An attorney serving as the court-appointed advocate for a 17-year-old girl wants a judge to revoke the July admission of the late billionaire Kirk Kerkorian’s will to probate, arguing that it wrongfully excludes his client.
Kira Kerkorian claims she is the biological daughter of the late casino tycoon. Lawyer Michael Augustine serves as Kira Kerkorian’s guardian ad litem, a role to which he was appointed by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maria Stratton on Sept. 10 in order to protect the teen’s interests.
Kira Kerkorian turns 18 on March 9, but was still a minor as of the Nov. 25 deadline to contest the will. Augustine’s petition was filed Nov. 23.
Augustine maintains in his petition that Kirk Kerkorian lacked the mental capacity to make the will and that he was subjected to the undue influences of the beneficiaries in the document when it was signed and executed in July 2013.
According to Augustine’s petition, the will’s beneficiaries “knew or should have known (Kerkorian’s) health was failing, that he was dependent on the persons surrounding him for his daily living needs and that he was highly susceptible to the influence of the persons on whom he depended.”
Augustine’s petition further alleges the will’s beneficiaries took advantage of the trust and confidence that Kirk Kerkorian placed in them and “suggested and dictated the contents of the document, arranged for the document to be drafted, arranged for execution of the document and caused (Kerkorian) to execute the document.”
The result was a will that “provides for an unnatural disposition of (Kerkorian’s) estate in that it, among other things, excludes (Kira Kerkorian) and all other persons who are related to the decedent,” the suit states.
Kira Kerkorian was born in March 1998. Her mother is 50-year-old former professional tennis player Lisa Bonder Kerkorian, who was married to the businessman for less than a month in 1999.
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.
A hearing on Augustine’ petition is scheduled March 17.
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 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.
—Staff and wire reports