- 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.
- No more ankle bracelet for Lindsay Lohan, who proved to be alcohol-free the morning after the MTV Movie Awards.
- Former Tiger Woods mistress asks judge to order paternity test for her son.
- Michael Jackson’s estate and AEG to pay city of LA for memorial service.
- “Sopranos” actor Joseph Gannascoli arrested for DUI.
- Rapper Chamillionaire walks away from $2 million mortgage in strategic disclosure (video below).
Who did Joran van der Sloot once publicly declare his affection for? In a 2007 GQ interview, van der Sloot sang hotshot lawyer Joseph Tacopina’s praises. “I love the guy,” he said. “If I do get any money from any of these civil suits, I plan to give it all to Joe.”
At the time, Tacopina was the media darling of criminal defense attorneys and was presumably threatening to pursue false prosecution or libel damages on behalf of Natalie Holloway’s suspected murderer. As he said of Van der Sloot, “Three countries have investigated this disappearance and three countries have not found one shred of evidence that points to Joran. This kid is a victim too. He is an 18-year-old kid and his life has basically been ruined.”
Given the mounting evidence pointing to the the murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores in Peru, van der Sloot will not likely escape justice in his fourth country. Van der Sloot’s first Peruvian lawyer Maximo Altez will no longer have anything to do with him, quitting the case after receiving death threats. Where does this leave Tacopina back in New York?
While Van der Sloot was on the run from Peru, Tacopina stated that he had not heard from his client and seemed to support his innocence in the following statement made on June 2, “Joran van der Sloot has been falsely accused of murder once before. The fact is he wears a bull’s-eye on his back now and he is a quote-unquote usual suspect when it comes to allegations of foul play.” Other than this statement, Tacopina has been laying low. Out of the media spotlight and probably wondering if those potential civil suits were as a good gamble as Joran’s poker playing in Peru…
- 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.
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