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Friday, September 23, 2011

ABC News: Farrah Fawcett Foundation under fire for potential money mismanagement and fraud (Retroality readers saw this coming months ago!)

ABC's reimagined Charlie's Angels isn't the only media-savvy enterprise relying -- and, for now, flying -- on the feathered wings of an iconic Hollywood original.

The network's news division is reporting that the Farrah Fawcett Foundation is under investigation by the California Attorney General's Office of Charitable Trust "for potential mismanagement of funds, diversion of assets, and fraud." ABC News also reports that the foundation and the Farrah Fawcett Living Trust, which finances the foundation, were given 60 days to turn over their estate planning documents and financial records to authorities. The deadline to do so is apparently sometime this month.

This news breaks just ten days after foundation president Alana Stewart -- who in media appearances is often billed as Farrah's best friend -- co-hosted with Fawcett's Angels co-star Jaclyn Smith the "Give Back Hollywood's Farrah Fawcett Foundation Pre-Emmy Cancer Benefit." 

From the Farrah Fawcett Foundation Facebook news page

That red-carpet affair, originally titled "Friends of Farrah," touted Ryan O'Neal, Raquel Welch, Cheryl Tiegs and Stewart's adult children with rocker Rod Stewart and George Hamilton as its celebrity guests.

Also there: Barbie designer Bill Greening, who signed copies of the new Black Label Collector Edition Farrah Fawcett Barbie Doll. An undisclosed percentage of proceeds from sales of the popular doll go to the Farrah Fawcett Foundation. According to a press release for the event, the foundation's mission "is to provide funding for alternative methods of cancer research, clinical trials, prevention and awareness with an emphasis on anal and pediatric cancers."

But Retroality reported in June that an impassioned group of Fawcett fans, led by Cathy Swango, organized a letter-writing campaign requesting that California's attorney general open an investigation into the Farrah Fawcett Foundation and her estate. 

We've also reported here that Farrah's Story producer Craig Nevius has previously pushed for the attorney general "to investigate the 'Farrah Fawcett Foundation' and interview a handful of Farrah's trusted friends and associates with respect to Farrah's knowledge and intent regarding this so-called 'charity.'" In court papers filed in March 2010, Nevius alleged that Fawcett "was not aware" of the existence of the foundation, which is "funded by Ms. Fawcett's assets" and with which O'Neal "recently announced he would be 'working.'"

ABC reports Fawcett's college boyfriend and longtime friend Greg Lott "says the California Attorney General's office has been quietly interviewing friends, business associates and several beneficiaries of Fawcett since early July."

The network also reports that Stewart calls the investigation "outrageous." Stewart says the foundation -- which became active following Fawcett's tragic death from anal cancer in June 2009 -- is operating based on Fawcett's wishes. 

Also, according to the story
Richard B. Francis, the trustee of the estate and chairman of the foundation, as well as Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal's former business manager, calls the investigation a witch hunt and says the foundation has done nothing wrong. Nevertheless, he says the foundation is cooperating fully with the investigation.
 Witch hunt or "Angel" intervention? Stay tuned ...

From the Facebook group "Farrah Fawcett: We Want the Truth"

Thank you, La Lucci, for always going for the gold