Alyssa Milano is suing her former business manager for allegedly mismanaging her finances and causing her to go into millions of dollars of debt, according to documents obtained by Us Weekly.
The 44-year-old actress and her husband, David Bugliari, filed a complaint in the L.A. County Superior Court on Monday June 12. The suit claims that their former accountant Kenneth Hellie and his firm, Hellie, Hoffer & Co., forged Milano’s signature on financial documents, failed to pay her bills and taxes on time and convinced her to make risky business investments.
“Alyssa’s full trust was misplaced in her business mangers,” Milano’s lawyer Ellyn S. Garofalo tells Us Weekly. “They failed to discuss with her that they had been making loans with unfavorable terms, and their money was used to provide loans to other Lippe clients. Their managers were also investing money in major investments personally without letting Alyssa know. We are confident Alyssa will come out of this triumphant.”
Milano and Bugliari claim in the lawsuit that they “have suffered financial and reputational devastation that will take years — and millions of dollars — to repair.” The couple also allege that the business firm then “engaged in a cover-up of the escalating financial chaos they created by withholding and actively concealing material financial information from their clients.”
Milano and Bugliari claim that their financial trouble began with a “home improvement debacle.” Milano alleges that Hellie, Hoffer & Co. was supposed to be overseeing the project, but they allowed construction costs to “run wild” and they “concealed building code violations” that resulted in fines.
The Melrose Place alum’s attorney claims that the actress fired the firm in July 2016 after receiving a notice of default on her mortgage and calls from collections agencies, the complaint says. The couple’s new business manager then found “extensive malfeasance” that had left Milano and Bugliari’s “finances in shambles.”
The couple are suing for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and theft, and are seeking at least $10 million in damages.
Hellie told Variety that he can’t comment on the matter at this time. “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, 54, is currently suing his manager for $25 million and claiming “gross misconduct.” Meanwhile his former managers argue that Depp engaged in reckless spending.