- Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt decide to divorce… are we really surprised?
- Rapper Fat Joe is accused of sexual assault after Wisconsin concert.
- Nicholas Brendon gets three years probation for alleged cop attack.
- Law and Order’s “Jack McCoy” fundraises for real Manhattan district attorney.
- Chris Klein checks into rehab after his second DUI arrest.
- Bernie Madoff tells jailmates of $9 billion stash.
Poor Gary Coleman’s body has already been cremated, but the vestiges of his childhood acting career remain contested by his former wife and former girlfriend. Coleman’s 2005 will leaves his assets to ex-girlfriend Anna Grey, but a 2007 handwritten amendment, also known as a “holographic will,” bequeaths the entire estate to ex-wife Shannon Price. Despite the fact that the pair divorced in 2008, Price claims the two have since been living together in a common law marriage. In the midst of this confusion, a special administrator has been appointed to execute his estate until a probate judge can rule on the rightful beneficiaries of Coleman’s will.
Luckily for Price, Utah is one of the 25 states in which holographic wills are valid, but only if they are written entirely in the person’s own handwriting, signed, and dated — which Coleman’s appears to be.
According to Professor Beyer of Texas Tech University School of Law, Price may get her way. “If the 2007 handwritten document is deemed valid, it will revoke the 2005 will with regard to any inconsistencies. The court would then have to integrate the provisions of both documents,” he said.
Before this occurs, the probate court will most likely have to investigate the circumstances of the will amendment. Coleman’s handwritten note contains the eerie disclaimer: “I made this change of free will and was not coerced in any way. This I have done because of my personal selfishness and weakness and I love [Price] with all my heart.” Deidre Wheatley-Liss of Fein, Such, Kahn & Shepard, PC, believes this statement could suggest Coleman was under duress from Price at the time, perhaps because of her caregiver role. “Courts are looking for outside evidence in case it could be fraud or undue influence,” she said. “Did the caregiver give position of authority to make the person believe that if they didn’t sign the will, they wouldn’t be cared for?”
The holographic will could also be discredited because of Coleman and Price’s 2008 divorce. “Normally what happens when you get divorced and you don’t change the will, the ex-spouse is struck from the will,” explained David Goldman of Apple Law Firm PLLC. “The problem is, when you apparently get back together and claim a common law marriage — creating a holographic will after that — there would have to be testimony that this is what he intended. That’s why Florida and other states have taken the position that holographic wills aren’t generally as reliable as they were thought to have been.”
To commemorate Coleman, Price and Grey will have to resort to watching reruns of “Diff’rent Strokes” with an empty mantle– his ashes will be kept in storage until the judge reaches a final decision.1f68
- ABC ramps up defense against “Desperate Housewives” actress Nicollette Sheridan’s charges of wrongful termination and physical abuse.
- Joe Jackson files complaint with the California Medical Board against concert promoter AEG for Michael Jackson’s death.
- Aly and AJ stalker arrested after breaking into their home.
- “Big Brother” star Tonya Paoni arrested for reckless homicide and aggravated DUI in car crash.
Tiger Woods’ press conference was a bust. Now it’s time for him to bust out his wallet and make things better for his suffering wife, Elin. Nothing helps a humiliated wife like a nice, fat check from a billionaire cheating husband.
This is the perfect time for Elin to negotiate a new prenup with Tiger, while he’s got his tail between his legs. He’s under pressure to save the marriage and she’s got all the leverage. After Tiger’s robotic media mea culpa, it’s obvious he’ll say and do anything to protect his brand… and that means protecting his marriage. How Elin publicly treats Tiger will have a big effect on how the public treats Tiger. He needs her more than she needs him… and she should get him to pay for the privilege of staying married.
Since Elin’s payday doesn’t kick in until the marriage survives 10 years (according to reports about their existing prenup, she isn’t entitled to the millions unless the marriage lasts a decade), I have adapted some steps out of my book, He Had It Coming: How to Outsmart Your Husband and Win Your Divorce, to remove some of the sting from staying in this union:
- Have Tiger tear up the prenuptial agreement.
- Negotiate a new prenup, called a post-nuptial agreement, which is a binding contract entered into while the couple is married.
- Get paid for all the time she already served in the marriage. I call this a “Time Served” Clause. A $15 million a year lump sum payment per year of married life completed would be a good start for the years under her belt—years she had to put up with Tiger.
- Negotiate a “Misstress Clause”: If Tiger cheats, he writes his wife a multi-million dollar check.
Insert a new clause providing a payment to Elin for every year she stays in the marriage going forward. This way, when he gets paid by his sponsors as a result of her forbearance in continuing the marriage, she will participate directly in the benefits Tiger’s business as a sponsored athletes enjoys therefrom.
Whatever reason Elin may choose for staying in the marriage, that’s her prerogative. If she stays for the money at this point, she’s smart, because she has two young children to protect. And besides, no one says it has to be forever. Tiger certainly didn’t behave as if he intended the marriage to last. My advice to Elin is this: Start treating the marriage the same way Tiger did– as a business arrangement.
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Victoria’s Secret supermodel Stephanie Seymour should trade in her lingerie for a full set of body armor. She needs it to defend herself from soon-to-be ex-husband, billionaire Peter Brant. Seymour is suing the polo player for divorce in a bucolic Connecticut courthouse which is no stranger to high net worth splits, and he has already come out swinging. Although the former Sports Illustrated cover girl started the court proceedings, Brant started the battle. And the writing is on the court house wall– Brant won’t be fighting fair.