The polo magnate who adopted his girlfriend in an alleged attempt to protect his fortune from a lawsuit must now battle with his teenaged children who want the adoption thrown out.
John Goodman adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend in the fall, giving her a share of the more than $300 million trust he established for his two biological children -- a move that critics said was a ploy to save millions for himself if he loses an upcoming wrongful death lawsuit stemming from a car accident that killed Scott Wilson in February 2010.
The guardian of Goodman's children opened another legal front against the Polo Club Palm Beach founder by asking a judge to throw out the adoption of Heather Ann Hutchins, The Palm Beach Post reports.
The paperwork filed last week in Miami and Palm Beach County on behalf of guardian Jeffrey Goddess alleges that Goodman, 48, defrauded the court, surprised the teenagers' mother and abused adoption rules by taking his main squeeze as his legal daughter, The Post says.
The attorney for Goddess claims that Goodman kept the Oct. adoption secret from his children's guardian and his ex-wife until after Christmas. He also blames Goodman for not telling the judge overseeing the adoption proceedings that Wilson's parents were suing him.
Goodman's lawyer Dan Bachi had previously argued that adopting Hutchins was a way to ensure his children's future and was completely unrelated to the upcoming showdown with the Wilson family, according to Fox News.
A judge in the wrongful death case previously ruled that the children's trust couldn't be touched if Goodman loses the suit. Now that Hutchins is legally his third daughter she's entitled to a portion of that money -- possibly worth $5 million per year. Because the trust was off-limits, its size was not known until Circuit Judge Glenn Kelley decided to reveal its worth this week, The Palm Beach Post said in a different report.
Goodman allegedly killed Wilson when he ran a red light and plowed his Bentley into the 23-year-old's car, knocking it into a river and drowning the driver. The civil suit begins in March as does Goodman's criminal trial on DUI manslaughter charges, TV station WPBF reports.
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more