Julia Haart, star of the Netflix reality series “My Unorthodox Life” who sued her estranged husband Silvio Scaglia in Delaware’s Court of Chancery for allegedly pushing her out as CEO of the talent agency they co-own, has gotten her lawsuit fast-tracked.
Vice Chancellor Morgan T. Zurn expedited the case in a court order Friday, a week after holding a virtual hearing on the matter. The vice chancellor declined to appoint a custodian in the case.
Haart sued Scaglia in February, alleging that he had taken control of Freedom Holding Inc., the parent of their talent and modeling agency Elite World Group LLC, and removed her from all of her positions and cut off her access to corporate credit cards and Freedom’s bank account.
“He has done this out of pique because Haart is divorcing him and thwarting him from dumping EWG in a fire sale,” the complaint says.
Freedom is the sole member and manager of EWG. Haart, a resident of New York, is one of Freedom’s two sitting directors and owns 50% of Freedom’s common stock, Haart’s complaint says. She is also CEO and director of EWG, according to the complaint.
Scaglia, also a New York resident and EWG’s chairman, is Freedom’s other sitting director and is also a 50% shareholder, Haart’s complaint says.
Lanny J. Davis, an attorney for Elite World Group and Silvio Scaglia, has countered in public statements that Haart’s claims of co-ownership are false and that Scaglia owns 123,665 shares of Freedom preferred stock in addition to the 50 common shares, giving him control of the company.
Scaglia, along with Freedom and EWG, has also sued Haart in New York’s Supreme Court, alleging that she transferred $850,000 without permission from Freedom’s bank account to a company she solely owned, prompting her termination.
“We are confident that on the math alone, Mr. Scaglia is the owner of the parent company and had the right to terminate her for cause based on illegal misappropriation of company funds for her personal use” as alleged in the New York complaint, Davis told Law360 on Friday.
Haart counters in her Delaware complaint that Scaglia’s accusations “have no basis in fact” and are “a collection of fabrications, falsehoods and misrepresentations, all designed to malign Haart and to paint her in a bad light.”
She asserts that under an entity restructuring agreement the two signed in 2019, she also owns 50% of the preferred shares because all of the shares of the company were divided equally between the two of them.
Haart’s attorney declined to comment Friday beyond what was in the complaint.
Julia Haart is represented by Henry E. Gallagher Jr., Matthew F. Boyer and Scott E. Swenson of Connolly Gallagher LLP; and Thomas R. Ajamie and Wallace Showman of Ajamie LLP.
Silvio Scaglia is represented in the Delaware case by Rudolf Koch, Susan M. Hannigan, Travis S. Hunter, Kyle Lachmund, and Sandy Xu of Richards Layton & Finger PA, and Peter Bicks of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.
Scaglia, Freedom Holdings and Elite World Group are represented in the New York lawsuit by Peter Bicks of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.
The Delaware case is Julia Haart v. Silvio Scaglia, case number 2022-0145, in the Court of Chancery for the State of Delaware.
The New York case is Freedom Holding Inc. et al. v. Julia Haart a.k.a Julia Hendler, case number 650661/2022, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York.
–Editing by Rich Mills.