The owners of the house where Marilyn Monroe last lived and died are suing the city of Los Angeles over what they call “backroom machinations” as part of efforts to landmark the house and save it from a planned demolition.

In a lawsuit filed in Superior Court in Los Angeles County on Monday, lawyers for Brinah Milstein and Roy Bank accused the city of violating its own codes and conspiring with third parties to secure its desired outcome during a hurried process to designate the house at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive a historic landmark last fall.

This lawsuit highlights how the city engaged in a “corrupt process to guarantee their preferred outcome rather than engaging in a neutral and fair process,” Peter C. Sheridan, a lawyer for the couple, said in a statement. The city did not respond to a request for comment.

Ms. Monroe was the world’s most famous woman when she moved in March 1962 to Fifth Helena Drive, a secluded residential street in the Brentwood neighborhood that is part of a set of 25 cul-de-sacs off Carmelina Avenue.

The actress became a pop culture icon in the 1950s with roles in movies like “All About Eve,” “The Seven Year Itch” and “Some Like It Hot.” But her time in Brentwood would not be long: In August 1962, Ms. Monroe died of a drug overdose in her bedroom at age 36. Fans and landmark preservationists have argued that the house is a part of Hollywood history and should be designated a protected property as a part of her legacy.

Though Ms. Monroe’s house is not visible from the street, tourists frequently stop to leave flowers or try to catch a glimpse of the home. The house became known as Cursum Perficio, which in Latin loosely translates to “I end the journey,” and is a Spanish Colonial-style property that is partly inlaid with ceramic tile.

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