The 'Modern Family' star was accused of breach of contract, promissory fraud and intentional interference with contractual relations, among other claims
Sofia Vergara is speaking out after being hit with a lawsuit in December from her contractor who renovated her Los Angeles home.
In the counterclaim obtained by PEOPLE, Vergara’s attorney Martin Singer alleges on behalf of the Modern Family star, 51, that the lawsuit was erroneously filed by her contractor, Reside Custom Homes, and strived to “publicize a false narrative” in order to draw attention away from what he claims was an agreement breach.
By filing the lawsuit, he alleges, Reside also intended to “embarrass” Vergara as a “public persona.”
The filing claims that Reside performed negligent construction on Vergara’s home that led to $5 million in damages as a result of delays, failure to make necessary repairs, and ignoring reports from an on-site representative, who pointed out faulty work and overcharges. Singer claims the representative, James Idom, was removed from the project for bringing attention to these errors.
The document states that both parties, Vergara and Reside, allegedly agreed to settle any disputes privately through arbitration, but instead Reside chose to file a lawsuit anyway. Singer alleges this action proves that their goal was to “publicize mischaracterized facts and pressure Vergara publicly."
According to the complaint filed by Reside on Nov. 27 and obtained by PEOPLE, Vergara allegedly failed to pay two bills for work completed on her Los Angeles mansion totaling $1,700,492.64. The filing accuses the star of breach of contract, promissory fraud and intentional interference with contractual relations, among other claims.
Vergara's attorney Martin Singer said in a statement to PEOPLE at the time: "My client made claims against the contractor, Reside, several months before this specious lawsuit was filed. Sofia Vergara’s claims were for significant overcharging by Reside, substandard and negligent work, and long delays seeking damages in excess of $5 million."
He added, "We are confident that my client will prevail in this dispute."
Records show Vergara purchased the home for about $26 million in 2020, while she was still married to ex husband Joe Manganiello. The pair announced their split after 7 years of marriage in July 2023. The suit claims she moved in in March 2023.
Per the documents — which names Vergara and her business partner, CEO and founder of Latin World Entertainment Luis Balaguer, as owners of the property — RCH completed the work Vergara initially hired them to do in December 2022, at which time, they say, she asked for additional work that expanded both the time frame and the budget.
Two invoices for that work, for $896,196.15 and $657,245.23, remain unpaid, they claim. In response, RCH put a mechanic’s lien against the property in August.
RCH refutes Vergara's attorney's statement, claiming she never complained about the quality of work throughout the renovation despite regular check-ins, and only aired her grievances "some seven months later and only after RCH recorded a lien against the property."
RCH also alleges their employees and subcontractors were mistreated on the job site.
"Throughout the duration of RCH’s work on the Property, Vergara would routinely engage in aggressive outbursts and would humiliate, ridicule, harass, and seek to intimidate RCH’s employees, representatives and subcontractors, among others," the complaint says.
It continues, "Vergara’s outbursts became so frequent and severe that it became difficult for RCH to keep subcontractors engaged and willing to continue working on the Project." They claim they'd frequently have to convince workers "not to quit" because of what they describe as "pervasive, abusive, and hostile behavior."
Things escalated in October 2023 when RCH claims "Vergara hired counsel to bully RCH (and others) with meritless allegations of wrongdoing and threats of litigation."
The actress has had what she described as a "very interesting and very long year," she told PEOPLE in November during her Toty Transforma AHA launch party.
“I went through a divorce this year. The SAG strike that went on for so long," she continued. On July 18, the actress announced in a joint statement she would be separating from her True Blood star husband after seven years of marriage.
"We have made the difficult decision to divorce,” the estranged couple said in their statement to Page Six. “As two people that love and care for one another very much, we politely ask for respect for our privacy at this time as we navigate this new phase of our lives.”
However, while she told PEOPLE that there have been several obstacles for both her personally and the entertainment business as a whole, she believes that there’s a brighter future on the way. “It’s not like it’s bad,” Vergara continued. “I think all the things are resolving, everything is going to be okay and I’m very excited for next year.”
After her split from Manganiello, Vergara began dating boyfriend Justin Saliman, an orthopedic surgeon, The pair were first photographed together in October, when they went out for dinner at an Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills for Kim Kardashian's birthday celebration.
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