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Ricki Lake Sued -- You Burned Down My Beach House!

6/11/2011 5:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

What does Ricki Lake have in common with the Exxon Valdez? Each is responsible for a super-destructive, wildly expensive oil spill ... allegedly.

Ricki Lake Lawsuit

Lake is being sued for allegedly making a HUGE mistake with some flammable heating oil ... and causing the fire that burned down the Malibu beach house she was renting back in 2010.

According to the lawsuit filed by the owner of the home ...  Lake was refilling a portable space heater when she spilled the oil on the hot heating coils -- and the oil burst into flames. The fire quickly ripped through the entire property. 
Ricki Lake
In the lawsuit, filed Monday in L.A. County Superior Court, the owner, Hovsep Kousouyan, claims Lake spoke with emergency personnel who responded to the fire -- and she admitted the whole thing was her fault.

Kousouyan says his beach house was completely destroyed in the blaze -- and wants Lake to pay for all of the damages ... which could be in the millions.

Calls to Lake's rep have not been returned.


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wow, some of u are nuts. of course the homeowner has insurance, but why uses his when the fire was caused by ricki lake. it's very likely the guy was advised by his insurance company to sue ricki lake directly. look, insurance doesn't cover everything, suing whoever caused the fire is the only way to recoup 100% of his loss.

1193 days ago


The lengths some people will go to say they live in Malibu. That place looks like a shack rather than a home. The heater was probably a kerosene heater, which are perfectly safe to use if one takes the proper precautions. Filling the heater while the device is on isn't one of the precautions, however.

1193 days ago


@ Sinne your right but renters insurance also includes LIABILITY coverage. Ricki is liable for the damages she caused to the property she was renting....the liability coverage on the renters policy should cover it...depending on how much coverage she had....hopefully she has an umbrella policy too!!

1192 days ago


Bunny1 day ago

First, he doesn't have to use his insurance, but duh.

Second, Rikki is responsible, no question. Her insurance pays, then promptly drops her. She goes back to work to pay for it. Case closed. Why is there a problem here?

When was the last time Ricki Lake worked? Why do you think she was renting? Time for her to start washing cars with Octomom,or make a Vivid porn tape like Chyna.

1192 days ago

In L.A.    

I agree with a previous commenter, the house is a crappy 60 year old 600 square foot (aka Charming in landlord marketing speak) house that was obviously not valuable enough to get insurance, nor even update with proper code standards for heating. Riki, let this be a lesson about renting crummy little dog houses, even if they are in Malibu.

1192 days ago


Again -- no insurance? And how easily could that happen to ANYONE using a heater like that. In NC you can't have a house that isn't insured for fire - is it not the same there. I would let the insurance pay for it if I had insurance and maybe Ricki could offer something like paying the amount increased on the fire insurance policy for a time period. When you rent out a house to folks or heck live in one yourself - you never know what can happen. It isn't like she did it on purpose. This could be settled in a better way than court.

1191 days ago


Okay, accidents happen and the good news is that Ricki, her two sons and dog were not hurt. The bad news for the owner is that his land is fine and I don't give a flying &%$* what he thinks, I can tell you that even in Malibu to rebuild or bring him back to what he had with that old, board and batten beach house is not going to run 'into the millions' to rebuild. ANNNNND, if Ricky has to heat the damn place with an oil burning heater it's clearly old, drafty and he should have provided a way of safely heating the house if it was so cold. There's a fine line between holding someone responsible and trying to go for a money grab.

1191 days ago


Worth millions? A beach house without adequate heating worth millions? Who says corporations are the only greedy ones.

1191 days ago

Hal Skinner    

It amazes me when I read about a fire like this. Why didnt the owner paint the interior with a fire retardant paint? It's usually the paint that allows the fire to spread and spread quickly. The fire would not spread like it did and damage would be minimal. We have video where a fire department drenched a wall with gas / diesel fuel. It was painted with the fire retardant paint THEY COULD NOT GET IT TO IGNITE AT ALL. The home owner should think about that before throwing out lawsuits so quickly.

1191 days ago


@K-Dog...Ricky was pulling in $10 Million per year the last five years of her show. She has an estate in Brentwood and she was likely renting short-term at the beach for a fun time with her two young sons. Methinks Ricki doesn't have to work another day in her life since she worked hard on her show and was rewarded as she should have been since the syndicators made a ton on her show. She's a great gal and your catty comments speak volumes about you, not her.

1191 days ago

Victor Benavides    

The Insurance company probably does not want to pay for her negligence?

1191 days ago


The property may be worth millions, but it shouldn't cost anything near that to rebuild the house itself.

1191 days ago


what if she over threw a baseball and broke a window? Do you ignoramuses think he should file an insurance claim instead of her paying for it? Just plain stupid.

If she burned my house down as a result of very stupid negligence and there is a witness to her confessing this stupidity, then she should pay for it. If you don't agree, watch her cough up the money, or she get slapped with a court order to pay.

given her physical enormity, she can't trip and fall through a wall and not expect to pay for having the drywall replaced, spackled (like her face), and painted.

Why the hell should he file a claim, and pay higher premiums as a result, or possibly get cancelled by the insurance company? Is she going to pay the difference when his premiums go up?

1191 days ago


Why shouldn't she have to pay? This is how it works for everyone else, too. When a renter's negligence causes the property damage, the renter (or ideally, the liability coverage on his/her renter's insurance) is responsible for it. If she had renter's insurance then she should be covered. Otherwise, it sucks to be both of them because she'll be on the hook for the damages and probably end up with a judgment or bankruptcy and the owner will probably never see the money.

1191 days ago


Ricky should Sue the heater company for putting an obviously defective and dangerous production on the market; How much was Ricky Lake's fault will have to be determined, but it appears some shared responsibility here.

1191 days ago
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