Maureen O’Hara’s former personal assistant Carolyn Murphy has hired Ireland’s top libel lawyer in a bid to clear her name.
Cork woman Murphy has made the move in response to claims made in the acrimonious dispute raging over the Hollywood icon’s legacy according to the Sunday Independent newspaper.
A neighbour and friend of O’Hara’s in Glengarriff, Co Cork, she was fired as her PA last summer.
Now she has hired the well known Belfast lawyer Paul Tweed whose client list includes Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Liam Neeson and the Corrs.
Tweed confirmed to the paper that he has ‘been retained by Carolyn Murphy with a view to taking action in relation to a number of serious false and defamatory allegations’.
The report says Murphy’s action is not directed at Ms O’Hara personally but against people close to her.
O’Hara’s family have hired Dublin law firm Arthur Cox to review the actress’s financial affairs as the bitter fallout over her legacy continues.
The paper adds that the dispute arose after O’Hara lent her name and her support to a film and acting centre which was to be opened in her honour in Glengarriff under her guidance and with the help of Murphy.
The wife of a wealthy American executive, Murphy became friends with O’Hara after she moved to Glengarrif with her family.
O’Hara appointed Murphy as her personal assistant and later gave her power of attorney over her affairs.
Last summer O’Hara announced that she was firing Murphy at a hastily organised press conference in the presence of her grandson and her American advisers.
The Quiet Man star later left Glengarriff and moved to Idaho to live with her grandson Conor Fitzsimons.
The Sunday Independent reports that two months ago she started legal action against family friend and lawyer Howard Gibbs in New York, to force him to surrender her papers and documents.
Johnny Nicoletti, who claimed he is O’Hara’s entertainment manager, said she didn’t want to comment on legal matters.
He said: “She did want me to share with your readers how happy she is in Boise, what a wonderful life she has there. She lives down the street from her grandson and his wife, and her great grandkids. She’s having the time of her life spoiling them and being spoiled by them.”