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Robin Williams’s widow, Susan Schneider, and his children have gone to court in a fight over the late comedian’s estate.|
In papers filed in December in San Francisco superior court, Schneider accuses the comedian’s children from two previous marriages of taking items without her permission and asks the court to exclude the contents of the home she shared with Williams in Tiburon, California, from the jewellery, memorabilia and other items he said the children should have.
The children, Zachary, Zelda and Cody, counter that Schneider is “adding insult to a terrible injury” by trying to change the trust agreement and rob them of the late actor’s clothing and other personal items.
“The Williams children are heartbroken that [the] petitioner, Mr Williams’s wife of less than three years, has acted against his wishes by challenging the plans he so carefully made for his estate,” attorneys for the children said in court papers.
James Wagstaffe, an attorney for Schneider, said on Monday that his client was only seeking guidance from the court about the meaning of certain terms in the trust.
“This is not ugly,” he said. “I would not say this is anticipated to be a highly contested proceeding.”
A call after-hours to an attorney for the children, Meredith Bushnell, was not immediately returned.
Williams died at his Tiburon home in August. The coroner ruled his death a suicide.
Schneider has said the actor and comedian had been struggling with depression, anxiety and a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
Williams had publicly acknowledged periodic struggles with substance abuse and entered a substance abuse programme shortly before his death. According to the coroner’s report his wife told an investigator that Williams did not go there because of recent drug or alcohol abuse, but rather to reaffirm the principles of his rehabilitation.
Williams’s trust granted the children his memorabilia and awards in the entertainment industry and some other specific personal items, according to court documents. Schneider says that because he wanted her to continue to live at the Tiburon home, it makes sense that he intended only for his children to have the specific personal items he delineated that were kept at another home he owned in Napa.
“Any other interpretation would lead to Mrs Williams’s home being stripped while Mrs Williams still lives there,” her attorneys wrote.
The children dispute that interpretation, saying there were no specific limits on the location of the items.
The two sides also disagree over items in storage, watches Williams owned and his memorabilia.