Alyssa Milano sues former accountant
Actress Alyssa Milano is reportedly suing her former business manager over misconduct.
The "Charmed" star has accused accountant Kenneth Hellie and his firm, Hellie, Hoffer & Co., of forging her signature on cheques, not paying overdue bills and taxes, and advising her to invest in businesses he also had a financial stake in, without disclosing a conflict of interest.
In the lawsuit filed on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Milano alleges Hellie left her and her talent agent husband David Bugliari with "millions of dollars in debt and their credit in ruins".
According to Variety, Milano's financial issues began with a home improvement project that far surpassed an initial costs estimate. Milano alleges her accountants didn't notify her of longstanding Ventura County, California building code violations, which subsequently led to a lien and $377,000 in fines. The project reportedly cost $5 million, but her house is only worth $3 million.
She also claims Hellie, who she fired in 2016, failed to pay her taxes, mortgage payments, and used her money for his own investments.
Hellie has not gone into specifics about the lawsuit, but he has said it is a "Johnny Depp situation." Depp has been embroiled in a fight with Joel and Robert Mandel and their The Management Group (TMG) company since January, with the actor suing TMG for $25 million in damages, alleging fraud and negligence, and claiming their mishandling of his finances landed him in millions of dollars' worth of debt.
His ex-advisers hit back with their own lawsuit, blaming Depp's penchant for living lavishly for his own money woes.
Meanwhile, Milano's attorney has hit back at Hellie's allegations.
"We anticipated this defense," Ellyn Garofalo says. "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 is seeking $10 million.