11/18/2003 AT 1:00 AM ET
Turnabout is fair play, and Liza Minnelli is striking back at estranged husband David Gest, filing a $2 million lawsuit claiming he stole from her.
The legal action comes after Gest had slapped her with a $10 million lawsuit, claiming she physically abused him.
Minnelli’s complaint, filed in a Manhattan court, questions Gest’s expense deductions from money she earned in performances that he produced, or in which he acted as her agent, reports the Smoking Gun Web site.
In her papers, Minnelli portrays Gest as a prima donna who “began holding himself out as the ‘star.’ He was abusive and demanding of third parties with whom he was dealing.” Gest’s conduct was so unacceptable, says her lawsuit, that “people in the entertainment industry began refusing to work with Minnelli … if Gest was involved.”
Gest, 50, filed his initial lawsuit in October. The following day, Minnelli, 57, sued him for divorce, and then two weeks ago, Gest sued her for divorce.
On Monday, Gest’s lawyer, famed New York divorce specialist Raoul Felder, denied that his client stole anything from Minnelli, the Associated Press reports. Felder said that, on the contrary, Gest had “laid out millions of dollars” to produce his wife’s shows and ultimately had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Minnelli and Gest married March 16, 2002, at a very strange but celebrity-studded ceremony that featured Michael Jackson as best man and Elizabeth Taylor as maid of honor. They separated last July.
Minnelli was previously married to the singer Peter Allen, the movie producer Jack Haley Jr. and the theater producer Mark Gero. This was Gest’s first marriage.