A widow’s battle for $600 million from the estate of billionaire Kirk Kerkorian hit a temporary legal roadblock Tuesday with a ruling by a Los Angeles judge.
The jurist is managing probate proceedings regarding Kerkorian’s estate, and she put a hold on litigation involving the bid by the business mogul’s widow for an approximate $600 million share of the late billionaire’s assets. Kerkorian died two years ago at the age of 98.
The judge ruled that one of the petitioner’s appeals in the case should be decided first.
Superior Court Judge Maria Stratton said her decision on Una Davis’ petition for a stay has no affect on the ability of a committee picked by the billionaire’s estate to make $200 million in charitable donations to continue with those distributions in the interim.
Kerkorian died in June 2015 at age 98 from age-related causes. His estate has been estimated to be worth $1.8 billion.
Davis is seeking a one-third interest in Kerkorian’s estate, saying she was pressured by those close to him into signing a waiver to any interest she had when the two married in 2014. Kerkorian was married three times previously.
Davis maintains she is an “omitted spouse” who is entitled to the same amount of money she would have received had Kerkorian died without a will. She has appealed various prior rulings in the case, including one in March by Stratton that allowed the Kerkorian estate’s executor, Anthony Mandekic, to oppose her omitted spouse petition.
Davis’ lawyers maintained that without the stay, Mandekic could have participated in the pretrial and trial proceedings in the Davis petition before the appeals court could decide whether his involvement was proper.
Lawyers for the Kerkorian estate maintained Davis’ motion for a stay was another attempt by her lawyers for a delay in the case.
Documents filed by Kerkorian’s attorneys when his estate was opened included a copy of his will, written in July 2013. Kerkorian designated that $15 million be given to Patricia Mary Christensen, the wife of longtime Kerkorian attorney Terry Christensen, and $7 million to Anthony Mandekic, secretary-treasurer of Kerkorian’s Beverly Hills-based Tracinda Corp.
He left $6 million to another of his attorneys, Patricia Glaser.
–City News Service