Barkin slams ex-husband for movie lawsuit


NEW YORK -- Ellen Barkin's agents have fired back at ex-husband and Revlon cosmetics mogul Ronald Perelman, calling his lawsuit against the actress and her brother "a cynical abuse of the legal system."

Perelman, 63, sued Barkin and her brother George in New York on Wednesday, claiming they siphoned money from a film production company they formed together and used it to create a competing company and pay George Barkin $250,000 a year.

Perelman and Barkin, 53, divorced in 2006. She sued him in August, saying he had failed to keep an agreement made before their divorce to fund the company they created, Applehead I, with $3.4 million. Barkin and her brother continue to operate the production company.

Chris Taylor, a spokeswoman for Perelman, issued a statement Wednesday saying Barkin's lawsuit to get money for Applehead I was an attempt "to further enrich herself."

A spokeswoman for Applehead issued a statement Thursday calling Perelman's lawsuit "frivolous," "without merit" and "yet another attempt to avoid honoring his written contract to contribute more than $3 million to Applehead Pictures."

"The fact is, Applehead only has money because others stepped in to contribute what Perelman wrongfully withheld," the statement says. "Perelman's cynical abuse of the legal system is disappointing, but not surprising."