Longoria Muscled Them Out, Managers Claim
LAS VEGAS (CN) - Actress Eva Longoria Parker falsely accused the former managers and part-owners of her Beso Vegas restaurant of cooking the books in an attempt to muscle them out, the managers claim in Clark County Court.
In April 2009, plaintiffs Ronan and Mali Nachum, along with Jonas Lowrance, Longoria and two other men, agreed to bring Longoria's Hollywood-based restaurant to the Crystals shopping center at the CityCenter on the Las Vegas Strip.
Beso opened Dec. 3, 2009. Eve the Nightclub opened later that month.
In April, an e-mail surfaced that falsely insinuated that Ronan Nachum was stealing company cash and that he was acting like a "tyrant."
"The e-mail also made comments with racial undertones asserting that [Mali] Nachum was booking 'ghetto events' (referring to performances of African American pop artists such as P Diddy, Trey Songz, Kelis and Soulja Boy) that scare off the high-end customers in the night club."
The "Desperate Housewives" star and Lowrance then planned to oust the Nachums and strip them of their part-interest in Beso, according to their lawsuit.
In May, Lowrance filed a protection order against Mali Nachum, claiming that he was "repeatedly put in fear of the immediate threat of harm to my person and property interest at Beso," and that her presence put his "physical and mental safety at grave risk."
The document also falsely claimed that Mali Nachum had punched a female patron in the face and assaulted a food server.
The Nachums say a judge issued the temporary protection order without holding a hearing.
Later that month, Mali Nachum says she got an e-mail from Longoria's accountant requesting accounting reports by the next day.
Longoria wrote in the e-mail that she wanted to "discuss where my money is ... I need to know where my investment is. Very simple really," according to the complaint.
The parties agreed to meet at the restaurant on May 4. That's when the Nachums were met by about six large men, one with a video camera, who handed them a copy of the temporary restraining order and asked them to leave or be arrested, according to the complaint.
Later that day, the Nachums say they also were blocked from accessing their Beso e-mail accounts, and that Ronen Nachum's cell phone was disconnected.
Lowrance and Longoria have since cut off communication with the Nachums, and fired the workers the couple had hired, the lawsuit states. Ronen Nachum also says the actress told workers they'd be fired if they communicated with the couple.
Longoria and Lowrance then tried to remove plaintiffs as managers of Beso by filing official papers with the Nevada Secretary of State, falsely stating that Lowrance was the sole manager of Beso.
The Nachums say Longoria then tried to blame them for the fact that the company's books were never been reconciled or balanced since the company's inception.
Plaintiffs seek at least $10,000 for breach of contract, abuse of process and civil conspiracy against Longoria and Lowrance. They also want to be reinstated as managers of the restaurant, and to gain access to Beso's books.
They are represented by Michael Stein with Snell & Wilmer LLP.