Entertainment

Alyssa Milano ‘millions in debt’

ALYSSA Milano has filed a $US10 million lawsuit accusing her former business manager of severe misconduct that caused her to spiral into a financial disaster.

The suit accuses accountant Kenneth Hellie and his firm, Hellie, Hoffer & Co., of forging her signature on checks, failing to pay overdue bills and taxes, and inducing her to make bad investments in businesses in which he was also an investor, without disclosing the conflict.

Hellie's actions, according to the suit, left the former Charmed star and her husband, talent agent David Bugliari, "with millions of dollars in debt and their credit in ruins."

Alyssa Milano starred in hit show Charmed.
Alyssa Milano starred in hit show Charmed. Contributed

The suit was filed in L.A. Superior Court. Reached by phone over the weekend, Hellie declined to discuss the specifics.

"I'd like to say something," he said. "Obviously a lot of it's like the Johnny Depp situation. I can't say anything just yet."

Depp is currently engaged in a legal war with his former managers, who have accused him of destroying his finances through reckless spending. Depp contends that his managers engaged in "gross misconduct" and has sued for $US25 million.

"We anticipated this defence," said Milano's lawyer, Ellyn Garofalo, a partner at Liner LLP. "Nothing could be further from reality. Alyssa and David live a relatively modest lifestyle centred on their family. It is unfortunate that Mr. Hellie finds it appropriate to blame the clients who trusted him rather than take responsibility for his own negligence and misconduct."

Milano alleges that her financial woes began with a "home improvement debacle." Milano says that Hellie's poor oversight of the remodelling job caused costs to spiral. She ended up spending $US5 million, though the home is worth no more than $3 million. She also says her accountants failed to notify her of Ventura County building code violations, which lingered for more than five years, resulting in a lien and $US376,950 in fines.

The overspending on the renovation project led to other financial difficulties. In February 2016, Milano received a notice of default due to an unpaid mortgage payment. Milano says she learned that eight mortgage payments were late in a 13-month period. The late payments and the lien damaged her credit score to the point where she was unable to refinance her home to pay off debts, she alleges.

Alyssa Milano in a scene from the TV series Mistresses. Supplied by Channel 7. Please credit photo to ABC/Richard Cartwright.
Alyssa Milano in a scene from the TV series Mistresses. Supplied by Channel 7. Please credit photo to ABC/Richard Cartwright. Richard Cartwright

Milano alleges that her business manager also failed to pay her federal income taxes in 2013 and 2014, instead funnelling money into the remodelling project, incurring penalties and interest. Milano says her employees also complained of late payments, and that Hellie failed to pay her employees' taxes.

As money got tight, Milano claims that Hellie engaged in a "shell game" with clients' money, initiating loans between clients to keep each one solvent. Milano alleges that Hellie had her borrow funds from some clients while lending to others, all at high interest rates.

She also alleges that Hellie used Milano's funds to prop up his own investments. On four occasions, she says, Hellie transferred money out of her account without obtaining her signature. Instead, she says he scotch-taped her signature onto the wire authorisation. She alleges that without her authorisation, Hellie invested $US351,000 of her money into a parking lot venture that has yet to generate any income. She says Hellie did not disclose that he was also an investor in the property.

Throughout, Milano says she continued to receive assurances that her finances were healthy. In 2014, she turned down appearing in the third season of the ABC show Mistresses. The season would have paid her $US1.3 million, and she says she may have negotiated an even more lucrative deal for the fourth season. Had she known how dire her finances truly were, the suit states she "would never have turned down" the job.

After firing Hellie in June 2016, Milano says that Hellie demanded a $US26,000 payment for "professional services," which she refused to pay. So, she alleges that Hellie forged her signature on a check in that amount. She says she and her husband did not discover the theft until they overdrew their account. She says that Hellie paid another $25,000 from Milano's account in "interest" to two other clients for loans that Milano and her husband never received.

This story originally appeared in the NY Post and is republished here with permission.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  alyssa milano celebrity television



No concrete plans for Kybong servo staff

Matilda the kangaroo is at the Matilda Service Station at Kybong.

There are serious fears for 50 to 60 local jobs

Why everyone should do a Roadcraft course

DRIVEN BY SAFETY: Glen Jocumsen with one of the Roadcraft fleet.

'They don't realise their car is that good but they're that bad'

Gorgeous old-timers need love too

Check out these 10 mature animals available at Gympie RSPCA

Local Partners

A prince is sailing around the Whitsundays

Rumours circulating about where the princess is

What's on the small screen this week

Rob Collins and Jessica Marais in a scene from season two of The Wrong Girl.

JESSICA Marais returns in The Wrong Girl.

Playing Tom Cruise's wife was a dream for Sarah Wright

Tom Cruise and Sarah Wright in American Made.

The actress stars opposite Cruise in the action comedy

GALLERY: Fun and fashion at the races

Monica Belz.

Fashion and fun meet at the Gympie Showgrounds

Taylor Swift wipes presence off social media

Singer Taylor Swift has deleted her social media accounts

Social media wipeout prompts rumours of a new album

What's On? 10 things to see and do this week

Judah Kelly will be rocking the Muster stage this week

There's plenty to see and do this week

Swedish TV drama turns up heat

Louise Nyvall stars in the Swedish TV series Farang.

Scandinavian crime thriller goes troppo

New Gympie real estate mag has everything you need

Look out for SOLD ON in The Gympie Times on Wednesday.

The first Gympie edition of Sold On will be out on Wednesday

EXPLAINED: What the 'Costco effect' means for Ipswich

PRICE WARS: A Costco store similar to this one in Canberra, is planned for Ipswich.

Exclusive 'cult' about to change how families do grocery shopping

4800 homes to be built in massive new Coast estate

Masterplanned community full steam ahead - it's not Caloundra South

Open for inspection homes August 17 - 23

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.