The longtime girlfriend of the late rock impresario Bill Graham has filed an amended complaint in New York federal court against Graham’s estate, claiming she was physically and mentally abused during their 17-year relationship.
The lengthy court-sealed document contains Regina Cartwright’s graphic account of her alleged victimization by Graham, involving kidnapping, beating and attempted murder, but the suit does not solicit monetary damages.
“It’s all ridiculous,” Nicholas Clainos, president of Bill Graham Enterprises and executor of the Graham estate, said of Cartwright’s claims of abuse. “Anybody who knew Bill Graham knows that it’s ridiculous. I don’t think anybody’s going to take it too seriously.”
The filing amends a complaint filed Nov. 5 seeking a legal judgment declaring Cartwright’s 5-year-old daughter, Caitlin Anne Cartwright, the non-marital child of Graham, thus entitling her to one-third of Graham’s estimated $ 50 million estate.
It also asks that the court deem unconscionable a previous settlement in which Caitlin received $ 50,000 in exchange for her entitlement to her purported father’s estate, claiming the agreement was “the product of fraud, coercion and overreaching and because (Regina) Cartwright was not, by reason of mental illness, competent at the time to enter into that agreement on Caitlin’s behalf.”
The new court-sealed chronology was re-created by Cartwright — who admits to suffering from a multiple-personality disorder and other acute psychological problems — with the assistance of her psychiatrist Steven Gushin and his wife Janet.
The plaintiff also claims poverty and that she is on welfare, having spent the $ 300,000 from a settlement with Graham’s estate soon after his death Oct. 25, 1991, and the $ 200,000 that she says she received annually prior to his death.
Cartwright’s complaint requests a jury trial to resolve the parental issue raised in the original settlement; a probate proceeding in Marin County is pending. The executors of Graham’s estate are now asking the same California court to rule that Regina Cartwright, on behalf of Caitlin Cartwright, cannot assert any future claims as alleged in the New York action.
“I think it’s important that people recognize Regina’s own self-professed status of severe psychological disorder,” Clainos said. “And in that context, the only thing I can tell you is that both Regina and her child were blood-tested. DNA testing was done on Bill and virtually all his relatives. It was done at the University of California Medical Center about two years ago, and it’s undisputed, there’s no question, that the child is not Bill’s.”
That issue is now being disputed by Cartwright and her attorney, Norman Solovay of Solovay & Edlin, Manhattan. “(Clainos’ statement) that Graham is not her father is clearly inaccurate. You can just look at the two of them,” Solovay said. “There’s plenty of other proof and we have repeatedly offered to be bound by tests conducted by the court, but nobody has been willing to take us up on that offer.”
Cartwright’s new court filing coincides with the release of the unauthorized biography “Rage & Roll: Bill Graham and the Selling of Rock” by the Carol Publishing Group, the same house that created controversy with its attempts to produce an unauthorized tome on David Geffen. First-time author John Glatt told Daily Variety that his primary source was Cartwright.