Alyssa Milano’s former accountant refuted claims made by the actress in a $10 million lawsuit against him, saying she has no one but herself and husband to blame for her financial crisis.
Milano’s lawsuit against her former business manager, Kenneth Hellie and his firm Hellie, Hoffer & Co., last month alleged he was responsible for neglecting to pay her income taxes, forging signatures and for allowing a home renovation project to get out of control.
— Variety (@Variety) July 5, 2017
But Hellie fired back in a counter-complaint, placing the blame for Milano’s financial woes squarely on her own shoulders, according to Variety.
Hellie contends that the $1.1 million budget for the home remodel project which began in 2013 soon began to spiral out of control as his firm continued to issue warnings to the couple that they were going over budget. Hellie claimed Milano’s husband, agent David Bugliari, approved each of his own requests for additional funds, despite the accountant’s advice to curb the spending.
The firm noted that it was “very concerned” that the project was “way over the original budget,” and advised of the need to “get this project back on track as far as costs,” a Jan. 16, 2014, communication stated in the complaint.
The complaint also noted several other communications with the couple, including a warning that their 2013 taxes needed to be paid. Hellie claimed that he also had several communications with Bugliari in March 2015 about the couple’s financial state, noting that Milano skipped a meeting “apparently to avoid responsibility for her own affairs.”
According to Variety:
The suit contends that Bugliari, a CAA agent, declined to use his “own money” to pay down the couple’s debts and other obligations, and states that he may have been “intentionally or negligently keeping Milano in the dark regarding the couple’s deteriorating finances.”
Hellie also accuses the couple of continuing to “live lavishly” even as the remodeling project drained their bank accounts. According to the complaint, this included “spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a second home in the mountains, private planes, a country club membership, a boat, and numerous personal staff such as multiple nannies and housekeepers.”
Ellyn Garofalo, the couple’s attorney, has previously said that they lived a “relatively modest lifestyle.”
The cost of the failed home renovation project reportedly soared up to $5 million.
Although Hellie’s cross complaint was a general denial of Milano’s suit, he did not directly address the claims of forgery, fraud, and conflict of interest the couple leveled against the firm.
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