The children of Robin Williams have found themselves in the unenviable position of having to battle their late father’s third wife for possession of personal effects specifically left to them in his will.
Zelda, Zachary and Cody Williams are facing off with their stepmother Susan over items in their father’s Tiburon, California, home. Susan was left the home and a small piece of Williams’ fortune in his will, but the bulk of the $50 million estate was to go to his children. Susan claims that since she was left the home, that should also include the contents — and alleges that in the days following the actor’s death, his children took items that should belong to her.
More: Zelda Williams is struggling to return to a happy life after her father’s death
Susan wants Robin’s watches to not be considered jewelry, so she can claim them, and says that the clothes, photos and awards in the Tiburon house should rightfully be hers while the children should only get the personal effects at their father’s Napa home.
“His wife and her two sons with whom he lived for many years can stay in the home and not have the home stripped of normal things that are in a home, like art and furniture, and she can keep her wedding presents,” Susan’s attorney James Wagstaffe told ABC News.
The children complain that their stepmother would not allow them to access the Tiburon house for three months after their father’s death, and that she spent that time compiling an inventory rather than mourning.
“The Williams children are heartbroken that petitioner, Mr. Williams’ wife of less than three years, has acted against his wishes by challenging the plans he so carefully made for his estate,” they said in court documents.
“They are disturbed that this petition has been filed and we are here because as an intensely private person, Mr. Williams wouldn’t have wanted this,” their attorney Andrew Bassak told the Associated Press. “That is troubling to the trustees as close confidants of Mr. Williams.”
“It’s painful,” said Meredith Bushnell, another attorney representing the three children. “They were very close with their father and would [like to put this behind them].”
Robin Williams committed suicide in August 2014. During a court date today, both sides agreed to try to amicably resolve the situation, and lawyers told the judge they would sit down by April 10. A new hearing date was set for June 1.