Actor Ken Wahl accuses SAG, business manager of being wiseguys

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Actor Ken Wahl accuses SAG, business manager of being wiseguys

Tue Mar 31, 2009 @ 05:24PM PST

By Eriq Gardner  

Remember Ken Wahl, the good-looking actor who shot to fame as Vinnie Terranova on the TV show "Wiseguy" in the late 1980s and was named the sexiest man on television in 1989 by Us Magazine? Kenwahl

By 1994, Wahl had dropped off the radar as a result of breaking his neck after falling down a staircase. He hasn't acted since 1996, and is now apparently destitute.

Wahl has now re-emerged with a couple targets to blame for his troubles. He has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against former business manager Henry Levine and the Screen Actors Guild.

"Unbeknownst to the average person, many celebrities, particularly the young ones, are so emotionally dependent upon their managers that they are not even able to make appointments to doctors without their manager's approval," says the complaint. "Such was the nature of the dependent relationship between Plaintiff and Defendant Levine." 

According to the complaint, Wahl has mismanaged his personal life and career in numerous ways, starting with the breakup with his former wife. He alleges that Levine had a secret business manager relationship with her, advised him to use an attorney who had a conflict, and counseled him to be as generous to her and his son as possible, including a $7,000 per month alimony that went to things like plastic surgery, vacations, massages and boyfriends. 

Wahl also accuses Levine of embarrassing him in the press by saying he exaggerated his neck injury, discouraged him from going to the doctor, and embezzling $500,000 in insurance money that was supposed to go to the actor. Wahl also says Levine refused to permit him to apply for SAG pension benefits.

Wahl later ran into trouble with the IRS over pension benefits.

Now, Wahl accuses SAG of being aware that Hollywood studios were derelict in not paying amounts owed into pension funds. He estimates that $1 million was wrongfully taken from him. 

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The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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