MANILA, Philippines – It’s beginning to look like a derby where the clash of egos keeps producing new casualties.
Four adult women and two minor girls are involved in this stranger-than-art drama involving actress Nadia Montenegro and erstwhile friend and talent manager Annabelle Rama, who quarreled over the handling by the latter of the former’s two children.
On Tuesday, it was Nadia’s turn to hit back, and submitted her joint reply affidavit, accusing Annabelle of child abuse and exploitation and oral defamation.
Nadia also dragged into the fray Annabelle’s daughter Ruffa Gutierrez, who she said had attacked her in a “DM” on Twitter, as an “ungrateful piece of (unmentionable).”
But Nadia said a mutual friend of her and Annabelle, veteran actress Daisy Romualdez, was not instigating her to go against Annabelle.
“I don’t need anyone to encourage me to fight for my children who were wronged,” she told TV reporters, speaking in Filipino.
Crying, Nadia said, “ipaglalaban ko, ipaglalaban ko, hindi ako titigil, maniwala ka Annabelle hindi ako titigil [I’ll fight for mny children. I won’t stop. Believe me, Annabelle, I won’t stop].”
She wants the very outspoken celebrity manager to answer in court for the alleged child abuse she inflicted on her former talents Annyka and Alyana Asistio, Nadia’s two children.
She said Annabelle did not only exploit her children, she even badmouthed them before network executives, when “all they wanted was to dance and all they wanted was to do a little of what their mother used to do.”
She insisted Annabelle had earned P600,000 in manager’s fees from each child, and not the paltry P3,000 that Annabelle claimed she was getting.
She wondered aloud if Annabelle was hiding something from the taxmen.
In her joint reply affidavit, Nadia debunked claims that her family was starving, forcing her to make her children work.
She said she still lived in a comfortable house and had six cars.
The two antagonists face off on November 29 before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.