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Opri Bags Birkhead's $$$$$$$$$

6/1/2007 11:06 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

TMZ has learned Debra Opri, the attorney who Larry Birkhead fired and who billed him for more than $600,000 for legal services, is holding a huge amount of Birkhead's money hostage.

Rewind to March, 2007. Larry Birkhead, who was then fighting to establish paternity of Anna Nicole Smith's daughter, Dannielynn, was approached by NBC Universal to appear on some TV shows for major money. Behind the scenes, Opri and her agent, Babette Perry (who works at the IMG Agency) were negotiating the deal for Birkhead. NBC Universal agreed to pay Larry $1,050,000. Birkhead subsequently appeared on a Bravo special. He also repeatedly appeared exclusively on "Access Hollywood" and "Today."

But something weird happened after the check was cut. Although the money was negotiated for Birkhead, the first installment -- $850,000 -- ended up in Debra Opri's client trust fund account. Sources say Opri refused to give Birkhead his money and that is precisely the reason Birkhead fired her.

So exactly how did Opri end up with Birkhead's moola?

Sources say agent Perry told NBC to send the monster check directly to Opri, who then promptly put in her trust fund account. Network sources say Birkhead was pissed and began making calls. We're told agent Perry has defended herself by saying Opri told her that Birkhead wanted the money in the client trust fund account, but that's not the case at all. TMZ knows Birkhead is outraged, claiming he never authorized Opri to funnel his money into her account. NBC sources say they were just following the agent's instructions.

We've learned Birkhead has consulted lawyers about suing Opri and others for allegedly pilfering his money.

Network sources say Opri released $200K to Birkhead but kept $650,000. Coincidentally, after Opri was fired, she submitted a bloated bill to Birkhead for almost the exact amount -- $620,492.84. The charges include fees for Opri's publicist, dinners costing thousands of dollars and her husband's laundry bill. Opri told Birkhead that when she sent him the bill that she would offer him a discount of $511,365.09, but only if he accepted immediately. He declined.

Agent Perry declined to comment, saying she was bound by "confidentially" issues. NBC Universal said "No comment." We contacted Opri's rep yesterday but got no reply. Birkhead had no comment.

321 COMMENTS

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1.

YAZZY    

SHE S A BIG SCAMMER AND DESERVE TO BE PUNISHED......IF SHE GETTING INTEREST FROM THE MONEY SHE PUT IN HER TRUST FUND??? HOW COME A BILL CAN GO SO HIGH ??? I WONDER IF OTHER CLIENT OF HER CAN TELL US IF SHE BILL EVERYBODY THE SAME RATES CAUSE IF IT S THE CASE SHE MUST BE SUPER RICH LIKE DONALD TRUMP......I DON T FEEL SHE DID ANYTHING FOR HIM DURING THE ALL TRIAL BESIDE TRYING TO BE FAMOUS......NOW EVERYBODY SHOULD BOYCOTT HER AND DON T GO TO HER FOR ANY CASE.....I HOPE HE LL GET HIS MONEY BACK TO GET A NICE LIFE TO HIS DAUGHTER......HE IS SAVING HER FROM WACKOS INCLUDING NICOLE COUCOU DRUG ADDICT ....

2704 days ago
2.

J.D.    

I thought it was against the law for attorneys to over bill you and it's a federal crime I think? You need to check into that Larry maybe you can take her before the Bar?

2704 days ago
3.

JR    


Opri is a crook just like all other lawyers. They will try to rob from you what little money they did get for you. I've had a couple of dealings with lawyers and it wasn't good. They wheel and deal you. Go get her LARRY.

2704 days ago
4.

Maxine    

Hey CE: You are the one that should disappear! Thats why you are banned!! Ha Ha

2704 days ago
5.

Maxine    

I agree with you JR. Most lawyers are out for the money. This woman is way out. She has only made her career sink by doing this. No one will respect her after this!

2704 days ago
6.

Barbo Garbo    

How am I NOT surprised...!

This is typical because she thought millions would follow and he wouldn't care. So how unprofessional, and unethical is she? I think enough to get herself DISBARRED!

LARRY: Go get your $$. It will cost you some $$, but I don't think she will fight for long, she has too much to lose. YOU WILL PREVAIL!

2704 days ago
7.

my name is bindy not bindi    

you can see debra hogging and smiling in the camera everytime birkhead was on the air. she was just in it for publicty. she looks like an idiot behind larry. i am not surprised she pulled this .. esp after he canned her.. she's just nasty... she is a money grubbing publicty seeking ....... i hope the board takes her license..

2704 days ago
8.

janice    

46. Why is everybody barking at OPRI??, are you fools too??? IT WAS OPRI WHO GOT LARRY THAT MILLION DOLLAR DEAL SO THAT HE COULD PAY HER. I AM GLAD OPRI KEEP THAT MONEY IN 'TRUST' TO INSURE HER LEGAL SERVICES WILL BE PAY BECAUSE as we are seing Larry in company of Stern are refusing to pay. I AM SOOOOOO GLAD OPRI DID WHAT SHE DID, WHAT SMART WOMAN!!!!!!

Also that bill couldn't been that high but after what Larry did to OPRI going behind her back and negotiating with criminal Stern??? I don't blame her I would have charged him MILLION DOLLARS the amount she negotiated with NBC for Flake ungrateful LARRY.

GET HIM OPRI, YOU WILL COME VICTORIOUS, HOPE STERN RUINS LARRY LIKE HE DID TO ANNA AND DANIEL!!

Posted at 11:21AM on Jun 1st 2007 by GRANDMA VERGIE WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG... Courts are fools!!!!

(((((((((((((((((((((( I AGREE WITH YOU!! VIRGIE WAS RIGHT!

2704 days ago
9.

JJ    

Larry Dirkhead is a greedy bitch!!! He is only prospering off Anna Nicole and her daughter..That poor child..I fell soooo sorry for that child...what a miserable ife she will have..A so called dad like Larry, nothing but a money hungry scumbag..a miserable excuse for a grandmother, white trash liar...she has alot to be embarassed about...I feel for her!!! Larry will continue to prosper off that child..CALL DCF......she needs help!!!!

2704 days ago
10.

crymeariver    

maybe birkhead and hoff should team up on this one. Opri needs to be disbarred

2703 days ago
11.

Virgie Hater    

Prada....No one is allowed to love the baby AND make some money? why is it always one or the other? What would you do if given the chance to make some extra $$$ to make her life and yours a little better/easier?

2703 days ago
12.

John Edwards    

Sorry excuse for a liar, eerrhh lawyer, I mean. It is a shame that there are scum bags like this in the legal biz. This woman should find another line of work. well anyone even thinking of hiring her in the future will think twice about it. I hope Larry gets his cash from this fraud and and she is reduced to handing out her card at fender benders. Disgusting woman.

2703 days ago
13.

cloe    

I am confused..didn't larry birkhead say he wasn't getting any free legal help?
If the lawyers would stop this free legal service I think viirgie arthur would have disapeared a long time ago.

2703 days ago
14.

Cindylou    

BOY OH BOY ... WAS I EVER WRONG ABOUT OPRI!!! PREVIOUSLY I FELT SHE WAS PROTECTING LARRY'S INTERESTS SO WELL BUT SHE TURNS OUT TO BE A CONNIVING THIEF AND LIAR. NOW I UNDERSTAND WHY LARRY FIRED HER SOME MONTHS AGO WHILE EVERYONE WAS SAYING IT WAS BECAUSE HE MADE DEALS WITH STERN. EVEN IF HE DID SO, STERN IS NOW LOOKING A BIT BETTER THAN OPRI. SHE NEEDS TO BE 'BROUGHT TO JUSTICE" IN CHAINS.

2703 days ago
15.

kerstin    

Just for the fact she charged him for her husbands dry cleaning bill i would sue her for it.what laywer does this? what in the world has her husband privat stuff and expenses to do with any legal fees? This is fraud right there and that she thinks she gets actually away with this shows e what kind of laywer she is. Thats rediculous what she ahcrged hi and i hope that a judge holds her accoundable for this crab.On another note i have a problem with a few things regarding larry.when anna was alive she went all the way out to get away from hi and that he has nothing to do with the baby thats when this whole mess startet in the first place but nw that she is dead he pretens like he really cared about her and such when in fact she did wantet nothing to do with him.I have a problem with this that he even had a right to make deceitions about her funderal and using her name in everything and aking deceitions in her name and in an interview with access when asked would ana be happy now he states yes he thinks she would be really happy with the outcome.I dont think so.i think she would turn over in her grave each time he says stuff like this.This woman did not do all this stuff for nothing to get away from him.he acts as if he was her husband or something when in fact he was nothing but an easy lay for her and a sperm donor and nothing more it was very ovius.so to pretend they where such a lovey doye couple in love and such crab is nothing but bull.if anna would still be alive he would not be in her liefe right now at all.and on another note everybody is still at howards case but how has howart to do anything to do with this? he is not even in the same state as larry.i forgot his name but the guy with the house statet in court that he was the one advise anna to move to the bahamas and deal with this not howard.and to say howard held the baby hostage is such crab too. he had any legal rights to have the baby since it was anna herself who put his name on the birth cert and let him believe he was the dad too.this was not holding the baby hostage.what would have happend if larry would have not been the dad ? the baby had to stay with somebody till this mess is resolved.well this is just my openion.Sorry about my misspellings iam nt really good at this.

2703 days ago
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