Lisa Vanderpump says she’s ‘disappointed’ that a dog rescuer she tried to help is now accusing her and husband Ken Todd of stiffing her out of a $32,000 deal.
The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills star tells DailyMail.com that she and Ken had given Lizzie Scherer money last year to help cover rent and bills after her Saving Spot rescue in LA had got into financial difficulties.
‘We gave her $40,000 out of the goodness of our hearts. We were going to merge with her,’ Lisa explained.
Speaking out: Lisa Vanderpump tells DailyMail.com she and husband Ken Todd, pictured Wednesday in Beverly hIlls, gave Saving Spot rescue in LA $40,000 after claims the celebrity couple reneged on deal with the shelter
She confirmed that there was a memo of understanding between them but after doing due diligence, it became clear that they were not going to be able to do business together.
‘When we found out she didn’t have her 501 (c) 93) any more and hadn’t filed tax returns, we didn’t pursue,’ Lisa, a high profile animal welfare activist, told DailyMail.com Wednesday.
‘We’re disappointed she’s making these false allegations. We’ve put it in our lawyers’ hands.’
Failed business deal: Dog rescuer Lizzie Scherer has claimed Lisa and Ken, right, stiffed her for $32,000 after walking away from an agreement to pay the rent and bills for her shelter
Not above board: In May 2016, Lisa says she helped out the rescue as she considered establishing a shelter but walked away from the deal after discovering Saving Spot had lost its 501 (c) (3) status and had not filed tax returns
Doing her own thing: The British reality star went on to establish, with husband Ken, The Vanderpump Dog Foundation which has, to date, adopted out 135 dogs
After the idea of merging with Saving Spot fell apart, Lisa and Ken established their own charitable rescue organization, The Vanderpump Dog Foundation. The nonprofit has to date adopted out 135 dogs.
Executive director of the foundation, John Sessa, told DailyMail.com that the allegations being made by Scherer are upsetting.
‘It’s been a very unpleasant experience for Ken and Lisa who were just trying to help her,’ he said.
PageSix.com first reported Scherer’s claims that the celebrity couple ‘actively came after my rescue, and ruined me.’
‘Unpleasant experience’: Lisa and Ken have placed the matter of Scherer’s ‘false allegations’ in their lawyer’s hands and say Scherer has breached a confidentiality agreement she signed
Support system: The British couple, who’ve been married since 1982, showed their affection for each other in the midst of adversity
Scherer alleged to the New York Post’s gossip site: ‘[Ken] was looking for a space to lease. We signed a [memo] saying that he would pay my rent for the next three years…and offer me an employment contract as part of that deal. He then didn’t pay rent and said he’d pay one month’s rent as long as I signed [a nondisclosure agreement] and let them out [of deal],’ Scherer alleged.
An investigation by local LA TV news channel CBS2 in April revealed that Saving Spot’s tax-exempt status from the IRS was revoked in 2015 for failing to file tax returns. The state attorney general’s office also suspended its nonprofit status for failing to file paperwork making it illegal for it to transact business in California.
Saving Spot charity head Ira DeWitt told PageSix.com that mistakes had been made and that the organization’s nonprofit status has now been reinstated.
However, the rescue is still expected to close due to lack of finances, the report said.
Celebrity support: Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi hosted a fundraiser for Saving Spot in 2013; the following year Scherer was forced to apologize to the couple after falsely claiming they’d failed to show up to the 2014 fundraiser due to ‘a big fight’
Back in 2013, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi headlined an annual fundraiser for Saving Spot and were among its celebrity supporters that also included Octavia Spencer, Aaron Sorkin and Allison Janney, as THR.com reported at the time.
However, Scherer was forced to issue an apology to the couple the following year after claiming they had failed to show up to the 2014 fundraiser, leaving attendees disappointed, because ‘they’d had a big fight.’
As E! News reported, Scherer issued a statement saying she regretted making false statements, adding: ‘Ellen and Portia have been very supportive of Saving Spot in the past. They never agreed to attend this year’s benefit, and they were not absent due to an argument on their way to the event. The entire scenario was fabricated. There was no such fight, and Ellen and Portia never planned to attend the benefit.’
Meanwhile, The Vanderpump Dog Foundation offers adoptions, groomers, a café with doggy biscuits, and their own line of pooch products at their store-front shelter in West Hollywood.
‘We will be sharing inspiring stories’: Lisa will next team up with the Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan for a Zappos for Good Speaker Series event happening August 5 in Las Vegas