Robin Williams’ widow says his kids took memorabilia; legal battle brews
A legal battle is brewing between Robin Williams’ widow and children over the late actor’s estate.
In court documents filed just before Christmas, the comedian’s widow, Susan Schneider Williams, claims that some of her husband’s belongings were taken from their home in Tiburon without permission, and that Williams’ three children are staking claims to memorabilia that was bequeathed to her.
“She was not given time to grieve her loss free from the frenetic efforts to interfere with her domestic tranquility…” the documents state.
But Williams’ children -- Zelda, Zachary and Cody Williams -- claim Susan Williams spent the three months after her husband’s death having the actor’s memorabilia, jewelry and other personal effects appraised for her benefit.
Robin Williams committed suicide in his home Aug. 11.
Much of the fight centers around the definition of certain words, and what counts as memorabilia attached to Williams’ public persona and fame, and what counts as personal keepsakes that hold special significance in the family.
For example, Susan Williams says in court filings that she’s not entitled to the suspenders Williams wore on the “Mork & Mindy” show, but that she would be entitled to the “knick-knacks and other items not associated with his famous persona.”
But his children argue his “knick-knacks,” which included movie posters, trinkets from around the world and autographed publications, were fuel for his creativity and therefore are theirs, according to the filings.
The court filings were first reported by The New York Times.
Susan Williams’ attorney said that the issue shouldn’t dissolve into a bitter court dispute.
“This is not ugly,” attorney James Wagstaffe told the Associated Press. “I would not say this is anticipated to be a highly contested proceeding.”
MORE ON ROBIN WILLIAMS:
For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.
The stories shaping California
Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.