Bel Geddes’ ex-manager sues for $ 80 mil

Business manager Lloyd Zeiderman has filed an $ 80 million suit in New York State Supreme Court against former client Barbara Bel Geddes charging that his business sustained severe losses after the actress sued him in 1992 on racketeering charges.

Bel Geddes first sued Zeiderman in October 1992 for several investments he made for her during the 1980s.

That suit, filed in New York federal court, accused Zeiderman and his company, ZFL Management, of criminal mail fraud. It charged that Zeiderman fraudulently invested Bel Geddes’ money under the Racketeer Influenced, Corrupt Organizations Act.

While the suit eventually was dismissed, according to Zeiderman’s attorney, the publicized filing caused the business manager to lose some $ 5 million in business. In his suit, he claims that he lost many clients, including Kenny Rogers.

“There’s always a lot of publicity when someone gets sued but no publicity when a case is dismissed,” said Raymond J. Heslin of the New York law firm Gold, Farrell & Marks.

The attorney representing Bel Geddes, Bruce Stachenfeld, could not be reached.

In Zeiderman’s suit, he claims that Bel Geddes “intentionally and/or recklessly” filed her $ 17 million federal suit even though the risky nature of her investments had been made clear to her.

“This is a man who helped Barbara Bel Geddes revive her career after it was pretty much over in the late 1960s,” Heslin said. “He helped her get the ‘Miss Ellie’ role on ‘Dallas.’ And then, when she retired, he helped her return to the show a year later when she decided she no longer wanted to retire.”

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