Rihanna wins multimillion dollar settlement against former accountant

The Diamonds star, who celebrated her 26th birthday on February 20, claims she was “effectively bankrupt” at the end of 2009 after bad advice from accountant Peter Gounis of Berdon LLP.

Rihanna, suing under her real name Robyn Fenty, claimed that accountant Peter Gounis and the firm Berdon LLP gave her the green light to buy a US$7 million Southern California house even though she was “bleeding cash” in 2009, according to a report in Page Six.

“The defendants advised Ms. Fenty by e-mail that purchasing a home in Los Angeles ‘would be a good investment’ despite knowing Ms. Fenty was experiencing financial difficulties,” Rihanna’s lawyer Edward Estrada told the New York Post.

It was claimed that she lost US$9 million, leaving her with just US$2 million at the end of 2009.

The Talk That Talk girl’s lawyers claimed Gounis was aware the house she was buying was rotting from water and mould damage, forcing her to spend over US$1 million on refurbishments before selling it for nearly US$2 million less than what she paid.

Court papers said: “Mr Gounis was fully apprised of Ms Fenty’s financial condition, yet, nonetheless, failed to advise her that the purchase would be unwise.”

The multiple Grammy award-winner also claimed it was her accountant’s fault for failing to warn her that her Last Girl On Earth tour would not turn a profit. She fired Berdon LLP in 2010 and sued for US$35 million.

Gounis countered by saying that the singer squandered huge amounts of money on designer clothes and jewellery.

“At the core of her claim is this belief: someone else is responsible for her conduct and its consequences,” he was quoted as saying in a New York Daily News report.

Now, the firm has reportedly offered the Stay singer, who’s worth an estimated US$43 million, a US$10 million settlement.

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