LAS VEGAS (CN) - Eva Longoria claims in court that a stranger bankrolled a 2010 lawsuit against her on the promise he would get half of any judgment against her.
Longoria sued Shlomi Meiri, for champerty and maintenance, in Clark County Court. Champerty is "an agreement between a stranger to a lawsuit and a litigant, by which the stranger pursues the litigant's claim as consideration for receiving part of any judgment proceeds," according to Black's Law Dictionary.
Black's defines champertous maintenance as "meddling in someone else's litigation."
The actress claims that Meiri told her attorneys during a deposition that he agreed to pay the legal fees for Ronan and Mali Nachum's lawsuit, and that "he has an interest in the outcome" because "he is entitled to recover 50 percent of the judgment."
In that 2010 lawsuit , the Nachums and other accused Longoria of trying to muscle out the former managers and part-owners of her Beso Vegas restaurant.
The Nachums claimed Longoria falsely accused them of cooking the books to try to squeeze them out of plans to bring Longoria's Hollywood-based restaurant to the Crystals shopping center at CityCenter on the Las Vegas Strip.
In the new complaint, Longoria claims that Meiri produced a copy of a Nov. 30, 2010 agreement between himself and the Nachums, providing that "'[The Nachums] hereby agree to transfer to [Shlomi] 50 percent of the right, title and interest in the total gross recovery of any settlement, arbitration award, mediation, judgment or resolution of the [Nachum lawsuit] ...'" (Brackets as in complaint.)
Longoria seeks damages and punitive for champerty and maintenance.
Longoria is represented by Robert S. Larsen with Glaser Weil Fink Jacobs Howard Avchen & Shapiro.
Attached to Longoria's 7-page lawsuit are 351 pages of Meiri's deposition.