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Harry Potter actors, Ripple exec feud over home renovation plans

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“Harry Potter” actors Emma Thompson, Imelda Staunton, and Jim Broadbent aren’t happy with proposed renovation plans put forward by their neighbor, Ripple executive Sendi Young.

Harry Potter stars unite

According to documents submitted to the UK’s planning department and made available for public viewing on the council’s website, Young and her husband, Daniel — a Web3 specialist — have applied for permission to demolish a one-story building from the 1960s. The building, located adjacent to the Hampstead Cricket Club pitch, is to be replaced with a contemporary structure featuring aluminum cladding.

The envisioned residence includes provisions for the couple’s workspaces, four bedrooms, a playroom, a sun terrace, and a ground-floor living area that combines an open-plan kitchen and dining area.

The proposed project, according to the Camden New Journal, has been met with opposition from three “Harry Potter” film franchise actors, including Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney), Imelda Staunton (Professor Umbridge), and Jim Broadbent (Professor Slughorn).

They argue that the proposed development doesn’t match the architecture in the area.

Young, who joined Ripple about two years ago to oversee Europe, lives next door to the renowned actors, who claim that the renovation plans will cause damage to their own homes and the surrounding area. The movie stars have even enlisted the help of residents and environmental groups to fight the renovation push.

Thompson and her husband, Greg Wise, addressed the Camden Council, expressing their opinion that the proposed house design would be more suitable for Malibu than their Conservation Area: West Hampstead.

Staunton and her husband, Jim Carter, who played Mr. Carson in “Downton Abbey,” also conveyed their discontent with the house’s design, criticizing its excessive use of metal as inappropriate. They noted that the gray aluminum cladding resembled something you’d find in a light industrial estate rather than a conservation area filled with Edwardian houses.

According to emails sent separately but within minutes of each other to the Camden Council, Thompson and Broadbent expressed similar sentiments regarding Young’s envisioned home. They both argued that endorsing the proposed house design would establish a risky precedent for the neighborhood.

The actors also express concerns that the Youngs’ home could jeopardize the privacy and safety of female students in the vicinity, as the property is located at the back edge of a cricket field frequently used by girls from the nearby Hampstead High School. 

Staunton and Thompson and their spouses have openly raised questions about the safety of these students, particularly if the Youngs were allowed to have unobstructed views of the girls’ activities through the floor-to-ceiling windows on all three floors of their planned residence.

The dispute has not been resolved yet, and whether the executive can proceed with her renovation plans remains uncertain. However, the actors’ opposition campaign has garnered substantial support, underscoring the importance of assessing the effects of construction projects on local communities and the environment.

Ripple legal spats

In July, the Southern District Court of New York ruled partially in favor of Ripple in the firm’s ongoing case against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The SEC sued Ripple in December 2020, arguing that the project’s XRP offering represented the sale of an unregistered security. The agency also charged Ripple and two of its executives, Brad Garlinghouse and Christian Larsen, with selling unregulated securities to the public. 

The court ruled that Ripple putting XRP on exchanges for trading (and funding their operation with those sales) is not an investment contract. However, the regulator has signaled plans to appeal that ruling.

Earlier this month, Ripple contested the SEC’s bid for an interlocutory appeal, claiming that the agency’s request lacks merit as it does not meet the requisite criteria for certification.

Ripple argues against the SEC’s interpretation that Section 1292(b) excludes cases with factual disputes. Instead, Ripple asserts that this section is intended for interlocutory appeals in cases characterized by clear and well-defined legal issues rather than those entangled in intricate factual complexities. Consequently, Ripple contends that the SEC’s certification application should be denied.

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