A woman is suing Brad Pitt for $100,000 for allegedly failing to show up at fundraising events she organized for his charity after she paid him $40,000 in appearance fees – but it appears she’s the victim of a celebrity internet scam.
Kelli Christina, a healthcare CEO from Plano, Texas, claims that she paid $40,000 for the Hollywood star to make five appearances at functions she arranged for his non-profit Make It Right Foundation, which constructs new homes for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Christina says there was always an excuse as to why the A-lister couldn’t attend at the very last minute, with the promise of ‘next time’.
The 50-year-old goes on to claim in court documents obtained by DailyMail.com that while she was reaching this business deal with Pitt, the two struck up a relationship and ‘there were discussions of marriage’, which fizzled out when she stopped paying his appearance fees.
However, sources close to the situation tell DailyMail.com that Christina has been the victim of a scam by someone online posing as the actor.
Brad Pitt is being sued for $100,000 by Texas healthcare CEO Kelli Christina. Christina claims she paid $40,000 for the Hollywood star to make five appearances at functions she arranged for his charity but says he never showed up
On Monday, Pitt’s team filed a motion to dismiss (pictured) and in the documents obtained by DailyMail.com claim Christina even admitted to being scammed by ‘fake Brad Pitts’
The complaint, filed in the Texas Eastern District Court states: ‘In 2018, Plaintiff Kelli Christina was approached by Brad Pitt for the purposes of raising funds for the Make It Right Foundation, a charitable cause to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina.
‘Kelli Christina was persuaded by Brad Pitt’s presentation of the allegedly meritorious cause. Plaintiff and Brad Pitt as founder and director of the Make It Right Foundation entered into a business agreement with specific terms and conditions.
Christina claims Pitt canceled at the very last minute to each event with the promise of ‘next time’, but says he still pocketed the $40,000 appearance fee
According to the deal, Christina would organize events and market to the general public to raise money for Make It Right Foundation’s charitable causes.
Pitt would make an appearance at the events and be paid $40,000, according to the lawsuit.
‘Brad Pitt’s appearance at the events was key to the events, donations to be made by attendees and was part of the agreement between Plaintiff and Defendants,’ the suit states.
A spokesman for Pitt declined comment due to ongoing litigation.
But a source familiar with the case said, ‘This is a sad case of someone who was the victim of an online celebrity internet scam that had nothing to do with the actual celebrity. Hopefully others can learn from this unfortunate situation.’
On Monday, Pitt’s team filed a motion to dismiss and in documents obtained by DailyMail.com claim Christina even admitted to being scammed by ‘fake Brad Pitts’.
‘Neither the Make It Right Entities nor Mr. Pitt entered into an agreement with Plaintiff. Rather, as [Christina] herself has acknowledged, it appears [Christina’s] communications about any agreement were apparently with one or more individuals unlawfully posing as – but not in any way affiliated with – defendants online,’ the motion to dismiss states.
‘By [Christina’s] own admissions, the communications she now alleges to have had with Mr. Pitt on behalf of the Make It Right Entities, which led to the alleged agreement that forms the basis of her claims, were actually between Plaintiff and one or more individuals posing as, in Plaintiff’s words, ‘f’ake Brad Pitts” and not in any way affiliated with the Make It Right.’
Christina went on to claim in the lawsuit that that the tens of thousands she paid for Pitt’s non-appearances were deposited into different bank accounts of various staff members at the NGO.
She said she is suspicious that the money never reached the hurricane victims.
DailyMail.com obtained the lawsuit filed last month. The 50-year-old alleges she and Pitt had a relationship and ‘there were discussions of marriage’
‘Payments made by Plaintiff to Defendants were made to different bank accounts Defendants owned in different banks. Importantly, it is also unclear that any proceeds were distributed to victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana,’ the suit claims.
‘After Brad Pitt’s fourth failure to make an appearance, Kelli Christina sent a notice letter to Defendants requesting a refund of the payments made to Defendants for failure to make appearances at the fundraising events organized by Plaintiff pursuant to the Agreement. Plaintiff request for a refund was wholly ignored.’
In her suit, Christina claims she and Pitt had a relationship and even discussed marriage.
The suit states: ‘Shortly after Plaintiff was approached by Brad Pitt regarding the charitable cause, in addition to the business relationship, a personal relationship began to develop between Kelli Christina and Brad Pitt to a degree that there were discussions of marriage between the two.
‘During this same period, Kelli Christina made payments to Defendants totaling $40,000. After Brad Pitt failed to make an appearance for the fifth time at the scheduled fundraising events, Plaintiff stopped sending payments to Defendants.’
From 2007 to 2016 Pitt’s Make It Right spent $26.9million and built over 100 ‘green’ homes sold for $150,000
Christina runs a healthcare recruitment company called KD Staffing and the company was named as one of the Top 100 Healthcare Leaders, according to the International Forum on Advancements in Health
Christina’s social media shows her with the Top 100 Award presented in Las Vegas and at various events with her ‘team of staff’
‘Once the payments stopped, the personal relationship between Brad Pitt and Kelli Christina quickly dissipated and it immediately became impossible to contact Brad Pitt or the Make It Right Foundation to discuss a refund of the funds Defendants had received.’
Pitt is currently dating German model Nicole Poturalski, 27, who uses the name Nico Mary for her modelling career.
Christina runs a healthcare recruitment company called KD Staffing.
Her company was named as one of the Top 100 Healthcare Leaders, according to the International Forum on Advancements in Health.
She is active on social media and her Instagram page shows photos of her with the Top 100 Award presented in Las Vegas, where she was also a keynote speaker,.
She also regularly posts various shots with her ‘team of staff’ and at networking events.
DailyMail.com’s attempts to contact Christina were unsuccessful.
New Orleans residents previously sued Pitt’s charity in a class action lawsuit claiming to have suffered illnesses due to poorly constructed homes
Pitt is currently dating German model Nicole Poturalski, 27, who uses the name Nico Mary for her modelling career
Christina, who’s representing herself, is now claiming over $100,000 in ‘monetary relief’ and wants the case to be heard in a State, rather than federal court, which was last month denied by a judge.
Now all parties have agreed a protective order to keep any documents and information private.
From 2007 to 2016, Make It Right spent $26.9million and built over 100 ‘green’ homes.
But Pitt’s charity has already taken some hits from a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of New Orleans residents Lloyd Francis, Jennifer Decuir, Walter Claiborne, Alfreda Claiborne, Julia Keeler, and Ann Parfait, who claim to have suffered illnesses and infrastructural issues to their properties in New Orleans, which were rebuilt by Make It Right after Hurricane Katrina.
Homeowners have been complaining about the sub-standard quality of the houses, which have been falling apart and causing ill-health from leaky roofs, rotting walls, and toxic mold.