A judge Wednesday approved a settlement between Kirk Kerkorian’s widow and the billionaire’s estate that gives her $12.5 million in cash, plus a say in how some of the billionaire’s assets can be spent on charity.
The resolution of Una Davis’ petition was approved by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Small. Davis’ attorney, John Deily, said after the hearing that his client is “a neat lady” and is pleased with the outcome of the case.
“It was never about the money,” Deily said. “It was about the keeping the spirit of Kerkorian’s charitable interests.”
Deily said Davis was entitled under the probate code to one-third of the billionaire’s assets, amounting to about $600 million based on the estate’s $1.8 billion value at the time of his 2015 death at age 98. However, Davis was more interested in helping charitable causes and never insisted on obtaining the full amount, Deily said.
In addition to the cash payment, the settlement will allow Davis to choose what charities will receive another $50 million, Deily said. An additional $10 million will be distributed to Davis’ charitable fund, he said.
The estate’s lawyers originally maintained that Davis signed a waiver of marital rights in connection with her brief marriage to Kerkorian and that before his death, Kerkorian provided for Davis outside of his will by giving her $15 million. Kerkorian and Davis were married for 57 days before he asked her to leave his home, according to the estate’s lawyers.
But Davis maintained she was an “omitted spouse” who was entitled to the same amount of money she would have received had Kerkorian died without a will. She said she was pressured by those close to Kerkorian into signing a waiver to any interest she had before the two wed in 2014.
In February, a judge approved a $7.27 million settlement reached between the Kerkorian estate and another woman who filed a lawsuit alleging the late billionaire promised to provide for her if she agreed to be his companion in the late stages of his life. Vanessa Sandin had originally sought $20 million.
Kerkorian, who had been married three times previously, developed key properties on the Las Vegas Strip, including the MGM and MGM Grand. He also invested in and operated businesses in a number of industries, including airlines, automakers, Chrysler Corp., General Motors and film studios. He purchased MGM Studios three times, bought United Artists and tried to acquire Columbia Pictures.
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