BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA.com) — A longtime pool manager at the Beverly Hills Hotel who once rubbed elbows with Hollywood royalty is asking for help to get back on his feet.
Svend Petersen, once known as the Poolside Prince and the Cabana King, retired from his official title as the famed hotel’s pool manager more than 15 years ago and has since fallen on hard times.
“Hello, I’m Svend Petersen, I”m 86 years old and homeless,” Peterson says in a YouTube video posted April 9.
After working at the Beverly Hills Hotel for more than four decades and lounging poolside with the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, and Faye Dunaway, the Dane says he was taken advantage of by realtors who conned him into selling his house quickly, landing him in trouble with the IRS, according to a GoFundMe page set up on his behalf.
“I loved to work with them, they’ve been good to be, they made a life for me,” Petersen told CBS2 Tuesday.
Petersen said he’s been homeless for about five months. Still recovering after being recently hospitalized for an infection, his “life consists of going from motel to motel and when the money runs out, he sleeps in a car” and going without much more than a couple of bananas to eat, according to the page.
“Sometimes I go three or four days without food,” Petersen said. “As long as I have something to drink, I’m happy.”
A Twitter account set up on Peterson’s behalf includes photos of him with various celebrities.
Supporters say the GoFundMe effort hopes to raise $5,900 for a down payment for an apartment for Petersen and first three months’ rent.
“I’m calling on you because I need help, real bad,” Peterson said in the video.