"Home Improvement" Star Allegedly Scammed Bumble Date Out of Thousands: "He Was Very Pushy"
Zachery Ty Bryan starred on the sitcom from the ages of 10 to 17.
Throughout most of the '90s, Zachery Ty Bryan starred on Home Improvement as Brad, the oldest kid in the Taylor family. The sitcom aired for eight seasons, so he spent the ages of 10 to 17 on the set. Following the 1999 series finale, Bryan continued acting for the next several years, appearing in TV guest roles and in the occasional movie. But in 2020, Bryan made headlines for something other than his career: He was arrested after an alleged assault.
And that's not the only legal drama the 41-year-old has faced in recent years. A new story from The Hollywood Reporter details other lows in the former child star's life, including claims that Bryan defrauded investors in a cryptocurrency scam. One woman who went on a date with Bryan after meeting him on a dating app even claims that she was convinced by the actor to invest thousands of dollars in a company under false pretenses. Read on to find out more, including how Bryan defended himself from the accusations.
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Bryan made millions with a Bitcoin investment.
Bryan continued acting after Home Improvement, though he never hit the same heights again. Instead, he appeared in guest roles on popular shows, including ER, Smallville, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He was also in the 2006 movie, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
The former child star then shifted into producing movies and started his own company. According to THR, he also made millions of dollars by becoming an early investor in Bitcoin. Additionally, the article notes that Bryan has made regular appearances on conservative news channels, including Fox News and Newsmax.
As for his personal life, he married Carly Matros in 2007, and they welcomed four children together.
He was arrested in 2020.
In October 2020, Bryan was arrested in Oregon on a number of charges. According to THR, these were "felony strangulation, fourth-degree assault, coercion, menacing, harassment and interference with making a police report." The charges were in relation to an incident with a woman named Johnnie Faye Cartwright, with whom he was in a relationship. His split from Matros had been announced only two week earlier, and Bryan admitted that he and Cartwright were together prior to his marriage breaking up.
As reported by Today, in February 2021, Bryan pleaded guilty to menacing and fourth-degree assault, both misdemeanors. Six other charges against him were dropped. He had previously been arrested earlier in 2020 for a DUI. Bryan was sentenced to three years of probation and a domestic violence course, and ordered to stay away from Cartwright.
"We didn't even really get that physical," he told The Hollywood Reporter about the incident. "We got really loud. We were screaming and because we were in a townhome that had [thin walls], everybody could hear."
Bryan and Cartwright are still together and have three children.
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He's also been accused of fraud.
In 2018, Bryan became involved with a company called Producers Market, a tech startup that supports farmers. Multiple individuals claimed to The Hollywood Reporter that Bryan got them to invest in the company by exchanging cash for digital tokens. However, Producers Market had decided against using tokens prior to Bryan collecting these investments.
"Mr. Bryan misrepresented our company without our knowledge, participation or permission. When we found out, we immediately issued a cease-and-desist demand to him," Producers Market told THR. "This activity is unacceptable and not a reflection of our mission to support the well-being of farmers and our food systems."
Producers Market removed Bryan as an advisor in October 2020.
A woman he dated claims she lost thousands.
In February 2021, a woman named Courtney Ledford met Bryan on a dating app, and they went out to dinner. She told THR that Bryan bragged about his wealth soon after their date began.
"He showed me some of his crypto accounts on his phone, and I was, like, 'Dude, I don't want to see this. I don't really want to see it,'" she said. "But he was very pushy. The amount of zeros I saw in those accounts, I don't even know. I couldn't even count that high. Just a ton of zeros. It was hard to fathom."
Ledford also noted that she thought Bryan seemed to her like "a functioning alcoholic." She was a 21-year-old student at the time and said that she based her assessment on her studies in behavioral neuroscience and her job in a lab observing alcohol's effect on mice. "There was a part of me that felt like I could fix this broken, sad man. I wanted to help him because he loved his liquor; he loved that Tito's," she said.
Bryan did blame some of his issues on drinking when speaking to THR.
Ledford said after talking to Bryan, she invested in Producers Market tokens for $5,000, getting some of the money from her siblings. Months passed and she said she didn't received the "digital wallet" Bryan said he would send over. Other supposed investors made similar claims to the outlet.
"I talked to a lawyer and [he] laughed at the contract because it was a pretty lame document sent through DocuSign," Ledford said.
Bryan shared his side of the story.
Bryan defended himself against the fraud claims in a phone interview with THR.
"This was not me running some shady scam deal or something—that's just not me," he said. The former actor claimed that he didn't know Producers Market had decided not to go through with a previously discussed idea to use digital tokens. "I'm in the same boat," he said.
Bryan continued, "What people don't understand is that you take risks. Nothing is for sure. It's the same with movie investments and everything else, you lose or you win." He also said that if Producers Market goes public, he will pay back the investors he solicited with his own stock.
In addition to all of this, Bryan is currently facing a lawsuit from a man named Cameron Moore regarding an investment in a movie. A default ruling was made in April in which Moore was awarded over $100,000. Bryan's only comment was that Moore is "one of a kind, I'll just leave it at that," and he also said that he was "in the process" of complying with the ruling.
Bryan has not been charged with any crimes related to Producers Market tokens.