A child TV star who became a Harvard-trained attorney is facing a lawsuit over claims she undermined a venture fund owned by Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire who toppled Gawker Media.
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Crystal McKellar, who played Becky Slater, a love interest of the main character, Kevin Arnold, on “The Wonder Years,” sent inflammatory, anonymous handwritten letters to investors in Thiel’s Mithril Capital Management — despite exiting the firm with a $225,000-a-year consulting gig, according to a lawsuit filed this week in Texas state court and reported by the New York Post.
McKellar served as the only general counsel of Mithril — a venture capital firm co-founded by Thiel and Ajay Royan in 2012. After leaving the business, she immediately “began a concerted whisper campaign to undermine Mithril, in which she would make false, anonymous complaints to Mithril’s limited partners," the lawsuit claims.
One letter, according to the suit, accused Royan of “lying to investors and the public about how much he is charging us in management fees,” said the Post.
Not only were Mithril's fees appropriate, McKellar approved -- and was an author of -- the disclosure documents, the suit claims.
Mithril confirmed in September that it contacted the government in response to rumors of a federal inquiry in order to protect investors and portfolio companies, according to the Post. At the time, a Mithril spokesperson called the probe “a foiled plot by a self-serving ex-employee.”
According to Mithril, there was never a federal probe.
Only after subjecting the letters to forensic handwriting analysis did Mithril identify McKellar as their author, according to the suit.
Within a month of her exit, the suit claims, McKellar joined another venture capital firm — despite allegedly being bound to Mithril by a noncompete agreement, according to the Post.
The breach-of-contract claim seeks more than $1 million in relief.
McKellar did not return calls from the Post for comment.
*This story has been updated to clarify there was not a federal probe of Mithril.