If he were alive today, Angel- and luxury-loving Charlie Townsend would not be a happy man.
Charlie's Angels star Kate Jackson, claiming she's in "financial ruin," is suing her former financial advisor for $3 million. The advisor: Farrah Fawcett's former business manager, Richard B. Francis.
Francis, who's also Ryan O'Neal's business manager and a trustee of Fawcett's estate, has his hands full these days. He's already engaged in dueling lawsuits with Farrah's Story documentary exec producer Craig Nevius, who--as Jackson claims happened to herself--was cut out of Fawcett's life in the weeks (in Nevius's case, months) leading up to her tragic death from anal cancer on June 25, 2009.
Last March, Nevius--sued by Fawcett's estate in January for allegedly embezzling "hundreds of thousands of dollars" from her production company--charged in court filings that Francis and Fawcett friend Alana Stewart are using the cancer research charity The Farrah Fawcett Foundation "to divert Ms. Fawcett’s assets away from other rightful beneficiaries," including the late actress's 92-year-old father, James.
In her suit filed this week, Jackson claims Francis knew about her "extremely close relationship" with Fawcett and capitalized on that connection to land Jackson as a client. The brunette Angel alleges Francis estimated she was worth about $5.4 million, and advised that she could live off at least $300,000 annually from her accounts' interest.
Jackson claims she learned her true financial worth--per her suit, approximately $3 million--when, under alleged pressure from Francis, she bought a house for $2,0011,000 in Santa Monica's "Golden Strip" in 2008. According to TMZ, Jackson's suit claims she knew she couldn't afford the house, but Francis--who she alleges knew she was "grossly overpaying" for the home--"drained her savings account in order to pay for it anyway."
Reports TMZ, "Francis says he's been in the business for 50 years and has an impeccable record with several celebrity clients" The site quotes Francis as saying, "This case will end at the deposition stage. It will never go to court."
But if published in the media, these depositions--and those of Francis's other Fawcett-related suits--could set the stage for a damning trial in the court of public opinion.
Last February, Jackson told Radar Online she questioned an April 2009 document seemingly signed by Fawcett revoking control of Farrah's Story from Nevius and giving it instead to Fawcett's longtime lover O'Neal. Nevius sued O'Neal, Francis and Farrah's Story co-producer Alana Stewart last summer, accusing them of conspiring to seize control of the documentary and interfering with his contract with Fawcett to oversee it.
"Farrah had such beautiful penmanship," Jackson told Radar Online, who reported TV's "smart Angel" had seen the document, crucial evidence in Nevius's case. "It caused me to become very sad and upset, when I saw that signed document, because I believed that she was not awake enough, because of the pain medication she required. Frankly, to me, that document didn't look like she could have a clue what she was signing."
In an exclusive interview with Retroality.TV last fall, Nevius said that around early April 2009, Francis, O'Neal and Stewart "isolated" Fawcett from him. And "Ryan and Alana took steps to take over the documentary through his business manager [Francis] and Farrah’s and my former attorneys who filed our company’s Articles of Organization with the state. Suddenly, Ryan and his business manager claimed to have Farrah’s 'Power of Attorney'—although they refused to show it to me."
As of last September, "I haven’t seen any document entitled 'Power of Attorney,'" Nevius told us. "Although I have seen other documents which they claim negate the operating agreement that Farrah and I signed when we formed Sweetened By Risk LLC. They claim the other documents also void the rights Farrah invested with me on her behalf and on our company’s behalf should health events interfere with her ability to continue the work. These new documents were signed with a scrawled, scrunched signature that they claim is Farrah’s."
In January, Fawcett's estate sued Nevius, accusing him of embezzling from Sweetened by Risk LLC (SBR), botching an initial edit of her NBC documentary and selling out Fawcett by releasing data and footage without her consent. The suit was filed by Francis, acting as an estate trustee, and by SBR.
In a statement released to the media, Nevius responded, "These accusations are nothing more than a fabricated press release disguised as a lawsuit. As much as I would like to answer the allegations and disprove them right here and right now in the court of public opinion, I will wait to do so in a court of law."
Jackson defended Nevius in an AP report about the estate's lawsuit. "He had an unflagging devotion to Farrah in every way and he worked with her to help her achieve her vision, not his vision and not anybody else's vision," Jackson said.
Jackson's suit, while on the surface unrelated to the Nevius-O'Neal/Francis litigation, could bring to light revealing information about Francis's dealings with Fawcett and O'Neal, and the couple's dealings with each other. Fawcett appointed Francis a trustee to her estate in 2007. Curiously, however, she did not name O'Neal--whom she never married--in her will as she did their son, Redmond.
"I've read Mr. Nevius' response to our complaint which I think contains spurious and outrageous allegations,” Howard Weitzman, an attorney for the estate, Francis, O'Neal and Stewart, told the AP.
Responded Nevius to Tabloid Baby: "Mr. Weitzman thinks my lawsuit contains 'spurious and outrageous allegations?' You mean, he doesn't know? It doesn't sound like he has unwavering confidence in his clients. But he is right about one thing: the truth will come out during litigation. And it will reveal that Ryan O'Neal is a monster, Alana Stewart is soulless and Richard Francis acts like a thug."
Perhaps Jaclyn Smith, with her far-from-Hollywood, good-old-reliable K-Mart contract, is the truly "smart one."
Without a doubt Jaclyn Smith has been the "smart" angel, however, I do not trust the "lawyer/business manager" of Kate Jackson. Especially with all he has done and/or participated in with regards to Farrah's Story! Alot of shady things going on with this attorney.
My money is on Craig Nevius and Kate Jackson!!
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