NYC ‘grifter,’ roomie spend first week after squatter’s return


The accused “serial grifter” and squatter who a judge has allowed to return to a West Village apartment spent her first night bizarrely spritzing and scouring the walls, her weary roommate reports.

Kate Gladstone, who re-entered the Barrow Street pad Aug. 23, poked her head out of the apartment window Saturday morning, and got a delivery from Whole Foods, but otherwise didn’t emerge.

Her first night back in the pad was Thursday, roommate Heidi Russell told The Post.

When she finally settled in, Gladstone spent hours blasting music, spraying air freshener until 1 a.m. and seemingly scrubbing walls, Russell said.

Video provided by Russell shows a woman in a pink top and black leggings wiping at a wall, ignoring pleas to lower the volume.

“Kate I’m asking you nicely to please turn down the music,” Russell can be heard asking in the clip, as Gladstone pays no mind.

In another recorded encounter, Gladstone repeatedly enters the common area of the two-bedroom pad, covering her mouth and nose with her shirt while propping open a door and returning to her bedroom. She emerges once more with a mask and begins spraying what appears to be air freshener, ignoring Russell.

“It’s so toxic in here,” she says as Russell implores her to stop spraying the air.

“Stop making it smell bad,” the divorced Gladstone replied before telling Russell, “You’ve got to get your mental stuff under control.”

Several times during the week, Gladstone has warned Russell to “stop stealing our things,” an allegation Russell vehemently denies.

“I wouldn’t want any of her stuff,” Russell said.

Gladstone has been squatting in the home since June 2019, according to a since-withdrawn Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit Russell and her partner, co-op owner Valentina Bajada, filed against her. They won an eviction against Gladstone in January, before the coronavirus pandemic swept New York, but it had a March 31 deadline — two weeks after Gov. Cuomo instituted his ban on evictions during the pandemic.

It’s at least the third time the 44-year-old Gladstone, a Pittsburgh native who according to court papers also uses the name Katherine Klein, has squatted in the same neighborhood, always with her young daughter in tow.

Kate Gladstone peeks her head out of the living room window of 129 Barrow Street., New York.
Kate Gladstone peeks her head out of the living room window of 129 Barrow Street., New York.J.C.Rice

The West Village whacko has been arrested twice, once for allegedly violating an order of protection taken out against her by an ex-girlfriend, and another for grand larceny for stealing the ex’s credit cards to pay for hotel rooms in the area.

When she left for 17 days in July without a word, Russell changed the locks. Gladstone ran to Housing Court claiming she’d been illegally locked out.

She can’t be booted from the $1.1 million home until at least Oct. 1, when the eviction ban, which was extended and expanded by state Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks, is set to expire.

Upon her return this week, someone posted fliers on the street near Russell’s home with Gladstone’s picture and the hashtag #WestVillageGrifter.

Barrow Street resident Heidi Russell outside her apartment New York, N.Y.
Barrow Street resident Heidi Russell outside her apartment New York, N.Y.James Keivom / NY Post

When confronted by other media early Friday, Gladstone hid in the bedroom, said Russell, who feels she may once again spend time walking the streets with her dog to avoid the squatter’s incessant spraying. Gladstone declined comment to The Post.

“We’re well over $50,000 in debt, and growing every month, from all of this stuff,” she said. “We can’t just leave it up to one judge. This is my life, this is our home. It’s like they don’t even care.”



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