Birkhead Files Court Papers Against Attorney

LATEST: ANNA NICOLE SMITH's ex-boyfriend LARRY BIRKHEAD has accused his former attorney DEBRA OPRI of making unsecure loans totalling $200,000 (GBP100,000) to a criminal. The claims form part of a lawsuit Birkhead has filed against his former lawyer for allegedly defrauding him out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. He also claims Opri promised to represent him free of charge in his custody battle for Anna Nicole Smith's daughter earlier this year (07). But Opri argues Birkhead refused to pay $650,000 (GBP325,000) in legal fees following the court case. In court papers filed on Tuesday (03Jul07), Birkhead further claims Opri gave approximately $200,000 to John Wu and according to the report, "Mr. Wu had never repaid any portion of the $200,000, yet she had continued to loan him money on four or five occasions over the years because of their close friendship." TMZ reports John Wu recently pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to import missile systems designed to destroy aircraft. But Opri has submitted a declaration from bodyguard Mark Speer, who alleges he heard Larry discuss billing with Opri. Speer says Birkhead was totally aware that his $1million (GBP500,000) fee from a TV interview was going to be deposited in Opri's client trust account. According to Speer, "Larry clearly understood that this money was going to pay some or all of his current legal bills relating to his case with Debra." Birkhead is seeking a minimum of $885,000 (GBP442,500) in damages and further punitive damages and rescission of any fee agreements he claims to have signed under fraudulent pretences.


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