Talk show host Wendy Williams is seeking a temporary restraining order against Wells Fargo after the firm froze her assets following concerns expressed by a financial advisor Williams accuses of being “disgruntled,” according to news reports.
Wells Fargo froze Williams’ accounts after advisor Lori Schiller said Williams wasn’t able to manage her finances, according to a petition for an emergency injunction Williams filed in New York state court on February 4 seeking control of her accounts, the Asbury Park Press writes.
"Until Wells Fargo reopens my personal, business, deferred compensation, and investment accounts, unfreezes my financial assets, my family and I are at risk of suffering continued irreparable financial harm," Williams said in the court papers, according to the publication.
Wells Fargo says it froze the accounts because it suspected that Williams was the victim of financial exploitation, the Asbury Park Press writes.
"Wells Fargo’s priority is the financial well-being of Ms. Williams and the preservation of her privacy," the company told the publication in a statement. "As we have expressed to the Court, Wells Fargo is open to working with Ms. Williams’ counsel to release funds directly to her creditors for bills historically and regularly paid from her accounts."
The company also defended Schiller, saying she had an unblemished record in her 23-year career, according to the Asbury Park Press.
Schiller started her career in the financial services industry in 1998 with Merrill Lynch and had stints with Morgan Stanley and UBS before joining Wells Fargo in 2017, according to BrokerCheck.
The advisor alleged that Williams was “of unsound mind,” according to court documents cited by the New York Post.
Williams, however, believes Schiller acted out of retaliation, claiming that she fired Schiller over improper conduct in their professional relationship, the Asbury Park Press writes, citing the February 4 court papers.
And on February 11, Williams filed an affidavit in New York Supreme Court in support of the request for a temporary restraining order against Wells Fargo, according to the Post.
“It appears that Schiller was and is disgruntled by this decision for a potential change in direction, and it saddens me that [Wells Fargo] and I have not been able to resolve this controversy amicably,” Williams says in her affidavit, according to the Post. Schiller didn’t return the Post’s request for comment.
The affidavit came a day after Wells Fargo’s lawyer, David Pikus, claimed in a letter to Judge Arlene Bluth that the firm was “concerned about [Williams’] situation” and asked the court to “appoint a temporary guardian or evaluator to … ensure that [Williams’] affairs are being properly handled,” according to the Post.
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