The second richest woman in the world, Liliane Bettencourt, has been declared mentally unfit to manage her affairs by a Judge in France yesterday. The decision grants control of her financial affairs to her only child, daughter Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, and grandsons Jean-Victor and Nicolas. Bettencourt-Meyers has been fighting for years to protect her 88-year old mother, who has been victim to financial exploitation to the tune of more than one billion dollars, according to an earlier lawsuit.
Bettencourt suffers from “mixed dementia” and “moderately severe” Alzheimer’s disease, according to a medical report relied on by the Judge in making her decision. Her mental decline sparked a family court fight. It began three years ago when Bettencourt-Meyers started a lawsuit to protect her mother from photographer Francois-Marie Banier, who she claimed had charmed the elder Bettencourt out of assets worth almost one billion euros (about 1.4 billion dollars). She also named Banier as sole heir in a new will and as beneficiary to vast life insurance policies.
Bettencourt was so furious Read more...
The National Center on Elder Abuse defines Financial or Material Exploitation as:
The illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, property or assets. Examples includes, but are not limited to, cashing an elderly person’s checks without authorization or permission; forging an older person’s signature; misusing or stealing an older person’s money or possessions; coercing or deceiving an older person into signing a document (e.g., contracts or will); and the improper use of conservatorship, guardianship, or power of attorney.
The Center lists the following warning signs and symptoms of exploitation and other forms of financial abuse:
- Sudden changes in bank account or banking practice, including an unexplained withdrawal of large sums of money by a person accompanying the elder;
- The inclusion of additional names on an elder’s bank signature card;
- Unauthorized withdrawal of the elder’s funds using the elder’s ATM card;
- Abrupt changes in a will or other financial documents;
- Unexplained disappearance of fund or valuable possessions;
- Substandard care being provided or bills unpaid despite the availability of adequate financial
Zsa Zsa Gabor has always been associated with glamour in Hollywood — queen of film and television over the course of a five-decade career, married nine times, and even able to parlay a famous slap of a police officer into a career revival. In fact, she has recently been called “the first and probably biggest Hollywood celeb to become famous for being famous.” Aptly put.
But when does pursuing fame cross the line for a 94-year old? That point may have come this week, when her husband of 25 years told the media that he had started the process of donor matching and blood work so he could turn Zsa Zsa into Ma Ma.
That’s right, the esteemed Prince Frederic von Anhalt is planning to arrange for an egg donor, surrogate mother, and artificial insemination to allow Zsa Zsa to once again enjoy the wonder of motherhood.
Why in the world would he do this? He said that he wants someone to be able to carry on the Gabor 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...
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...
Farrah Fawcett, dying from cancer, floated in and out of consciousness and needed a full-time nurse when Ryan O’Neal interceded to appease NBC and make sure a documentary about Fawcett’s struggle with cancer aired in time for the May sweeps period. At least, that’s the picture painted in a recent New York Times article.
We’ve blogged before about the lawsuit which pitted Fawcett-confidant and television producer, Craig Nevius, against the on-again, off-again ex-husband/boyfriend of Fawcett, Ryan O’Neal. Nevius was working with Fawcett to produce a documentary about her struggles with cancer, to help highlight flaws in the American medical system and how it treated cancer patients.
But, NBC wasn’t pleased with the progress of the documentary and insisted that it be completed on time for a May 2009 airing. Nevius did not want to release the footage without final approval from Fawcett, but she was too sick to provide it, he says.
In stepped Ryan O’Neal. He obtained a signature on a document that gave him full control of Read more...
Mary Talks Money, of ABC’s Live Well Network, sits down with Danielle & Andy as they share the missteps of the rich & famous to help prevent family fights in your family. Here is part one of a two-part series segment. Stay tuned for part two!
Danielle and Andy Mayoras are co-authors of Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!, husband-and-wife legacy expert attorneys, and hosts of an upcoming national PBS special based on Trial & Heirs. The charismatic duo has appeared on the Rachael Ray Show, Forbes, ABC’s Live Well Network, WGN-TV and has lent their expertise and analysis to hundreds of media sources, including The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Kiplinger’s, and The Washington Post, among many others. As dynamic keynote speakers, Danielle and Andy delight audiences nationwide with highly entertaining and informative presentations, dishing the dirt on celebrity estate battles while dispensing important legal information to help people avoid family fights among their heirs. The couple spends their free time with their 8-year old son Read more...
The divorce contest between the late Dennis Hopper and his wife, Victoria Duffy-Hopper, was ugly when he was alive. It’s turned even uglier since he’s passed away.
Duffy-Hopper dropped a new bomb on the children of the Easy Rider star, and the Trustees of his Trust, by filing two new lawsuits recently in Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles.
In the cases, she claims that his children wrongfully forced her to move out of Hopper’s house, so they could grab a bigger inheritance at her expense. She alleges Marin Hopper, one of Hopper’s children from a prior marriage, manipulated, coerced and told Hopper “cruel lies”. She did this, according to one of the lawsuits, to drive a wedge between the happy couple and force him to file for divorce.
Dennis Hopper Trust
But, the marriage couldn’t have been too happy, since Duffy-Hopper takes aim at her late husband, too. She asks the Court to invalidate the couple’s premarital agreement, saying that Hopper intimidated, coerced and threatened her until Read more...
Famed 90-year-old actor Mickey Rooney, who has won an Oscar, Emmy and a Golden Globe, now plays a much sadder role. It’s one that is far more common than most people realize.
Mickey Rooney says he has been a victim of elder abuse at the hands of his stepson, who has made him a prisoner in his own home. In a recent court filing, Rooney alleges that the stepson, Chris Aber, along with Aber’s wife, have taken control of his finances, intercepted his mail and even forced him to do performances he did not wish to do.
Rooney says they’ve also drained almost $400,000 from his bank accounts and refused to give him his own ID cards, passport, and Screen Actor’s Guild card. In fact, a judge recently ordered Aber to turn the cards over to Rooney within 24 hours.
Mickey Rooney Elder Abuse Testimonial
The court appointed an independent attorney to serve as a temporary conservator to protect Rooney, pending a full evidentiary hearing. Following the upcoming hearing, scheduled Read more...