Child support litigation beyond the grave (for a non-child)

“Battle over Kerkorian’s child support payments lives on” is a Las Vegas Review-Journal article that captures a lot of the spirit of the U.S. family law system. Here are some excerpts:

Kirk Kerkorian died in June, but the battle over his estate rages on.

The court-appointed guardian of the daughter of Kerkorian’s ex-wife last month petitioned the Los Angeles Superior Court to revoke the admission of the late Nevada casino magnate’s will to probate.

The court’s website shows the revocation petition was filed Nov. 23, the same day Lisa Bonder, Kerkorian’s ex-wife, filed a $1.3 million creditor’s claim against Kerkorian’s estate. Mynewsla, a website, says Bonder seeks unpaid child support.

Kira Kerkorian is the child of Bonder, a onetime tennis pro to whom Kerkorian was married for 28 days in 1999. Kerkorian thought he’d fathered the girl until Bonder revealed Hollywood producer Steve Bing was the father. A security guard working for Kerkorian nabbed dental floss from Bing’s trash to get a DNA sample.

Kira Kerkorian is 17; she’ll turn 18 March 9. …

Bonder’s child support fight with Kerkorian has lasted 13 years already. In 2002, she demanded $320,000 in monthly child support for then-4-year-old Kira; a judge granted $50,316 per month. The Associated Press reported that Kerkorian in December 2010 agreed to pay more than $10 million in back child support plus $100,000 a month for Kira, of whom he’d grown fond.

The AP said in the 2010 settlement, Kerkorian agreed to provide $100,000 a month until Kira turns 19, or graduates from high school, is no longer a full-time student or no longer lives with her mother full time. After that, the settlement says, the child support would drop to $50,000 a month.

Mynewsla says Bonder’s claim states the $50,000 monthly payments were to run from July 2016 through June 2017 and were made from July through November. Therefore, according to the claim, Kerkorian’s estate should receive a $500,000 credit, leaving a $1.3 million balance.

Note that the extent to which Lisa Bonder is also getting child support revenue from Steve Bing is unclear due to the fact that it wasn’t litigated. Under California’s child support formula, Kira should have yielded a strong cashflow for her mother, though there was a competing claim against Bing from Elizabeth Hurley (Telegraph). [Despite these brushes with the family law system, Bing still has enough left for a personal Boeing 737, though, according to Wikipedia.]

8 thoughts on “Child support litigation beyond the grave (for a non-child)

  1. Judging by your descriptions of these cases, and knowing how much money is being spent on development and promotion of various troglodyte First Person Shooter war-and-ambush games, I believe the time is ripe for the arrival of true-life Multiplayer Child Support Battle Game within virtual worlds that represent the various states’ family law jurisprudence etc. Just choose whether you want to be the litigant or the defendant, a set of entry conditions, draw a random judge from the onboard pool of avatars, each equipped with its own quirks of borderline legal behavior, select the remuneration principle and level of your in-game lawyers, and away you go. One could charge quite a lot for such a game, notwithstanding later in-play purchases (additional witnesses, prenups that somehow went overlooked, etc)… still cheaper than a single day in court, and plenty of opportunities for on-screen p.r.o.l.o.n.g.e.d destruction of the opponent (not to mention for once making good on the promise “No children will be harmed during the playing of this game.”) And no, I’m not talking some pimped-up Monopoly, but a Second Life-like courtroom combat experience, with enough AI juice beneath the hood to evaluate in-game lawyers’ notions and weight their effectiveness for each side’s stated objective. That would be the day.

  2. I do not understand why Kerkorian was paying anything, if DNA proved that he was not the father. I have heard of poor men getting trapped, but obvious he had the resources to fight the matter in court.

  3. George– Kerkorian appears to have paid because he was fond of Kira and because it wasn’t a hardship. The 28-day marriage to Kira’s mother tells you enough what he thought of the mother.

    Smartest Woman–I am surprised Kerkorian’s estate didn’t sue Bing, for that very reason.

  4. @ CHenry, the rich live by their own rules (ours not to wonder why), which may include letting certain things, like paternity and cuckoldry, pass by unchallenged. This reminded me of a news item that came up during the beyond-ugly mass-medial accusation of pæedophilia against Woody Allen’s once 7yo adoptive daughter of Mia Farrow’s. During that strife, commenced by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times giving MF free reign of his column for wild accusations, it transpired that one of Mia’s kids that Allen considered his own may have been Frank Sinatra’s (given that Frank and Mia once, and then apparently now and then again been an item).

    Upon reading these hints-hints, Woody Allen expressed irritation over possibly having paid millions of dollars for another man’s offspring, but chose not to pursue the matter in court, with forcible DNA tests of the now-grown-up and whatnot.

    That that “extended family” is something special needs no other proof than that of Soon-Yi Previn, another of Mia (and the conductor André Previn’s) adoptive daughters, who first met Woody, 35 years her senior, near her 18th birthday, and three years later became first his concubine, later happily married wife and mother of her & Woody’s brace of daughters. I can only imagine the iceberg of hate that Soon-Yi must’ve amassed towards her dear mama, to shove up that kind of finger up her behind (here’s looking at you, Veda Pierce!)

  5. Here is an interesting example of the 1% of cases where the man wins (Although this man was a German, living in Monaco, and winning in a Monaco court toom):

    “It is the latest, and final, blow for the actress who has fought to regain custody of her children since losing them in a 2012 judgment that she described at the time as ‘shocking, illegal and abusive.’…‘It was,’ she said, ‘the most cruel act against a child I have ever witnessed in my entire life.’…The process has been so taxing on her finances that she was forced to file for bankruptcy in May 2013 after years of litigation fees reportedly totaling around $1.4million.”

    “The former Gossip Girl actress will receive a total of 3000 euros ($3,281) a month in maintenance….”

    “…Speaking to Vanity Fair in October Kelly stated: ‘Divorce is a total racket – let’s call it what it is. Everyone’s making tons of money off of stupid people who don’t settle out of court…And for somebody like my ex-husband, [who has] unlimited funds, who sued Google, this is just a sort of side fun project.’ ”

    Interesting note, she used both Axis powers of the “winner gets all” Divorce Courts (aka California-New York) but could not make it happen:

    On July 23, 2015, a California judge ruled that California did not have jurisdiction over Rutherford’s child custody case because she resides in New York, and her ex-husband was again awarded custody.[22][23] Rutherford then filed a case in New York but on July 27, 2015, the New York court ruled it also did not have jurisdiction.

  6. The former Gossip Girl actress will receive a total of 3000 euros ($3,281) a month in maintenance….”

    I could live well on €3000/month, room and board included. In fact, since that’d be “found money,” live beyond well, as it’d free me to pursue other pursuits, learn JavaScript to the core for instance, retile the bathroom, or something. Of course, that probably doesn’t apply to Kelly Rutherford, who moves in such socially elevated circles where winning that kind of alimony must be considered being a loser. But cheer up, Kelly, that in turn will now free you to write (a ghost-edited) tell-all “Tears on Mascara” book that will show the entire world of your wannabe-posse former Page 3 girls, how you were victimized by international male patriarchical cabal of judges and lawyers doing the bidding of ex-husband and co-parent of your child. So they’ll learn from your mistakes.

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