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Dennis Hopper's Widow Files $45M Claim Against Estate

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By Laura Strachan, Esq. on October 14, 2010 7:03 AM

Dennis Hopper may be having a hard time with the whole rest in peace concept. Issues surrounding his estate have been going on since the actor died of cancer in May of this year. First it was his estate suing his wife, Victoria Hopper (Duffy), for taking valuable art work from their home following his death. At the time of Hopper's passing, the couple was estranged and in a heated divorce battle. Now, Victoria is fighting back and filed a $45 million creditors claim against the estate.

Duffy was Hopper's fifth wife, and twenty one years younger than the departed actor. TMZ reports on some of the funds Victoria is seeking: hundreds of thousands of dollars in laywers fees, a share of Hopper's properties, money to help raise the couple's seven year-old daughter, $2.26 million in lost income during her marriage, $10 million for defamation (stemming from the couple's unfinished divorce proceeding), $4,000 for horse expenses.

Hopper re-wrote his will in January, four months before his death, in which he only included his children and grandchildren -- making it very clear that Victoria would be limited to the terms of the couple's prenuptial agreement or have to fight the will. So what exactly is her legal stance for claiming $45 million? A creditors claim is a legal claim against an estate, essentially telling the court that the deceased owes money. Whether or not she will get the money is too soon to tell. If the estate administrator disputes the claim (very likely here) then the parties will have a court hearing on the matter.

Between the divorce, the will, the suit against her, there is a lot of legal action happening with Dennis Hopper's widow. WSYR quotes Hopper's attorney's earlier statement to Victoria Hopper over her attempts at a financial settlement: "we are ready for war." If there was some doubt before, it looks like Victoria is ready too.

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