Former star of "The O.C." Mischa Barton filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court accusing Nuala Barton, her mother and former manager, of fraud and breach of contract. The suit claims that Barton’s mother stole money from the actress, forged her name on contracts, started a clothing brand using Barton's name without her permission and forced Barton out of her Beverly Hills home. Venable partner Alex M. Weingarten and associate Leslie Eggers are representing Barton.
"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," Weingarten said in a statement. "From the outset, Nuala positioned herself to siphon her daughter's hard-earned money by purportedly acting as her talent manager – a role for which Nuala had absolutely no experience or training."
Speaking with Law360 in an April 7, 2015 article, Weingarten said, "Mischa is working very hard to put the damage done by her mother behind her…It's been difficult, because a lot of people in the industry thought her mother was still involved in her career and didn't want to work with her on that basis." Weingarten noted that the suit does not specify damages because Barton's mother never disclosed how much her daughter should have earned. "We have been trying to figure out what those numbers are, and the problem is Nuala is understandably uncooperative in sharing with us how much she took," he added. "So we're going to have to determine that through formal discovery."
In addition to Law360, multiple publications featured news of the suit including the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Tonight, New York Daily News, Boston Herald, Us Magazine, The Wrap, People, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.