Kathleen DuRoss Ford, third wife and widow of auto magnate Henry Ford II, has reached a settlement with Ford family members that will guarantee her at least $10.5 million a year from his $350-million estate, her attorney said today.
Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Vaughn Rudnick approved the settlement after a brief hearing. The agreement was reached just before her much publicized suit was to go to trial.
The battle between Ford’s 48-year-old widow, a former auto show model, and Ford family members has been compared to clashes on “Dallas” and “Dynasty.”
Charlotte Ford Downe, Henry Ford II’s daughter, has termed the dispute “disgusting.” Kathleen Ford’s lawyer, Robert Montgomery, in turn said Ford’s children treat Kathleen Ford “like dirt.”
Under the settlement, Ford receives 3% a year from the trust created when Henry Ford II died last year. She receives deeds to several homes and also gains the right to buy her husband’s English manor house, Turville Grange, which was to be sold after his death.