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Nuala Barton has fired her first salvo against her daughter Mischa Barton in court.
In April, the elder Barton was sued by the younger Barton for exploitation. Specifically, it’s alleged that Nuala acted as a talent manager for the O.C. actress but kept more than a 10 percent commission, misrepresented the compensation for acting in the horror film The Hoarder, induced the purchase of a $7.8 million Beverly Hills home, doled out an allowance on a discretionary basis and so forth.
The allegations are “false and defamatory,” states a new demurrer by Nuala, who for now is attacking three claims: breach of oral contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and fraudulent misrepresentation.
As far as the contract goes, Nuala questions the lack of specifics. “The failure to identify the material terms of a contract renders the cause of action fatally defective,” say her papers.
Nuala says the contract claim also falls short because the timing of the breach is left out. She suggests the omission is “not merely incidental,” as what’s not in the lawsuit is intended to “obfuscate” a statute of limitations roadblock.
So Nuala and Mischa have known each other a long time. Twenty-nine years, to be exact.
If there were a momager contract, Nuala says that would cover the money on The Hoarder. Nuala says the lawsuit can’t be read currently to be anything more than a “broken contractual promise,” and Mischa comes forth with no facts to support the allegation that Mom didn’t intend to perform under the talent-management agreement and limit her compensation to 10 percent of earnings.
The lawsuit did, though, allege that Nuala told Mischa that her paycheck was “substantially less than what was actually negotiated.”
A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Jan. 4, and even if Mom is able to trim her daughter’s lawsuit, it still would leave claims of breach of fiduciary duty and conversion to fight over.
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