Ex Desperate Scousewives star in bitter feud with rival animal agency

A former star of TV show ‘Desperate Scousewives’ has been found ‘guilty’ of registering a bogus internet domain name to hijack web traffic from a rival business to her own website, MailOnline can reveal.

Layla Flaherty, 39, also admits creating a fake account in the name of her competitors’ firm.

The Co Galway-born ex-model was often painted as a ‘man-eater’ on the E4 scripted reality show, which was scrapped after one series in 2011.

Twelve years later, she now runs her own talent agency for animals called Urban Paws, placing creatures great and small in film and TV dramas, adverts and promotional campaigns.

She says the Liverpool-based agency has supplied corgis for the Netflix series the Crown and one of its star chickens recently appeared in the arms of Harry Styles for a Gucci campaign.According to Companies House, in the latest accounts, the company had net debts of £91,000.

Layla Flaherty ‘registered a bogus internet domain name to hijack web traffic from a rival business’

Former employee Paula Stewart (pictured) says the pair fell out over money and professional differences

Layla says one of her star chickens recently appeared in the arms of Harry Styles for a Gucci campaign

But this month the fur flew when Layla was caught trying to divert business from a rival London agency set up by one of her ex-employees, Paula Stewart.

Paula, 41, set up her firm at theanimaltalent.agency three years ago and is currently involved in a major TV series alongside Hollywood A-listers, in which her own ‘clients’ include pigeons, cats, dogs… and a lobster named Bert.

Shortly after setting up the firm she found that the domain names theanimaltalent.com and theanimaltalent.co.uk were both mysteriously already taken, but thought little more about it.

The two women had met during Layla’s Scousewives period, which she herself has described as ‘disastrous’, and she suffered a huge amount of online abuse, and says she was even glassed in a pub.

As her agent, Paula dealt with much of the ensuing media storm and the pair became friends.

‘Eventually after the series ended she decided to set up her agency and I agreed to work for her,’ Paula told MailOnline.

Over time, the friends fell out over money and professional differences, and Paula took Layla to court over unpaid debts then decided to set up her own London-based company in 2020.

Not long after, Paula’s attention was drawn to a fake Instagram account, bearing her agency’s name and symbol, but calling it the Animal Talent CON Agency, and branding it as ‘far from ethical towards animals, run by deluded people, violent & aggressive and compulsive lier’s [sic]’

Paula mistakenly thought at first that her own Instagram account had been hacked, hyperlinks.fun but when she tried to sign back in, she realised that the parts of the authenticating password and email address she could see were identical to Layla Flaherty’s.

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