Alyssa Milano is accusing her former business manager of ruining her financially.
Milano, 44, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against accountant Kenneth Hellie and his firm, Hellie, Hoffer & Co. The “Who’s the Boss?” actress says she and her husband, talent agent David Bugliari, were left “with millions of dollars in debt and their credit in ruins” because of the firm.
Among the many accusations levied against Hellie are forging Milano’s 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 declined to discuss the lawsuit in depth, but told Variety “I’d like to say something. Obviously a lot of it’s like the Johnny Depp situation. I can’t say anything just yet.”
The accountant’s statement is one Milano’s attorney fully expected. “We anticipated this defense,” attorney Ellyn Garofalo said in a statement obtained by ET Canada. “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.”
Among the many claims in the lawsuit, which include unprofitable renovations that set her back $2 million and late mortgage payments, are two years worth of unpaid federal income taxes.
Milano alleges that her business manager failed to pay her federal income taxes in 2013 and 2014 and instead funnelled the money into the disastrous remodelling project. This allegedly resulted in incurring penalties and interest.
The actress fired Hellie in June 2016 and alleges that Hellie forged her signature on a check for $26,000 to cover “professional services” Milano refused to pay.
After news of the lawsuit emerged, the actress took to Twitter to confirm that “sadly, this is true,” and thanked fans for their concern and support.