Tag Archives: Dennis Hopper

Celebrity Legacies: No Easy Ride For Dennis Hopper’s Estate

When is a divorce more than just a divorce?  When famed actor Dennis Hopper battled through an ugly divorce against his fifth wife, Victoria Duffy-Hopper, the battle was more about Dennis Hopper’s estate than anything else.  So perhaps no one should be surprised that the war turned uglier once Dennis died.  Dennis Hopper Estate

This is installment #15 of our Estate Planning Lessons From The Stars series, which is based on the Celebrity Legacies TV show for which we provide commentary as the estate legal experts.  See other articles in the series here.

The Easy Rider star had anything but an easy ride during the last few months of his life.  He passed away from cancer at age 73, smack-dab in the middle of his divorce war with Victoria, who was actually six years younger than Dennis Hopper’s oldest daughter.

Dennis had filed for divorce, accusing Victoria of being insane, inhuman, and volatile.  Victoria responded by claiming that Dennis was not mentally competent and that his adult children from his prior marriages Read more...

| Leave a comment

The Dennis Hopper Trust Battle Is Getting Nastier

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...

| Leave a comment

Dennis Hopper Trust: Widow Turns Divorce Battle into New Lawsuit

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.  Dennis Hopper Trust

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...

| 4 Comments

Dennis Hopper estate battle moving into high gear

It’s ironic that the estate of the actor made famous through the movie Easy Rider is proving to be anything but an easy ride.  On one side sits Dennis Hopper’s fifth wife, Victoria Duffy-Hopper.  On the other sit his trustees and children, spearheaded by daughter Marin Hopper.  Marin is the oldest daughter and is five years older than her “step-mother”.  Think there’s some bad blood there?  Dennis Hopper estate

You bet there is.  Before Hopper died, he filed for divorce.  His wife claimed this move was driven by his children in an effort to cut her out of his estate plan.  According to the couple’s prenuptial agreement, if they were divorced or no longer living together, then she would not inherit 25% of his estate and life insurance worth $250,000.

At first, it was reported that Duffy-Hopper would argue that they were still living together because the judge in their divorce case permitted her to remain on the same property with him, but in separate houses.  That was clearly an uphill battle. 

Read more...
| 2 Comments

Forbes: Celebrity Death and Divorce Train Wrecks

Forbes.com recently featured an article we wrote about our celebrity-based Trial & Heirs‘ Top Five Estate Planning Tips for Divorcees.  Here’s a shortened version.  Go to Forbes.com for the full article: Forbes_home_logo

1. Update your will and/or trust. Life events like divorces are a critical time to update all estate planning documents with an experienced attorney.

Take the case of Gary Coleman.  Since his death, a variety of documents have surfaced purporting to be his will.  We know that Gary Coleman was divorced in 2008 from his wife, Shannon Price.  It was on an episode of Divorce Court after all!  The problem is that Price claims that she’s entitled to inherit all of Coleman’s assets based on a 2007 handwritten will and as his “common-law wife.”  Now it looks like the estate will be tied up in a long and nasty fight.  If Gary Coleman had an estate planning attorney draft a clear will after his divorce, the impending legal battle may have been avoided.

2. Don’t forget the Read more...

| Leave a comment

Dennis Hopper’s wife to continue fight into probate court

The recent legal battles between the ailing Dennis Hopper and his wife in divorce court have been well-documented.  Here are the Probate Lawyer Blog’s articles covering the case, including the Top Ten most hurtful allegations lobbed back and forth (a serious must-read!). Dennis Hopper

Now that Hopper has passed on due to his prostate cancer, on May 29th, at age 74, TMZ.com is reporting that his widow is already gearing up to challenge his estate in probate court.  Victoria Duffy-Hopper claimed that Hopper’s divorce filing was motivated by an effort to cut her out of his estate plan.

Reportedly, the couple’s prenuptial agreement calls for her to get 25% of his estate and $250,000 in life insurance proceeds, as long as they were both married and living together.  Because the divorce was not finalized when he died, they were still married (even though they were separated).  But, were they living together?

Duffy-Hopper (according to TMZ) is prepared to challenge the prenup in probate court and will argue they were “living together” because

Read more...
| Leave a comment

Dennis Hopper’s deathbed divorce battle getting uglier

Actor Dennis Hopper, at 73 years of age, is dying from cancer.  To make matters worse, he is battling in a nasty divorce that pits his three adult children, from prior marriages, against his wife, Victoria Duffy-Hopper (she’s number five for Hopper, if you’re keeping score), over whether she’ll inherit anything when he passes.  Here is The Probate Lawyer Blog’s prior article on the case.  

ABC News posted its Top Ten “most hurtful accusations” from the court fight, including:

  • Hopper’s assistant claimed Duffy-Hopper threatened to kill her.
  • Duffy-Hopper called Hopper an abuser who once threatened that “something bad is going to happen to you and you won’t see it coming”.
  • Hopper accused his wife of stealing millions worth of artwork and other valuables from him, and from secretly taking away their young daughter, preventing him from having a final Christmas with her.
  • Hopper’s daughter, Marin Hopper (who is six years older than her “step-mother”), feels frightened for her safety because of Duffy-Hopper.
  • Duffy-Hopper claims that Marin and the other adult
Read more...
| Leave a comment

Dennis Hopper battling his wife; says she’s after his will

Dennis Hopper was already fighting against advanced prostrate cancer.  Now the 73-year-old actor is turning up the heat in his battle against his wife, 41-year-old Victoria.  He filed for divorce in January, and according to published reports, the key factor is his will.  

Victoria is a 25% beneficiary under Hopper’s will.  But, in the case of divorce, the couple’s prenuptial agreement says that she gets nothing.  And that’s the sole motivating factor behind the divorce, according to Victoria.  She blames his three children from a prior marriage and says that Dennis is not making rational decisions, due in large part to the medication he’s taking.

In other words, she says it’s all about the estate planning.

And it’s hard to argue with that point.  Dennis Hopper’s lawyer was in court last week, seeking a restraining order against Victoria to keep her away from him.  His attorney filed a doctor’s report saying that his estranged wife is hampering his recovery.  The doctor feels that the less he sees of her, the

Read more...
| Leave a comment