Citibank sues former 'Star Search' host for nearly $180,000 in outstanding debts

Saturday, June 21, 2008

LOS ANGELES -- Citibank is suing Ed McMahon, seeking to recoup nearly $180,000 lent to the financially strapped Hollywood icon, court records show.

Citibank filed the lawsuit against McMahon in Los Angeles Superior Court on June 9, according to the documents. The bank's suit seeks at least $179,687 in damages as well as attorney's fees on debt incurred within the past four years.

The former "Tonight Show" sidekick and "Star Search" host has faced mounting money problems since it was revealed earlier this month that he was $644,000 behind on payments on his Beverly Hills home. The lender, Countrywide Financial Corp., filed a default notice on the home in late February.

McMahon's publicist, Howard Bragman, said Friday that the McMahons had not yet been served with the lawsuit and will not comment on their personal finances.

McMahon and his wife, Pamela, went on CNN'S Larry King Live earlier his month and described a litany of financial troubles, including a poor economy and McMahon's inability to work as a pitchman since he broke his neck 18 months ago.

"If you spend more money than you make, you know what happens," McMahon told King.

A phone message left with the San Jose, Calif., law firm representing Citibank was not immediately returned Friday.

The Citibank lawsuit was first reported by the entertainment news Web site CelebTV.com.

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