Attorneys representing Mischa Barton and her mother told a judge Wednesday they will try to settle a lawsuit filed by the actress, who alleged her parent stole money from her while acting as her talent manager.
In light of Wednesday developments, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Steven Kleifield scheduled an Oct. 17 status hearing, when dates for trial and other proceedings will be set if necessary.
Barton, 29, sued her mother on April 7, alleging fraud and breach of contract and claiming that her parent put her own interests ahead of those of her daughter, who co-starred in “The O.C.,” a teen drama series that aired on Fox from 2003-07.
Attorney Alberto Campain, on behalf of Nuala Barton, told Kleifield that an earlier attempt at mediation did not go forward because the actress was unable to attend. He said another session is set for Aug. 26 or Aug. 27.
Campain said he will file court papers in answer to the complaint if the mediation fails. Kleifield said the documents should be filed by Oct. 7.
The suit alleged the defendant was a “greedy stage mother” who “forged documents and has even kicked Barton out of her own home — the home purchased with Barton’s money, but that Nuala has turned into her own ATM.”
Both Nuala Barton and her husband, Paul, “comfortably reside in the $7.8 million Beverly Hills home that was purchased with Barton’s funds while Barton is not welcome at the property,” the suit alleges.
“Tragically, Barton placed her utmost trust in Nuala and believed that her mother would look out for her best interests above all else,” the suit says.
On July 23, lender Mike Ireland sued both Bartons, alleging they owe him more than $350,000 from a loan that was not fully repaid.
The suit states that Ireland lent $250,000 to Nuala Barton in September 2013 and that she agreed to pay him the money back with interest for a total of $275,000 within three months. He says additional interest has put the amount owed at more than $350,000.
The loan was secured by a deed of trust on property Nuala Barton said she owned in Beverly Hills, but Ireland later found out that she co-owned the property with her daughter, the suit states.
Ireland has received just $10,000 despite demands for full payment, according to the lawsuit.
Alex Weingarten, an attorney for Mischa Barton, said the home mentioned in both lawsuits is one and the same. However, he told Kleifield that his client had nothing to do with the business transaction between Ireland and Nuala Barton.
—City News Service