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Angelyne flips wig over mail flap

The Hollywood personality says an L.A. agency reneged on an offer to let her keep her mailing address. She wants $403,566 to reprint photos, posters and other promotional materials.

August 29, 2009|Bob Pool

Hollywood billboard queen Angelyne knows what's going to be on the next giant-sized sign she puts up in L.A.

Along with her buxom-blond image will likely be a stark message to the city: "Stop hijacking my fan mail!"

The Tinseltown personality best known for billboards that promote her Barbie Doll figure and her name alleges that the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency reneged on a promise to let her keep her longtime mailing address after evicting her to make way for a new Hollywood luxury hotel project.

As a result, fan mail is being stamped "return to sender" and is not delivered.

That's more than just an ego thing for a voluptuous personality who tools around town in a hot-pink Corvette.

Income from $20 fan club memberships, $10 autographed photos and $45 lipstick "kissed" posters that she sells has completely evaporated, she said.

Angelyne and 35 other tenants of buildings at the corner of Selma Avenue and Vine Street were removed by the redevelopment agency in 2007 to provide space for the $500-million W Hotel and housing project now under construction.

When she was ousted from her office of 18 years, Angelyne was told that mail addressed to the old location would be forwarded to her.

That happened for about a year. But ever since May, not one piece of fan mail or purchase order has found its way to her new Hollywood Boulevard office, she said.

"I get at least 10 letters a day from people wanting my merchandise," Angelyne said. "But then it stopped. Finally one fan saw me in person and mentioned that his letter had been returned to him."

After that, she and an assistant mailed a series of test letters to the Selma address. All were sent back as undeliverable by the post office -- which routinely forwards mail for a maximum of one year.

Two weeks ago, Angelyne complained to the redevelopment agency and demanded it pay $403,566 so that photos, posters and other promotional materials bearing the old Selma address can be reprinted. She also asked for $50,000 in compensation for loss of business.

On Friday, the agency denied responsibility. "The obligation to forward the mail was expressly the responsibility" of the project's developers, said Carol Chiodo, of the redevelopment agency.

In any event, "Angelyne waived all rights and benefits" by signing last year's agreement and is not entitled to anything else, Chiodo said.

Not so, said real estate relocation consultant Thomas Zia, who is representing Angelyne.

"The inventory is now obsolete," Zia said. And last year's mail-forwarding agreement expressly gives her the right to seek damages from the agency if any party "defaults" on the mail delivery pact, he said.

Developer Scott Walter, whose Legacy Partners apartment project is being built on the site of Angelyne's former office, said mail is no longer being forwarded because no letters to Angelyne are arriving.

"Legacy's responsibility is to forward any mail that Legacy receives. We haven't received any mail for her recently," Walter said Friday.

Angelyne's next move is to file a lawsuit, said Zia. The legal papers won't be served by mail.

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bob.pool@latimes.com

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