Anne Heche’s Estate Battle Begins With First Hearing – Rolling Stone

The first hearing in the legal battle for Anne Heche’s estate was brief but testy, as the judge presiding over the case had a stern exchange with Heche’s ex-boyfriend James Tupper on Tuesday, while Tupper has objected to Heche’s 20-year-old son Homer Heche Laffoon’s bid to be named executor of her estate.

Tupper appeared in court at Stanley Most Courthouse in Los Angeles Tuesday morning alongside his and Heche’s 13-year-old son Atlas, and with his attorney Chris Johnson. Laffoon’s counsel appeared virtually. Last month in a probate filing, Tupper questioned Laffoon’s ability to handle the estate and expressed concern that he wouldn’t act in Atlas’ best interest as an administrator. Tupper also claimed that Heche nominated him as executor in 2011. In the filing, Tupper asked for a third party fiduciary to manage the estate, or for him to be appointed.

Among the issues discussed in the just-over-10-minute hearing was Atlas’ inability to retrieve some of his belongings from Heche’s apartment. As Tupper’s September probate petition stated, Atlas hadn’t been able to enter the apartment since Heche’s death, and Tupper alleged that Laffoon changed the locks and hadn’t responded to Atlas’ requests to retrieve his clothes and computer. In court on Tuesday, Tupper said those belongings hadn’t been made available to pick up until Monday and still hadn’t been picked up, adding that he had to buy him a new laptop for school.

Laffoon’s attorney, however, said his belongings were made available two weeks ago and noted that given the nature of the estate, they wanted to do an inventory of Heche’s assets before anyone would be granted access to the apartment. Judge Lee Bogdanoff, moving onto the next matter, said Atlas should get his belongings from the apartment as quickly as possible.

Regarding the objection to Laffoon’s bid itself, Bogdanoff expressed his skepticism that Tupper has any legal standing. Johnson said that Laffoon denying access to Atlas’ belongings and his lack of communication both show Laffoon’s inability to run the estate, but Bogdanoff disagreed, saying that he’d just appointed Laffoon and that Laffoon “hasn’t had any responsibilities to discharge yet. “

“This person is going to be advised by his counsel as to what to do in a situation like this,” Bogdanoff said. “In California, if you’re illiterate, you can be an administrator. If you’ve never gone to college, you can be an administrator. The fact that he may be Generation Z or whatever, or he may be a chill guy, that doesn’t disqualify him. Maybe he’s not the greatest communicator, that doesn’t disqualify him, none of it does. If you want to file something, then file it. I think you’re largely wasting your time, we’re not here to pick the best person. I’m here to decide if he’s qualified or disqualified. Whether you like him or think he’s had a relationship with his mom doesn’t really matter.”

After giving his statements, Bogdanoff addressed Tupper directly for shaking his head, which Bogdanoff saw as a disrespectful slight.

“Don’t shake your head at me, ever,” he said sternly, asking Tupper to take his hands out of his pockets before asking if Tupper had anything to say.

“I don’t feel that his older brother is going to look out for his interests,” Tupper then told the judge. “He’s obfuscated for two months, we waited to get into the apartment. He won’t respond to texts, won’t respond to phone calls. He’s treating him like his enemy — it’s his brother. If he’s the special administrator of the estate and he’s not a neutral person, then their relationship is going to be compromised forever.”

The proceedings thus far come two months after Heche died after sustaining significant injuries in a car crash in August. She crashed her car into a residence in Los Angeles’ Mar Vista neighborhood on Aug. 5. While she was being investigated for a felony DUI after the crash, the LAPD closed the investigation after her death. She was declared brain dead and stayed on life support for days longer so that her organs could be donated. Her official cause of death was inhalation and thermal injuries.

“Anne had a huge heart and touched everyone she met with her generous spirit. More than her extraordinary talent, she saw spreading kindness and joy as her life’s work — especially moving the needle for acceptance of who you love,” her family said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “She will be remembered for her courageous honesty and dearly missed for her light.”

There will be another hearing for the case on Nov. 30.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.