WASHINGTON, October 17 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist figure skater Oksana Baiul is suing her former talent agency and others over allegations that they stole from her, and is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, according to US media reports.
In the lawsuit, Baiul claims she was defrauded by her talent agency, then William Morris now WME, which she claims took advantage of her youth and lack of English to rob her of millions of dollars she earned after winning the gold medal aged 16 at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, according to Courthouse News Service.com.
Baiul alleges she was robbed of earnings, and poorly paid or never paid for a wide range of merchandising, promotional activities and media appearances, and wants over $400 million in compensation, Courthouse News Service.com said in a report dated October 11.
Baiul claims the pattern of alleged fraud only came to light after she hired a new business manager in 2011. She withdrew an earlier $1 million lawsuit filed in Los Angeles last year in favor of the much bigger case filed in New York’s state Supreme Court October 8, according to TheWrap.com, which puts the damages sought by Baiul at “more than $170 million.”
In the lawsuit, Baiul accuses not only agents at WME of theft, but also promotional companies involved with the agency, and even the Screen Actors’ Guild of which she was a member, according to TheWrap.com.