Being Sheree Whitfield’s divorce attorney is apparently hazardous to the bottom line.
“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member allegedly owes two separate law firms more than $180,000 in divorce-related fees.
She first hired Levine & Smith as her divorce attorney in 2006 against her now former husband and NFL player Bob Whitfield.
In early 2009, Steve Montalto of Levine & Smith sued Sheree, saying she owed him more than $87,000 in unpaid fees related to her divorce. That situation has not been resolved yet, based on recent court filings.
In an interview today, Montalto said she has “ignored and stonewalled any effort to respond to post-judgment discovery about her assets and income,” he said.
He has asked a judge to force her to respond and to threaten her with incarceration. “She thinks she’s above the law,” Montalto said. He also has liens against Bob, her ex husband, which he has ignored.
Her next divorce attorney, Weinstock & Scavo, began working with her in 2007.
On June 10, the firm filed a civil lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court for $96,190.18 in fees related to her divorce. (Interest, the lawsuit said, amounted to $18,709.07 of that total.)
The impetus for this lawsuit came after Bob Whitfield sold property in Atlanta last October. He wrote in court documents that he needed to sell the property to finish paying off his original $775,000 divorce settlement agreement with Whitfield he signed in 2005.
Weinstock & Scavo recorded a lien on March 19, 2009 in favor of the firm for unpaid attorneys’ fees and expenses owed by Sheree. The law firm claimed Bob Whitfield and the people buying his property were aware of the unpaid attorney’s lien but chose to ignore it.
In citing breach of contract, the law firm said “Ms. Whitfield has acted in bad faith, has been stubbornly litigious and has caused W&S unnecessary trouble and expense entitling W&S to an award of attorneys’ fees and costs of litigation in connection with this case.”
In an email Tuesday morning, Whitfield wrote the following:
With all that’s going on in this world, what a shame you feel this is newsworthy….AGAIN!
Darling, these are the SAME disputes you spoke of LAST YEAR!
Bob is a defendant in the lawsuit as well. I emailed Bob’s attorney Alexander Rapasky, who is a defendant in the lawsuit, and have not gotten a response. I will update this if I get any response from the Whitfields or the attorney. I have also left a phone message with Weinstock & Scavo.
UPDATE: On Wednesday, I received a snippy email message from Sheree’s publicist. (I didn’t know she had a publicist!) Here it is in full:
I’m writing concerning your Radio & TV Talk article posted June 14, 2010 entitled Sheree Whitfield hit with another lawsuit from another divorce attorney.http://blogs.ajc.com/radio-tv-talk/2010/06/14/sheree-whitfield-hit-with-another-lawsuit-from-another-divorce-attorney/Please be advised that Coleman Entertainment Group represents Ms. Sheree Whitfield, and that moving forward, it would be greatly appreciated if we may be consulted prior to publishing anything pertaining to her.Copied below is a quote from her publicist, BJ Coleman, in response to your article.“The recent legal allegations being made against my client Sheree Whitfield are simply ludicrous! Sheree Whitfield is not someone who does not pay her bills. She is a business woman, mother, and television star. Her integrity, honesty and moral values have made her the successful woman she is today, and unfortunately these charges seem to stem from greedy individuals who seek to capitalize on her recent fame and notoriety.”Kindest regards,Sophy
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