Looks like Alyssa Milano is about to show her former business manager who the boss really is. The actress and her husband, talent agent David Bugliari, have filed a whopping $10 million lawsuit against their former accountant and business manager Kenneth Hellie and his firm of Hellie, Hoffer and Company, alleging financial misconduct that left them in debt. The suit claims that Hellie forged the #Charmed actress's name on financial documents, failed to pay her bills and taxes on time, and shuffled money from their accounts in the guise of loans.
Milano alleges that her finances began spiraling during a home improvement project that Hellie failed to properly oversee. The remodel ending up costing the actress $5 million, even though the home is only worth around $3 million.
In addition, Milano learned in February 2016 that eight of her mortgage payments were late within a 13-month period, and she subsequently received a notice of default from her financial institution. The late payments and the subsequent lien have damaged her credit rating, leaving her unable to refinance her home.
Milano's lawyer Ellyn S. Garofalo told US Weekly that "Alyssa's full trust was misplaced in her business managers." She added:
"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."
Variety reached Hellie by phone, but the defendant didn't offer much insight:
“I’d like to say something. Obviously a lot of it’s like the Johnny Depp situation. I can’t say anything just yet.”
Hellie is of course referring to Depp's ongoing lawsuit against his former business managers The Management Group, alleging "gross misconduct" and seeking $25 million in damages.
Garofalo wasn't surprised at Hellie's response:
“We anticipated this defense. Nothing could be further from reality. Alyssa and David live a relatively modest lifestyle centered 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 claims that, had she known about her dire financial situation, she would have remained a part of the cast of ABC show Mistresses, instead of opting not to return for Season 3. The series moved production from Los Angeles to Vancouver in 2014, and Milano did not want the move to affect her home life. However, according to Variety, she would have earned $1.3 million had she returned for the series, a sum that could have helped maintain financial stability.