Thursday, 28 October 2010

Messy Legal Battle over Estate of Dennis Hopper

The estate of late actor Dennis Hopper is the focus of a messy battle between his estate on the one side, and his would-have-been ex-wife Victoria Duffy Hopper on the other. Duffy and Hopper had been in the middle of a divorce when the actor passed away in May of prostate cancer. He reportedly rewrote his will earlier this year, leaving all his assets to his children and nothing to Duffy.

Now, Duffy is suing Hopper's estate for a whopping $45 million. According to her, the damages are to cover child support expenses for the couple's seven-year-old daughter, as well as to cover hundreds of thousand dollars in legal fees. She's also including $10 million in damages for defamation of character. Her claim also includes at least some of her late husband's real estate, including a home in Venice Beach that holds the late actor's expansive art collection. According to Duffy, she suffered severe losses to the tune of more than $2 million during her marriage to the actor, because she stopped working as an actress. She's also claiming around $4,000 a month in expenses for the care of the family's horse. Just a month before Hopper died, a Los Angeles judge ordered him to pay roughly $2,000 a month in child support, and to give his ex-wife and their child a house to live in.

Meanwhile, Hopper’s estate has also sued Duffy, alleging that she pilfered valuable artwork, including paintings and sculptures that she took from his home before his death. The artwork is worth approximately $1.5 million and Hopper’s estate has requested the court to grant the estate title to the artwork.

It's enough of a mess for us to recommend that everyone hire an experienced Los Angeles estate planning attorney.

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