The 1980s model slashed by her spurned landlord

It was one of those brutal, senseless crimes that rallied all of New York, dominating the media for years.

Marla Hanson was a struggling 24-year-old model who lived at 433 West 34th Street. She’d rented her $600 apartment from Steven Roth, a TV makeup artist who at some point made crude sexual advances toward her—which she spurned.

Apparently upset by the rejection, and the fact that Hanson was moving out and wanted her security deposit back, Roth hired two thugs to cut her face.

On June 5, 1986, while standing outside her building arguing with Roth, the goons approached her. One held her head while the other ran a razor blade over her from cheek to cheek.

“Every corner of her face was slashed; the muscles that controlled her smile were severed, half her nose skinned,” reported People in 1987.

It took 150 stitches to close the wounds, and she was left with an S-shaped scar from her right cheek to the corner of her mouth.

In 1987, Roth and the thugs all got 5 to 15 years in prison for the attack. Her modeling career over, Hanson became a screenwriter and victims’ advocate.

She didn’t have to worry so much about money though. Philanthropist Milton Petrie, touched by Hanson’s ordeal, provided her with $20,000 a year for the rest of her life.

[Top photo: Marla Hanson with then-boyfriend Jay McInerney in 1990; bottom, her apartment building on 34th Street, the scene of the slashing, from]

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7 Responses to “The 1980s model slashed by her spurned landlord”

  1. Stacy Walsh Rosenstock Says:

    Any idea whether Roth still owns the building?

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Good question, I’ll do some digging….

  3. Gary Says:

    Reminds me of another New york story:

  4. crickwall Says:

    he was subletting wasn’t he (Roth) — meaning I seriously doubt that Roth owned the building, because he certainly would have lost it to Ms. Hansen.

  5. Gina Romano Says:

    Really, a landlord who knows she could identify him? Let’s face it she went to New York to start a modelling career. She took a huge chance. There are many beautiful women waiting in line to be a Super Model. What about the nightlife? I have heard many rumors that she went to highline parties that she couldn’t afford and that somewhere along the way she borrowed money from the mafia (I won’t say which one) for drugs. She had a serious cocaine habit and that costs lots of money. She didn’t pay them back and they got even. Someday the truth will come out. Believe me she is NO angel.

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