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Actress Mischa Barton suing 'greedy stage mother posing as a talent manager' for stealing her earnings

By Amanda Ferguson

Published 10/04/2015

Actress Mischa Barton with her mother Nuala in happier times
Actress Mischa Barton with her mother Nuala in happier times
Actress Mischa Barton

Actress Mischa Barton is suing her mother and former manager for allegedly exploiting her fame and fortune.

The star is accusing Nuala Barton, nee Quinn, from Newry, Co Down, of being a "greedy stage mother posing as a talent manager" in documents filed in a Los Angeles court.

The 29-year-old actress, best known for playing Marissa Cooper in TV series The OC, is accusing her mother of taking the majority of her salary from her film The Hoarder.

It is alleged she lied to the actress about her earnings for the 2013 horror film and forged her daughter's signature on documents "so that she could pocket the difference... without Barton's knowledge".

Mischa is claiming her mother bullied her, withheld earnings without her knowledge and threw her out of her own eight-bedroom Beverly Hills mansion.

Nuala and Mischa's father, Paul Marsden Barton, live in the property thought to be valued at more than £5m.

The suit complains "Barton is not welcome at the property" and adds that her parents are not working but rather "sit back expecting their daughter's hard work and dedication to her craft to support their lifestyle".

The lawsuit describes "the tragic tale of a greedy stage mother posing as a talent manager who, instead of acting in the best interest of her daughter/client, schemed to defraud her unsuspecting victim".

The former child star - born in west London but brought up in New York - claims, when she was just eight years old, she verbally agreed to pay her mother 10% of earnings to manage her.

A court document paints a different picture.

It reads: "While Barton was busy perfecting her craft and turning her acting dreams into reality, her mother... was secretly scheming to exploit Barton's burgeoning career."

Nuala Barton grew up in Newry and then moved to England, where she met and married foreign exchange broker Paul.

The couple had three daughters, Zoe, Mischa and Hania.

Nuala's father, Hugh Quinn, an Irish language professor, lived out his later years in Sion Mills, near Strabane, Co Tyrone.

Mischa is understood to still have several second cousins and distant relatives living in Ireland.

Since The OC, which ran from 2003 to 2006, Mischa has taken on a number of stage and screen roles but her personal life has generated substantially more headlines.

In 2007 she was rumoured to be dating The Fall and Fifty Shades of Grey actor Jamie Dornan, from Holywood, Co Down, after they were photographed together at an Arcade Fire concert.

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