“The O.C.” Star Sues Mother for Fraud
Mischa Barton — former star of the hit TV show “The O.C.” — filed suit against her mother, Nuala Barton, in April, alleging fraud and breach of fiduciary duties, among other causes of action. On January 3, 2016, a California judge determined that Mischa Barton’s suit did not adequately allege fraud, but told the actress that she may amend her complaint.
Barton’s complaint writes that the “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.”
Barton is alleging that the celebrity’s mother induced Barton to purchase a $7.8 million Beverly Hills home, granting herself a one-half undivided interest in the property. According to the complaint, neither her mother nor father has had an independent job in over a decade, and reside “comfortably” in the Beverly Hills home without allowing Barton on the property.
The celebrity is also alleging that her mother acted as her talent manager – “a role for which Nuala had absolutely no experience or training.” Her mother allegedly used this position to withhold compensation Barton earned for her acting, as well as set up side businesses using Barton’s name, image, and likeness.
The actress further alleges that her mother defrauder her with respect to the motion picture “The Hoarder.” Barton claims that her mother lied to her about the money actually negotiated for and pocketed the difference.
On Monday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Steven Kleifield told the parties that the case was more about the breach of fiduciary duty action than fraud. Barton’s attorney told the court that more facts could be provided about the nature of the misrepresentations made to Barton, and Judge Kleifield is giving the actress 20 days to amend her complaint to support the fraudulent misrepresentation action.