'Chopped'-winning celeb chef who didn't pay rent for over 4 years gets evicted

Madison Cowan speaking into a microphone.
Madison Cowan at the Alzheimer's Association Imagine Benefit in 2022.JP Yim/Getty Images
  • The celebrity chef Madison Cowan has been evicted after avoiding rent for more than four years.

  • Cowan used a pandemic moratorium and legal appeals to delay eviction from his Brooklyn apartment.

  • His landlord told the New York Post he was financially impacted by Cowan's $145,000 debt.

A celebrity chef who skirted rent payments for four and a half years has officially been evicted from his Brooklyn apartment, according to media reports.

Madison Cowan, who won the Food Network's "Chopped" in 2010 and "Iron Chef" in 2012, had already vacated his Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, apartment before the landlord and a city marshal arrived Tuesday morning to evict him under a court order, the New York Post reported.

Cowan's landlord told the Post that Cowan first moved into the one-bedroom, $2,700-a-month apartment in October 2019, but he hadn't paid any rent since January 2020.

In his first few years of rent-free living, Cowan took advantage of a pandemic-era eviction moratorium, and when that expired, he avoided five eviction orders by repeatedly filing appeals, the outlet reported.

Cowan chose not to appeal the judge's sixth eviction order delivered two weeks ago, the Post reported.

Cowan — whose website says he's catered for celebs such as Scarlett Johansson, Mos Def, and Halle Berry — told the judge in May that he was "seriously impacted by the pandemic," WABC reported.

"I couldn't get a job," he said, according to WABC. "It all went away."

But the more than $145,000 he owes is seriously impacting his landlord, Gus Sheha.

"We're just happy that he is out," Sheha told the Post. "I would hope others see this and understand what type of tenant he was and are not left in the same position I was."

"Unfortunately, it is small landlords who get hurt the most here and could potentially go bankrupt when you have tenants not paying the rent for four and a half years," Sheha added.

Sheha told the Post that he wasn't expecting to see any of the money Cowan owed him, adding that hiring another lawyer would be too expensive.

Issues between landlords and tenants have made national headlines this year.

In Queens, New York, a couple is in a legal battle with a man refusing to leave the $2 million home they recently purchased.

The squatter says he had permission from the previous owner to remain in the home.

Unfortunately for the couple, New York City law grants those who live at a residence for more than 30 days temporary rights, as they're seen as tenants.

The couple has struggled to remove the squatter and has been countersued for harassment.

In Texas, a man bought a home for $175,000 only to find the previous occupant still living there. And she wasn't alone; her pet goat was alongside her.

"I tried approaching the door, and it was a pretty big goat," he told Fox News. "It wasn't friendly either. I couldn't get past the damn goat."

Between October and February, a group of squatters stayed in a 5,875-square-foot mansion in Beverly Hills and were even making money by hosting parties and charging entrance fees that went up to $1,500. They also posted rooms for rent on Booking.com, charging $150 to $300 a night.

The four-bedroom home had a pool, a spa, and a cabana — a lush dwelling while not paying rent.

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