood, also organized events for Giudice.
Granito said that she planned to hold her son's special party at Grau's newest Manhattan location, Space 54.
'I knew that Elvira was known in New Jersey for creating exciting parties, so I made an appointment and had a hard-hat tour [while Space 54] was still being built,' Granito told Page Six. 'I got really excited.'
Granito alleged in the lawsuit and to Page Six that she planned to hold her son's bar mitzvah celebration at Space 54 (pictured), one of the Graus newest locations
Her mother's dying wish, said Granito, was for her grandson to have a bar mitzvah.
'I signed a contract, and I left a deposit of $7,500 for a May 15, 2020 party,' Granito told Page Six.
According to documents viewed by the publication, the contract detailed that 'if Space 54 fails to comply … due to any event or act outside and beyond the scope of Space 54’s control, [venue] liability shall be limited to a refund of the deposit.'
Marc Held, Granito's attorney, claimed that this meant all of the deposit money.
Granito and Grau, 50, agreed to a $40,000 deal that included several accommodations, including catering for 140 guests, a DJ, games, dancers, staff and equipment for the religious ceremony.
She paid all the deposits in cash and kept invoices of the transactions at Grau's request, Page Six reports.
'I didn’t really think about it. I just went along with everything,' Granito told Page Six.
But then, Granito reportedly received a call from Grau in the second week of