‘Short romantic liaison’ pays millions? MGM billionaire’s loyal companion settles lawsuit

A luggage case filled with bundles of $100 bills. Photo from Pixabay.

A woman who said Kirk Kerkorian promised her $20 million if she agreed to be his companion in the latter stages of his life settled her lawsuit with the late billionaire’s estate, precluding the need for a trial that had been scheduled to begin Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Vanessa Sandin settled for unspecified terms that are subject to approval by a probate court judge.

In her breach-of-agreement lawsuit 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.

The estate’s lawyers maintained in their court papers that Sandin hoped to “obtain a windfall from Mr. Kerkorian’s estate following her short romantic liaison with Mr. Kerkorian during the last year of his life” and that her her lawsuit was “predicated on overgenerous interpretations of verbal statements” by Kerkorian that she construed as forming a contract.

Sandin maintained that Kerkorian promised to keep her financially sound for life.

“Throughout the last year of his life, Kirk continued to tell me, and those around him, that he wanted to provide for me,” Sandin said in a sworn statement.

Sandin said she was so loyal to Kerkorian that she increased the time she spent with him until his death in June 2015 at age 98.

As Kerkorian’s health declined in the spring of 2015, Sandin says she “rarely left the house and I rarely left his side.” She maintained that 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, but he 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’s court papers.

Kerkorian 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.

–City News Service