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



Become part of the solution

Koalas could be affected by climate change.

Free public event on the effects of global warming.

HSC 'appalling' blunder puts student results at risk

“I am angry for the students at what I have learnt this morning."

Who'll like it hot in September?

CULTURAL COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Woolgoolga Curryfest 2016

Annual Curryfest celebration to spice up the streets of Woolgoolga

Local Partners

Coffs own Aladdin's cave to open for auction

ARE you after something unique such as a rare vintage car or century-old dentistry equipment?


Three things to do this week

Offshore Superboat Championships held in Coffs Harbour. Photo: Leigh Jensen / The Coffs Coast Advocate

Haven't made plans yet here's some inspiration

Change in Rally Australia's running order

RESCHEDULING OF STAGES: The Friday afternoon stages of Kennards Hire Rally Australia in November will move north of Coffs Harbour.

Kennards Hire Rally Australia will feature new competitive stages

Aussie rock legends to play Coffs Harbour

Aussie rock hall of famers Midnight Oil will play Coffs Harbour on Thursday, October 19 as part of the band's  latest national tour.

Coffs Harbour has secured a gig as part of revival national tour

Massive talent from little folk on show in Little Big Shots

Shane Jacobson has as much fun as his guests as wunderkinds show off their skills in Seven's new talent show.

‘I’m pissed off’: Bachelorette finally loses it

Matty is made take Elise on a date by her dad.

UNREST is brewing in the Bachelor mansion.

What's on the big screen this week

Domhnall Gleeson and Tom Cruise in a scene from American Made.

TOM Cruise is flying high in Doug Liman's drug drama American Made.

Bride and Prejudice's Chris reveals more family heartache

Grant and Chris feature on the TV series Bride & Prejudice. Supplied by Channel 7.

His dad’s health has dealt a massive blow to their happy life

Nicole's ready to bust out of Doctor Doctor's love triangle

Nicole da Silva stars in season two of Doctor Doctor.

New season gets a fresh injection of relationship dilemmas.

MOVIE REVIEW: Tom Cruise flying high again in drug drama

Tom Cruise plays pilot Barry Seal in the movie American Made.

FILM STAR delivers his best performance in some time.

This is one of Woopi's best

The Real Estate Property Guide is online now

Local business fills the 'missing link'

The Cardow & Partners Coffs Harbour team (from left) Tammy Blundell, Aleta Stephens, Paul Child, Nicole Cardow, Andree Cardow, Emily Hodgens.

Coffs Coast real estate agents expand to the city centre

Sold On living on the Coffs Coast

Sold On Coffs Coast.

Your complete guide to a year in real estate on the Coffs Coast

Icon to go under the hammer

ON THE MARKET: Federation House will be auctioned next month.

COFFS Harbour's highest profile office building listed for sale.