Emmy-winning actor Ellen Barkin may have finalized her divorce last year, but she and her ex-husband aren’t through with taking each other to court. Billionaire mogul Ron Perelman, who was married to Barkin from 2000 to 2006, filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court on November 27 against her, claiming that she’d drained funds from the couple’s film-production company.
The Revlon owner, 63, started Applehead Pictures in 2005 with Barkin and her brother, former National Lampoon and High Times editor George Barkin. Perelman says that he invested $465,000 in the company that year, according to the suit. However, Applehead sued Perelman in August this year, alleging that he had pledged to invest a further $3 million to cover the firm’s operating expenses but never paid it.
Perelman’s countersuit last week claims that the Barkin siblings formed a new company in May, Applehead II, out of funds from Perelman’s original investment in order to compete with Applehead.
“We were initially disappointed at Ms. Barkin’s attempts to further enrich herself after the divorce,” Chris Taylor, a spokesperson for Perelman, told the Associated Press this week. “We are further disappointed to learn of her additional actions to further enrich herself, her family, and friends. We intend to pursue our remedy in the courts.”
Ellen Barkin, 54, received $40 million in the divorce settlement last year. She also got an additional $20 million by auctioning off her jewelry collection, according to E! Online.
A spokeswoman for Ellen Barkin shot back on November 29 in a statement from Applehead, calling Perelman’s suit “yet another attempt to avoid honoring his written contract to contribute more than $3 million to Applehead Pictures,” AP reported. The statement adds: “Applehead only has money because others stepped in to contribute what Perelman wrongfully withheld. Perelman’s cynical abuse of the legal system is disappointing but not surprising.”
Perelman also accuses Barkin of using his Applehead investment to invest $7,000 in her own company, Barkin Industries, and to pay her brother an annual $250,000 salary for “few services of value,” according to his complaint. E! Online quoted Applehead’s lawyer, Jacob Buchdahl, responding to the latter charge: “He’s criticizing a salary he approved himself.”
Ellen Barkin is best known for her roles in the ’80s hit movies Diner, The Big Easy, and Sea of Love and received much critical acclaim and awards for her performance in the 1997 made-for-TV film Before Women Had Wings. Her most recent film appearance was in Ocean’s Thirteen.
Perelman is currently the 28th-richest person in the United States, according to Forbes. His personal fortune is estimated to be $10 billion.
An ideal divorce would be as simple and amicable as possible, but sometimes money and business can complicate things to the point that the battle never ends. Here’s hoping Barkin and Perelman eventually can come to a settlement they agree on. For an article examining your attitudes toward money in divorce, click here.
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