Bethenny Frankel Sues Lawyers for $2 Million over Property Dispute That Prolonged Divorce
The suit alleges Frankel's former lawyers acted on Hoppy's "self-serving directives, despite knowledge of the conflict of their interests"
She may have finally put an end to her contentious divorce, but Bethenny Frankel‘s legal drama is far from over: The Real Housewives of New York City star is suing her former lawyers for at least $2 million in damages.
According to the lawsuit obtained by PEOPLE, Frankel, 46, purchased a $5 million apartment in New York City in 2011. She retained attorney Jamie Andrew Schreck and his firm to represent her in her purchase of the property.
The suit alleges Frankel wanted the property to be held in her own name, but her husband at the time Jason Hoppy allegedly requested that the lawyers place the residence in a trust and the star obliged.
Frankel alleges that the trust the lawyers set up granted Hoppy a “50 percent interest in the premises and the right to occupy the premises and not pay any rent” — despite the fact that Frankel purchased the apartment with her own funds.
The suit also claims Frankel’s lawyers prepared the trust agreement without discussing the terms with her or seeking any direction from her, nor did they review the terms of the agreement with her or advise her of any potential risks.
Schreck has not responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
As for why Frankel signed the documents agreeing to the trust in the first place, a source familiar with the lawsuit tells PEOPLE Frankel “believed, based on her communication with her husband, that the trust was to maintain privacy given her public recognition.”
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Frankel finalized her divorce from Hoppy in July 2016. The settlement came after nearly four years of intense negotiations, many surrounding the N.Y.C. apartment — which Frankel now claims could have been avoided were it not for the trust the lawyers set up.
In the new lawsuit, Frankel alleges her rights to the apartment were impaired by the trust agreement, causing her to “expend substantial legal fees and other expenses in her divorce proceedings that were otherwise avoidable.”
Frankel is suing the lawyers for at least $2 million in damages for alleged legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duties, falsely acknowledging documents and breach of contract.