A Hollywood Hills homeowner is fighting back and calling accusations from neighbors "lies" after they claimed to see people openly drinking and having sex on a "campsite" being rented out on her property.
Advertised through the Airbnb website, the site was marketed as a "Hollywood Hills Camping Retreat" on La Punta Drive, but sits in the middle of a multimillion-dollar neighborhood. For the cost of $35 per night — or $800 a month — people get a tent, spectacular views and are within short walking distance of the Hollywood sign.
The listing appeared to have been taken down as of Thursday morning.
But people living in the well-heeled locale are unhappy at the way they claim renters are behaving during their stays — smoking, having sex and drinking — within view of the surrounding mansions.
"People buck naked, people doing sex out in open. Drinking," resident and father Sanjeeb Kumar told NBC4. "Our own backyard, it's scary. Scared to come out."
"I think it's really hard when a lot of us have children and we are driving by and the kids see strange things and ask, 'Why is that going on there?'" another neighbor said.
A woman who identified herself as the homeowner, an actress named Dita de Leon, told NBC4 on Thursday those accusations are lies and that her security cameras "never captured anything like that."
"They're fabricating lies that people are having sex in public, that's not true," she said. "That's false. Unless they can produce proof that happened, that's false, and they were not my guests."
"Maybe somebody was trespassing and decided to have sex — if it even happened. I have no firsthand knowledge of it," de Leon continued.
De Leon said that when she first posted her ad on Airbnb, she did so because she loved her home so much, she wanted to share the experience of being there. That, she says, is not breaking any rules.
"As far as I'm concerned, I'm not breaking any laws by sharing my property with my guests that I invite to visit up here and to enjoy my dream home," she said.
"I put an ad out on Airbnb to rent out a tent so what was being rented was an actual tent, not the property. So there is no property rental," de Leon added. "I rented out a tent. the people that came here were staying as my guest, as my visitor, for free. That was the misconception, that I was renting out this piece of dirt."
De Leon said she's been at the home since January and was sad to hear that her ad was no longer on the Airbnb site.
Airbnb gave the following statement to NBC4:
"The listing is no longer on the site. Airbnb guests expect unique and authentic travel experiences and in turn communities rightfully expect considerate visitors. We have had more than 40 million guests stay with Airbnb. Problems for hosts, guests and neighbors are extremely rare but when they happen, we work fast to make things right."
Neighbors also voiced concerns that a fire could be sparked as campers have been seen smoking, even though a sign in front of the property, which is surrounded by dry brush, says smoking is not allowed.
"We have a major drought situation, that could go up, take the whole hillside and take the houses with it," a resident said.
De Leon said she has a no-smoking policy, and she later showed NBC4 the tents pitched on her property,
According to the now-offline campsite listing, campers may use the mansion's bathrooms during their stay for an extra fee.
Neighbors are hoping to have the campsite closed down, and are working to have the city check for any possible zoning violations.
The city issued a statement Thursday saying that it is "in the preliminary stages of an investigation on this property."
De Leon told NBC4 that she has no plans to take the tents down, which makes some of her own tenants uncomfortable.
"It's supposed to be a safe place and you don't know who you are inviting up there," said Tess Roussin, who rents a home from de Leon. "I don't think it's appropriate but I'm just a renter."
Michael Larkin contributed to this report.