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Heir to Getty Fortune Confirms Existence of 2nd Family

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From Associated Press

Gordon P. Getty, one of the richest men in the United States, had a secret second family for more than a decade.

Now that family is trying to gain inheritance rights from the billionaire heir to the Getty oil fortune.

Getty, a San Francisco socialite, philanthropist and composer, has confirmed that he fathered three daughters in Los Angeles, the San Jose Mercury News reported Friday.

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“Nicolette, Kendalle and Alexandra are my children. Their mother, Cynthia Beck, and I, love them very much. The most important concern is that the children’s needs be addressed. . . . This will be our first priority,” Getty said in a statement.

“The Getty family has been fully supportive throughout this situation, and for that I am very grateful,” he added.

Getty was sailing in Europe and could not be reached for comment. The newspaper reported that a source close to the family said Getty’s wife of more than three decades, Ann, is not considering divorce.

Getty’s family in San Francisco, including his children Peter, John, Andrew and William, learned only recently about the other family. Getty’s statement was written months ago in anticipation that the news would become public, the paper reported.

Getty, 64, was worth $2 billion last year, according to Forbes magazine. The fourth of oil baron J. Paul Getty’s five children, he sold the oil company founded by his father to Texaco for $10.1 billion in the 1980s.

Since then, Getty has turned his attention to music. His first opera, “Plump Jack,” was performed by the San Francisco Symphony in 1985. Other works include “Emily Dickinson Song Cycle.”

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The Gettys are fixtures in San Francisco high society. They hosted television star Don Johnson’s wedding at their mansion in Pacific Heights, with Mayor Willie Brown presiding. President Clinton attended a fund-raiser at the Getty estate that raised $1 million for Democrats.

The J. Paul Getty Foundation funded the $1-billion Getty Center in Los Angeles that opened in 1997. The museum’s public affairs office was closed Friday and messages were not returned.

Ann Getty serves or has served on the boards of institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the San Francisco Opera.

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