Kelsey Grammer is currently being sued by actress Lydia Cornell who claims that the Fraiser star lured her into a ponzi scheme. Grammer, however, says that he was also a victim of the scheme and shouldn’t be liable for anything that Cornell lost.
According to Grammer’s lawyer, Marty Singer, Grammer lost more than $1 million in the ponzi scheme.
“Any claims filed against Kelsey Grammer concerning Staropoly are absurd and without merit… (Grammer) lost $1 million of his own money (in the ponzi scheme). Kelsey received nothing from the venture, monetarily or otherwise…. Kelsey has not been contacted by any of the attorneys in the lawsuit, [has] not been served and has not been contacted by any governmental agency.”
According to E! Online, Cornell claims that Alex Varanos, the man responsible for the internet-based ponzi scheme Staropoly.com, used Grammer’s name to draw in investors. Singer said that Grammer never agreed to promote Staroply and didn’t authorize Varanos to use his name to bring in investments.
According to Singer, Grammer is furious about the lawsuit and is considering a counter lawsuit.
“If Alex Varanos told people that TODHD [Staropoly’s parent company] was Kelsey’s network, then it was done without Kelsey’s authorization, and against Kelsey’s strenuous objections. The parties and attorneys who sued Kelsey on these fictional claims will be exposed to significant liability for malicious prosecution.”
According to the lawsuit, Grammer’s likeness was used on promotional material to “reel” in more investors. Cornell says that Grammer is responsible for hundreds of people losing money in the Staropoly ponzi scheme.
“Photographs and promotional materials of Grammer were used as sales tools to ‘reel’ in more investors. Hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent investors were ‘taken in’ by these Ponzi schemes, primarily due to Grammer’s endorsements. Grammer knew or should have known that people and fans would rely on his celebrity in much the same was a guarantor that what they were about to invest in was legitimate. Essentially, hundreds…relied upon and trusted that Grammer would be careful about his affiliations; the last thing they expected was that he would endorse illegal Ponzi schemes.”
RadarOnline reports that the next hearing will take place on July 27th.