A woman who claims Kirk Kerkorian promised her $20 million if she agreed to be his companion says in new court papers that the late billionaire never waivered in his promise to financially support her until the day she died.
“Throughout the last year of his life, Kirk continued to tell me, and those around him, that he wanted to provide for me,” Vanessa Sandin says in a sworn statement filed Wednesday as part of her opposition to a motion by estate attorneys to dismiss her lawsuit.
In her Los Angeles Superior Court breach-of-agreement suit filed in May 2016, the 50-year-old real estate agent said she revised her work and child care schedules to accommodate her commitment to Kerkorian.
But in their motion to dismiss Sandin’s lawsuit, scheduled for hearing Sept. 7, the estate’s lawyers maintain in their court papers that Sandin “hopes to obtain a windfall from Mr. Kerkorian’s estate following her short romantic liaison with Mr. Kerkorian during the last year of his life.”
Sandin’s lawsuit is “predicated on overgenerous interpretations of verbal statements” by Kerkorian that she construes as forming a contract, according to the court papers of the lawyers for the estate.
But Sandin says she was so loyal to Kerkorian that she increased the time she spent with Kerkorian until his death in June 2015 at age 98.
“Had I known that Kirk’s promise of a lifetime support would never be fulfilled, I would not have abandoned Kirk during that last year of his life … but I would have done things differently, such as I would not have taken that much time away from my teenage daughter at such a critical time in my daughter’s life.”
As Kerkorian’s health declined in the spring of 2015, Sandin “rarely left the house and I rarely left his side,” she says.
She further says the longest period she spent away from Kerkorian was three days so she could attend her father’s funeral in March 2015.
Kerkorian initially did not say how much he was giving her, she says.
“He told me that he wanted me to have at least $15 million, but offered greater amounts as well,” Sandin says. “It was important to him that I had enough money to live well on the rest of my life and to provide for my daughter.”
Kerkorian ultimately “settled on the $20 million figure and told me that this is how much he wanted me to have to always be solvent and so that I would not have to work,” according to Sandin.
Kerkorian never asked Sandin for anything of value, she says.
“What he asked of me was my daily companionship, not my money or property,” she says.
She says she spent nearly every morning, afternoon and evening for a year with the casino mogul.
“I stayed up with Kirk many nights when he could not sleep, which was often,” she says. “During the day, I read to him because he could no longer read on his own. “I helped him dress and I helped him brush his teeth.”
She says she went so far as to put his food on his silverware because his deteriorating eyesight made it hard for him to eat.
“We talked a lot, listened to music and occasionally danced,” Sandin says. “We had a lot of shared memories and Kirk’s favorite pastime was to listen to me to talk about the experiences we shared and the mutual friends we had,” Sandin says.
The promises Sandin made to Kerkorian came at a personal cost to her, she says.
“In addition to essentially giving my real estate practice, I saw very little of my daughter, my mother or my friends during (2015),” she says. “But I felt that this sacrifice was justified in light of Kirk’s promise to secure our financial future.”
Kerkorian was 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