Nuala Barton is the subject of a lawsuit filed by her daughter, actress Mischa Barton, in which Mischa alleges that Nuala stole money from the younger Barton, kicked Mischa out of her multi-million-dollar home, and made unauthorized endorsement deals in Mischa Barton’s name.
Nuala Barton has acted as her daughter’s manager for more than 20 years. During that time, Nuala’s daughter’s most notable role was that of Marissa Cooper on The O.C., though the younger Barton has had parts in numerous big-screen productions. Some of those include The Sixth Sense, Notting Hill, Don’t Fade Away, You and I, and The Hoarder.
In fact, controversy surrounding The Hoarder is one of the central components of the lawsuit against Nuala Barton. In the lawsuit, Mischa alleges that Nuala lied to her about how much she was earning on the film and that Nuala pocketed the extra money for herself.
According to the Associated Press, part of the lawsuit reads as follows.
“While Barton was busy perfecting her craft and turning her acting dreams into reality, her mother, defendant Nuala Barton, was secretly scheming to exploit Barton’s burgeoning career for her benefit.”
Nuala Barton isn’t the only parent-manager who has been sued by her own child. In fact, in recent years, the action seems to have become more common as the advent of the parent-manager relationship has become more prevalent.
For example, in 2003, singer Aaron Carter sued his mother, alleging that she had taken more than $100,000 from his bank account and more then $1 million in gifts without permission. Like the situation involving Nuala, Carter’s parent’s had managed his career for more than 10 years.
Macaulay Culkin also sued his parents, though the situation is a little bit different than that of the Bartons. When he was 14, Caulkin and his money were at the heart of a custody battle between his parents, and Culkin sued to gain control his fortune. After winning his lawsuit and moving out on his own, Culkin’s money was managed by an accountant until he turned 18.
LeAnn Rimes famously filed a lawsuit against her father in 1998, alleging that he and another co-manager had stolen more than $7 million from Rimes. Similarly to the situation involving Nuala Barton, Rimes alleged that her co-managers had exploited her record label and her personally for financial gain.
A few years after Diff’rent Strokes went off the air, Gary Coleman also fired his manager parents before filing a lawsuit. Coleman, who starred on the NBC show from 1978-1986, was 17 when the show ended. Like Nuala, Coleman’s parent’s had been acting as his manager, and Coleman filled the lawsuit alleging that his parents had spent the money in his trust fund. Coleman won his lawsuit but ultimately had to file for bankruptcy.
Mischa Barton filed the lawsuit against Nuala Barton Tuesday in Los Angeles. According to the lawsuit, Mischa has fired Nuala Barton as her manager.
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