Whoopi Goldberg has gotten herself into a legal battle. The View host is reportedly being sued for $50 million over a redevelopment plan in West Orange, New Jersey.
According to a court document, the Sister Act actress' company Whoopi Inc., was accused of getting involved in a plan with the city’s mayor, Robert Parisi, to take down the current developer, Prism Capital Partners in an effort to renovate downtown West Orange which includes building a studio for her own production company.
The actress was allegedly involved in an "opportunistic and nefarious scheme" to acquire the property for below market value so she and her associates can use the land for a sound studio.
The current developer first secured the project in 2006 after the West Orange city council approved of a redevelopment project that encloses 21 acres on Main Street. Their initial plan proposed was to “revamp the historic Thomas Edison Battery Building and surrounding grounds with thousands of square feet of retail space and hundreds of units of housing.”
But after nearly 15 years, Prism has since failed to complete the task which prompted the city officials to find a replacement to take over the project.
As a result of that, the township ended its agreement with Prism in June. So now the developer is looking for justice.
The Prism principal partner, Eugene Diza issued a statement to NY Post saying, “West Orange Township changed its mind from creating a residential neighborhood around our Edison Lofts property. They asked us to speak to Ms. Goldberg concerning her company’s interest in a small studio. Those conversations grew into something larger, and once we presented that deal and take the property for less money than we paid for it in 2007- so they could negotiate a deal directly with Ms. Goldberg’s company.”
They also added, “They are not only trying to avoid paying the $20 million owed but they are trying to profit by being a middleman that flips the property to Ms. Goldberg.”
In a response to the developer’s lawsuit, Mayor Robert said, “They have had almost 15 years to complete Phase 2 of this project and despite approvals, have failed to live up to their commitments.”
To further support his council’s decision, Robert also added in a press release, “For Prism Green to attack prominent members of the West Orange community and volunteers in our collective effort to improve the township is atrocious and unacceptable.”
The award-winning actress is still yet to comment on the lawsuit.