The estate of late media mogul Kirk Kerkorian has a reached a settlement with his widow, who claimed she was entitled to a third of his $1.8 billion fortune.
Una Davis will receive just $12.5 million under the deal, which is set for court approval on Wednesday. Davis married the mogul in March 2014, becoming his fourth wife. According to his estate’s lawyers, Davis lived with Kerkorian for just 57 days before he asked her to move out. Divorce proceedings were underway, but had not been finalized, when Kerkorian died the following year at the age of 98.
Davis and Kerkorian had signed a premarital agreement the day before their wedding. According to the estate’s lawyers, Davis waived her claims against the estate in exchange for $10 million. Davis’ lawyers filed a petition in probate court in 2016, however, challenging the premarital agreement. They argued that she did not fully comprehend it and signed it under duress, making it invalid. They claimed she was entitled to a third of Kerkorian’s estate as an “omitted spouse” in his will.
Under the settlement, Davis will receive $12.5 million. The estate will provide $10 million to a “donor advised fund” established in Davis’ name, which will be administered by the National Philanthropic Trust.
The bulk of Kerkorian’s estate will go to charity, with the recipients determined by a selection committee. Under the terms of the settlement, Davis will be able to advise the committee on an additional $50 million worth of contributions.
Last year, the estate agreed to pay $7.27 million to Vanessa Sandin, a former companion of Kerkorian’s who had alleged that he promised to bequeath her $20 million.
Kerkorian made his fortune as an investor in hotels, airlines, casinos, and entertainment studios. He bought and sold MGM three times.
Update, Dec. 12: Judge Michael Small approved the settlement at a hearing on Wednesday morning. Davis’ attorney, John Deily, said his client was pleased with the outcome.
“The settlement wasn’t about money,” he said. “It was about her being able to be involved in the charitable purposes.”