In hot water. Vicki Gunvalson is facing a lawsuit over allegations of fraud linked to her insurance company.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, the Real Housewives of Orange County star, 57, is accused of lying to Joan Lile for more than 20 years. The 82-year-old woman reportedly filed a case against Gunvalson and her company, Coto Insurance and Financial Services, for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract.
The website reported that Lile bought a longterm care insurance policy from the reality star in 1996. The customer reportedly claimed that Gunvalson assured her and her husband that the agreement would cover future medical premiums after one of the spouses died.
However, Lile reportedly alleged that the Bravo personality lied about the “Lifetime Waiver of All Premiums of a Surviving Spouse” clause, all while “preying on the confidence and trust” of the couple.
According to The Blast, the documents claim that Gunvalson fraudulently and intentionally misrepresented what she sold her customer. Meanwhile, “[Lile] paid ever-increasing premiums yet was ultimately denied the specific benefit on which the purchase of the policy was predicated.”
The papers reportedly state that the benefit “was of the utmost importance to the Liles because Robert Lile was significantly older than Joan Lile and wanted, above all else, to know that his wife would be protected financially upon his passing” in 2017.
The More Than a Housewife author founded her company, of which she is the president, in 1991.
In a statement to Us Weekly, her lawyer Michael Mazur says, “The claims alleged against Gunvalson are completely false. Gunvalson has always acted professionally and with the utmost truthfulness and integrity in every transaction that she acted as an insurance agent for her clients. She has never engaged in any fraudulent conduct nor misrepresented any terms of any policy. She vehemently denies the false allegations made against her in the lawsuit by Mrs. Lile.”
Mazur continues, “Mrs. Lile filed the lawsuit against Penn Treaty Insurance Company (‘Penn Insurance’) because they failed to honor the terms of the insurance policy that they had underwritten in 1996. Gunvalson was Mrs. Lile’s agent for the transaction. Unfortunately, when Mrs. Lile filed her claim for benefits with Penn, she discovered that Penn Insurance had financial difficulties and was taken over by the State of Pennsylvania. The operations were taken over and placed into receivership and liquidation.”
The attorney adds, “Gunvalson has provided her full assistance and cooperation to Mrs. Lile in seeking to have Penn Insurance honor the terms of the insurance policy that they issued to Mrs. Lile. Penn Insurance is currently under Court Orders issued in Pennsylvania for a Statutory Liquidator. In February 2019, an Order was issued authorizing the release of funds from the estate (Penn) to each state guaranty association in order to pay claims. The claims made against Gunvalson are completely false and lack any merit whatsoever.”
Gunvalson’s legal trouble comes after drama surrounding her role on Real Housewives. The original cast member denied rumors that she was demoted to a “friend” in the upcoming season 14. “Unless you hear it from me, then it’s simply a rumor,” she tweeted in February, “I am in negotiations.”
She later confirmed that she would appear. “First night of filming for me and @stevelodge_oc in the books,” she wrote. “Season 14 @evolutionusa #bravo #rhoc.”