A judge named an attorney as a court-appointed advocate for a 17-year-old girl who says she is the biological daughter of the late casino tycoon Kirk Kerkorian.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maria Stratton appointed Michael Augustine on Sept. 10 to serve as Kira Kerkorian’s “guardian ad litem” and protect her interests while she decides whether to contest the billionaire’s will.
She turns 18 on March 9, but will still be a minor as of the Nov. 25 deadline to contest the will.
Stratton previously denied a bid by the teen’s mother, 49-year-old former professional tennis player Lisa Bonder Kerkorian, to serve in the same role. Bonder Kerkorian was married to Kerkorian for less than a month in 1999 and her daughter was born in March 1998.
Stratton cited the 2006 findings of Judge Marjorie Steinberg, who presided over Bonder Kerkorian’s effort to obtain increased child support for Kira. Steinberg said Bonder Kerkorian was untruthful when she said the reason she did not take her daughter with her on a vacation — on which she spent $200,000 — was because Kirk Kerkorian asked for visitation at the last minute. In fact, Kira’s visits to the billionaire were arranged at Bonder Kerkorian’s request, Steinberg found.
His will leaves Kira Kerkorian a $7 million gift held in a trust created during his marriage settlement agreement with her mother, but no other assets.
Kerkorian’s estate is worth about $4 billion.
Kirk Kerkorian denied during his lifetime that he was Kira’s father, but grew fond of the girl and decided to provide for her anyway.
Kerkorian died June 15 at age 98 from age-related causes. The son of poor Armenian immigrants, he developed key properties on the Las Vegas Strip, including the MGM and MGM Grand.
He also invested in and operated business 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.
—City News Service
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