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Friday, April 19, 2024 | Back issues
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Reality Couple’s Nightmare: Starring a Dog

ANACAPA, Calif. (CN) - The ex-husband of "Beverly Hills Nannies" TV star Ariane Bellamar sued her this week, claiming she stole his dog and $330,000 - and that while they were briefly married, she was a bigamist.

Barry Pettitt, who starred with his then-wife in the short-lived reality show, sued her in Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Monday.

He claims she sneaked onto his San Diego County ranch at 3 a.m. on Sept. 14, 2014, stole his favorite dog, Leo, and has been on the move with the pooch ever since, as far as Canada. She emptied their joint bank accounts while she was at it, Pettitt says.

Pettitt, a real estate mogul from San Diego, married Bellamar in 2011 and starred with her on "Beverly Hills Nannies," which first aired in 2012. Neither the show nor their marriage lasted long.

Pettitt says in the complaint that they separated in 2013 when he learned that the "striking blond-haired reality show 'personality'" was still married to another man named Gary Nacht, whom she had married while she was married to yet another man, Nathan Kays.

Pettitt says he divorced her a year later, after discovering she had stolen his $330,000, and hearing that she had accused Entropics Communications boss Patrick Henry of assaulting her while the two were attending the Sundance Film Festival. Henry was sentenced to community service and fined $400 in Colorado's Summit County Court, according to press reports on that case.

Pettitt says he bought Leo, a Sheba shepherd, in 2007 and it quickly became his favorite. Another dog, a Chinese-crested dog named Mr. Biggles, was to be Bellamar's in case the humans split up, according a pre-divorce settlement, Pettitt says. But barking dogs woke up his son Benjamin at 3 a.m. on the day in question, and Ben saw a blond woman run down the driveway, jump in a car and speed off, according to the complaint.

The next morning, Leo was gone. Pettitt say he thought at first that the dog had run away, and searched for him, but friends told him that Bellamar had recently posted photos of the dog online.

After trying to contact Bellamar to no avail, Pettitt filed a report with San Diego police, only to find that his ex-wife had relocated to Toronto with her 7-year-old daughter, he says.

He says he contacted police there, but when they found her she persuaded them she was in the process of returning Leo. She left Canada and moved to Santa Barbara.

When he found this out, Pettitt says, his attorney, escorted by two police officers, tried to retrieve the dog. They found her at her Santa Barbara home, but she refused to give Leo up, according to the complaint, and she has posted on her Twitter page that she plans to move again - possibly to Los Angeles.

Pettitt seeks an order to compel Bellamar to return the dog, compensation for time and money spent looking for Leo, damages for emotional distress, punitive damages, and the $330,000.

Pettitt is represented by Daniel Murphy, of Santa Barbara. Murphy said in an email that he had no comment. Attempts to contact Bellamar were unsuccessful.

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