Tamara Mellon, the flashy young entrepreneur behind the Jimmy Choo empire, has accused her mother of improperly receiving $8 million in proceeds from the sale of the London-based company. Mellon claims that the money was intended for her 5-year-old daughter Araminta - not her mother, Ann Yeardye of Beverly Hills. Bert Fields is Mellon's attorney. From the LAT:
In 2004, Mellon sold a majority stake in the company to a private investment firm in a deal that valued the enterprise at around $188 million. (The company was sold to another investment firm, London-based TowerBrook Capital, last year for about $362 million.) After the 2004 sale, about $40 million, mostly in stock and Jimmy Choo corporate debt, was to be paid into a trust benefiting Mellon and her daughter, the lawsuit says. A trust set up for Yeardye, who owned a significant stake in Choo, was to receive an equal sum, but all in cash. The suit claims that a sizable chunk of Choo stock somehow ended up in the Yeardye trust. The stock was later sold and the disputed $8 million in proceeds now reside in a frozen bank account.
Both sides are now engaged in PR-speak. "I tried every means possible to settle what should have remained a private family matter away from a courthouse and out of the public eye. But my mother left me with no choice," Mellon said in a statement (she was said to be on safari when the suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court). Yeardye's attorney said she had hoped "that this would be privately and amicably resolved" and "is very disappointed that the lawsuit was filed."