MANHATTAN (CN) – Actress Celeste Holm says she was duped into hiring MODA Entertainment to archive her memorabilia and career highlights, because the company’s CEO grossly exaggerated the company’s capabilities. “MODA was and is, at best, a fledgling company, if not a completely fraudulent operation,” Holm claims in New York County Court.
The “Gentleman’s Agreement” star and her husband, opera singer Frank Basile, say they hired MODA for the archiving project after meeting CEO Shannon Mulholland at a party.
“Mulholland filled Plaintiffs’ ears with all sorts of lies and exaggerations as to her Hollywood connections and the celebrity clients of MODA,” the lawsuit claims.
Mulholland allegedly told the plaintiffs that she “was the god-daughter of Maria Cooper Janis,” that she “was the heir to the Gary Cooper estate,” that she had “represented Katherine Hepburn,” and that she had represented the estates of Hemingway, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
“Amidst the cloud of Mulholland’s calculated and star-struck fanfare, admiration and grandiose promises, Plaintiffs were ultimately enticed to sign up with MODA,” the suit claims.
The couple claims they hired MODA to promote Holm’s birthday and their wedding in April 2004. Mulholland promised other projects such as a documentary film, a coffee table book and licensing deals after the archiving project was finished, according to the plaintiffs
But Mulholland never finished the archiving project, the suit claims, even after the famous couple let her stay in their home while they were gone to work on the project. When the plaintiffs returned, Mulholland purportedly took home dozens of boxes of memorabilia, claiming she “would have people work around-the-clock” on the project.
But Holm and Basile say the work never got done. And they say MODA and Mulholland made up licensing deals and projects and forged signatures in order to pad the bill.
Plaintiffs demand at least $327,000 in actual damages, plus punitive damages. They are represented by Neal Brickman.