Mischa Barton filed suit in LA Superior Court this week against her own mother. Mischa’s suit alleges that her mother, working as her manager since Mischa was a child, siphoned money from Mischa’s earnings and conspired to steal and defraud her for years. The suit describes how Nuala Barton regularly stole from Mischa, opened side businesses under Mischa’s name, put her name on the deed to Mischa’s mansion without informing her about it, and even kicked Mischa out of her own home. Nuala put Mischa on an “allowance” of her own money, leaving Mischa unable to pay her bills. What’s more is that Nuala would sign Mischa up for endorsement deals without her permission, including for a weight loss drug called Proactal. Mischa didn’t learn that she was supposedly representing Proactal until they threatened her with breach of contract. She’s since fired her mother and hired another manager.
This action arises from the tragic tale of a greedy stage mother posing as a talent manager who, instead of acting in the best interest of her daughter/client, schemed to defraud her unsuspecting victim. In the process, Defendant Nuala Barton… forged documents and has even kicked Barton out of her own home – the home purchased with Barton’s money but that Nuala has turned into her own personal ATM. Barton now seeks recovery of what her own mother stole from her and to be able to proceed with her career free of the meddling that Nuala continues to engage in and the damages she continues to cause.
As Barton’s manager, Nuala committed a series of egregious acts to intentionally exploit and harm her own daughter, including (1) inducing Barton to purchase a $7.8 million Beverly Hills home, granting herself a one-half undivided interest in the property, and encumbering the property with two deeds of trust without providing adequate documentation to Barton or an explanation of her rights; (2) withholding Barton’s compensation for her acting, modeling and endorsement work and refusing to provide transparency with respect to the accounting for such compensation; (3) lying to Barton by representing that Barton’s compensation for a particular film was less than what was actually negotiated and paid by the production company so that she could pocket the difference; (4) exploiting Barton’s name, image and likeness to create side businesses – including a Mischa Barton handbag line and Mischa Barton fashion boutique – without compensating Barton for said exploitation or sharing in the profits; and (5) damaging Barton’s reputation in the industry and exposing Barton to legal liability by entering Barton into contracts for endorsement of certain productions without first informing Barton of her obligations under said contracts.
Neither Nuala nor Barton’s father, Paul, has had a job independent of Barton in over a decade. Instead, they sit back expecting their daughter’s hard work and dedication to her craft to support their lifestyle. Both comfortably reside in the $7.8 million Beverly Hills home that was purchased with Barton’s funds while Barton is not welcome at the property…
These revelations of exploitation and fraud, coupled with ongoing instances of bullying and verbal abuse, eventually led to the breakdown of Barton and Nuala’s personal and professional relationship.
[From PDF of Mischa Barton’s lawsuit, available on E!]
Mischa’s lawyer is an excellent writer, right? I love the turns of phrase in that lawsuit, it’s like a screenplay. I guess we now know what’s been going on with Mischa over the years, and her 2009 breakdown (which she blamed on medication for wisdom tooth surgery) makes a lot more sense. She’s seemed somewhat out of it in the past, maybe with substance abuse issues, and definitely with delusions about her career. Mischa must have been dealing so much if her mother was emotionally and financially abusing her like that. If this is all true, it’s despicable. Her parents have been exploiting her since she was eight. I hope that Mischa is able to get her mansion and some of her earnings back.
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