What attracted Kirk Kerkorian to these women - and what drew them to him?? Pictured left is Kerkorian's previous girlfriend Joan Dangerfield. Photo: Luxatic.com
The widow of Kirk Kerkorian, a legendary Las Vegas casino developer and billionaire businessman, has decided that she was pressured by his lawyers into signing a prenuptial agreement before their 2014 marriage. Una Davis, the late developer's last wife and typically described in media reports as "many years younger" than her late husband, is now pursuing probate litigation in order to acquire a third of Kerkorian's estate, which is valued at anywhere from $2 billion to $4 billion. Kerkorian, a son of Armenian immigrants who made himself into a rags-to-riches success story, died last year on June 15th at the age of 98.
Stating that she and Kerkorian never directly discussed details of any premarital legal arrangement, Davis says it was one of his attorneys who came forward with the explicit terms. Among them, it's deduced, would be her waiver of Kerkorian's vast fortune upon her death. She felt tremendous 'pressure,' to sign, since her fiancé's lawyer made it plain that his billionaire client wouldn't proceed with the marriage unless the document was signed:
Guests would be in attendance at our ceremony in just a few days...I felt that under the circumstance I had no choice but to sign the waiver as demanded ... or risk losing Kirk forever.
No matter how tough the situation may have been, Davis did receive an immediate gift to sweeten the deal - call it a signing bonus - of $10 million when she put her signature to the contract. Neither party, however, executed the sections of each other's documents, with Davis's attorneys contending that this factor invalidates their client's waiver of estate rights. As for the $10 million, it doesn't take an estate and trust litigation lawyer to figure out Davis will probably be hanging onto the cash, invalid waiver or otherwise.
Kerkorian, well-known for his habit of dating much younger women, and Davis may have known each other for eighteen years, but they were married for only one, from 2014 until the time of his death from complications of old age in 2015. Davis and her attorneys say that Kerkorian's attorneys essentially schemed from behind his back to corral her into signing the prenuptial agreement that eliminated any claim to his estate. They're also charging that Kerkorian was the victim of undue influence, an accusation that will be hard to prove given that a mere year before his death the businessman conveyed a public image of coherence, ambition and health. Davis's bid for her late husband's estate billions will be reviewed in Los Angeles Superior Court on July 21st.