Civil rights icon Rosa Parks passed away at the age of 92 on October 25, 2005, in Detroit, Michigan. Almost six years later, her legacy is still tied up in a lengthy court battle. The case features allegations of abuse, cronyism and corruption by the probate judge as well as the two lawyers he appointed to oversee the estate and trust
It also involves who will receive all of the considerable civil rights memorabilia owned by Rosa Parks when she was alive, and even the rights to use her name and likeness.
Rosa Parks’ will and trust left the majority of her assets to the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, operated by Rosa Parks’ longtime friend, Elaine Steele. Parks and Steele had formed this Institute. Steele says she was close to Parks for 45 years and that Parks looked at her as the “daughter she never had.”
But the probate judge did not approve of how Steele handled the estate and trust of Rosa Parks and removed Read more...
Ryan O’Neal is at it again. He and Craig Nevius, a Hollywood producer who used to work closely with Farrah Fawcett, are in the midst of more legal fighting against one another.
Initially, they both sued, each claiming the other had exploited Fawcett while she was sick from the cancer that claimed her life. Why? They both said the other had taken advantage of her to produce a documentary about her life and her sickness. Those lawsuits ended when Nevius ran out of money for legal fees.
Now, he has no choice but to continue fighting. Ryan O’Neal — Farrah’s ex and father to Farrah’s son — has sued Nevius again. What’s at stake this time? It’s all about the art.
Specifically, a certain, famed Andy Warhol painting of Fawcett in O’Neal’s possession. O’Neal says Warhol gave it to him years ago. Not everyone thinks he’s being honest though.
In fact, Farrah Fawcett’s Trust, which you can read here, states that her collection of artwork — which may include Read more...
Wow! What an amazing weekend we had! After months and months of preparation, this weekend we taped our television show, Trial & Heirs: Protect Your Family Fortune! Our show will premiere in Michigan on August 9th at 8 p.m. EST and air nationally in December. PBS will also stream the broadcast online through UStream.tv so that everyone would have an opportunity to view the premiere in August.
The taping included our show with a live studio audience (they were wonderful!), DVD extras from the two of us, and an interview with Ray Charles, Jr.
Ray shared some touching stories about his famous father as well as the private pain that his father’s estate has caused his family. Ray’s full interview, including some never-before-told stories, will be available as one of the DVD extras.
We share some behind-the-scenes pictures from our production on our Trial & Heirs Facebook page. If you’re not already a member of our Facebook page, make sure to “like” it so that you receive the latest Read more...
Celebrity heirs fighting over the estate is far from uncommon … the Trial & Heirs Blog never has a shortage of material to cover. But, it is unusual when an ugly court battle starts before the celebrity dies and then only continues to grow more heated as time passes. That certainly has been the case with the Dennis Hopper Estate.
The Easy Rider star filed for divorce from his fifth wife, Victoria Duffy-Hopper, in January, 2010. Victoria is about six years younger than Dennis’ oldest child, daughter Marin Hopper. The two have been feuding for some time now.
The Dennis Hopper Trust Battle
As explained in this prior Dennis Hopper article from Trial & Heirs, Victoria claims that Dennis’ children put him up to the divorce, manipulated him, and that he didn’t really want to divorce her. These claims were a bit at odds with other allegations she made in her lawsuits, including that Dennis Hopper was abusive and controlling of her during their marriage. So were they Read more...