Actor John Kapelos is facing a lawsuit from a woman named Michelle Vlahos, who says that he used his acting skills to con her into giving him thousands of dollars.
Kapelos, 62, is best known for appearing in numerous classic '80s movies — particularly The Breakfast Club, where he played the wise janitor, Carl. In court documents obtained by TMZ, Vlahos claims that Kapelos swindled her out of about $75,000 over the course of 11 years.
According to Vlahos, the actor "utilized his theatrical instincts" to gain her trust, while convincing her that he desperately needed money for bills and necessities. She claims that it began in 2006, and she and Kapelos shared an understanding that he would pay her back.
After years of using his "powers of persuasion" on her, Vlahos said that she suddenly stopped hearing from Kapelos when she asked about repayment. She and her attorney, Martin Goldman, are reportedly suing for $75,000 plus damages.
Kapelos has yet to respond to the charges. The actor is known for his work on various cult classics. In addition to The Breakfast Club, he worked with John Hughes on Sixteen Candles and Weird Science. However, he has continued to work consistently in the years since. Just last year he had a role in Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water, which won the Oscar for Best Picture.
The classic '80s movies Hughes and Kapelos worked on resonated as the standard for teen dramas for years. However, in the era of the Me Too movement and the Time's Up campaign, many took a closer look at the narratives to see how they influenced generations of young people.
That included Molly Ringwald, who wrote about her experience watching The Breakfast Club with her pre-teen daughter in an essay published by The New Yorker back in April. Ringwald described some of the things that she and the rest of the world had taken for granted at the time the movie was made, and how they terrified her when viewed through her daughter's eyes.
"I'll be the first to admit that ten is far too young for a viewing of The Breakfast Club, a movie about five high-school students who befriend one other during a Saturday detention session, with plenty of cursing, sex talk, and a now-famous scene of the students smoking pot," she wrote "But my daughter insisted that her friends had already seen it, and she said she didn't want to watch it for the first time in front of other people."
Ringwald went on to ruminate on the scene where John Bender (Judd Nelson) peaks under Claire (Ringwald)'s skirt under the table, and the implication that he touched her without her permission.
"If attitudes toward female subjugation are systemic, and I believe that they are, it stands to reason that the art we consume and sanction plays some part in reinforcing those same attitudes," she wrote.
"When my daughter proposed watching The Breakfast Club together, I had hesitated, not knowing how she would react: if she would understand the film or if she would even like it," Ringwald continued. "I worried that she would find aspects of it troubling, but I hadn't anticipated that it would ultimately be most troubling to me."