August 25, 2011 7:12pm PT by Matthew Belloni
Maria Menounos Sued for Defamation by Former 'Access Hollywood' Stylist (Exclusive)
Maria Menounos has been sued for defamation by her former stylist, who claims that the ex-Access Hollywood host cost her clients by telling people she's a thief.
Lindsay Albanese, who served as Menounos' stylist from 2005-09, filed suit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court. She claims she attended a gift suite event in Hollywood in June when Menounos demanded to speak with her. At that point, according to the complaint, Menounous "loudly accused [Albanese] of stealing by claiming, 'Dolce and Gabbana won't lend to me anymore because they said you never return anything.'"
Albanese says that's a lie but that Menounos also told people Albanese had been stealing from her as well. She claims she has lost clients because of the false accusations.
Menounos earlier this month ended a six-year stint on Access Hollywood to join rival Extra. We've reached out to Menounos' rep for comment.
"This lawsuit, if it can even be called that, is absolutely meritless and a poor attempt to extort money from Ms. Menounos," Menounos attorney Bryan Freedman told THR. "The truth about the plaintiff will come out soon, and when it does, the court will throw this ridiculous case out and award our client any costs she may incur."
The complaint, filed by Douglas Silverstein and Lauren Morrison of Kesuluk & Silverstein, alleges causes of action for defamation, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Damages are not specified.