A judge Wednesday gave control of Anne Heche’s estate to her son, Homer Heche Laffoon over objections from the actress’ former partner, actor James Tupper – who claimed that $200,000 worth of her jewelry has ‘gone missing.’
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lee Bogdanoff appointed Laffoon, 20, as permanent administrator of the estate, denying the motion by Tupper – father of Heche’s 13 year-old son Atlas – to have an independent administrator appointed.
And the judge dismissed the objection from Canadian-born Tupper, 57, who asserted that Laffoon is ‘not suitable’ to run the estate because he is too young, unemployed and was estranged from his mother at the time of her death.
‘I find no malfeasance by Mr. Laffoon,’ said Judge Bogdanoff – who also denied a request Wednesday from Tupper’s attorney, Christopher Johnson, for an evidentiary hearing to investigate his client’s allegation that Heche’s $200,000 jewelry collection has disappeared.
Johnson had told the judge that Heche ‘had approximately $200,000 worth of jewelry and none remains and that was four years ago.’ Tupper was with Heche from 2007 to 2018.
When Judge Bogdanoff asked Johnson if he was suggesting that Laffoon took the jewelry or if he was suggesting ‘fraud or embezzlement’ was involved, Johnson replied, ‘Not fraud or embezzlement, mismanagement,’ because, he claimed, Laffoon didn’t not secure his mother’s apartment quickly enough after her death three months ago.
The judge told Johnson that his allegation ‘does not make sense’ and dismissed his request for an evidentiary hearing.
Anne Heche’s adult son Homer Laffoon has been in a fierce battle with her ex James Tupper over control of the late actress’ estate. On Wednesday, a judge granted Laffoon, 20, control of her estate
Tupper was seeking to become the legal guardian for his son Atlas Heche Tupper (left) after Heche’s eldest son Homer Laffoon, 20, (right) filed a petition to be in charge of his mother’s estate
Heche died from injuries sustained in a fireball car crash in Los Angeles on August 5
The $200,000 jewelry collection is part of Tupper’s $1.6million valuation of what his former partner’s estate is worth. That sum is disputed by Laffoon who estimates that the value of his mother’s belongings and assets totals only a quarter of that, $400,000.
In their bitter family feud over the estate, the two have also fought over Tupper’s claim that Heche appointed him executor of her estate in a ‘will’ she emailed to him in 2011.
The email from Heche has the subject line ‘WILL’ and is addressed to Tupper and copied to attorneys Kevin Yorn and Melodie Moore.
‘My wishes are that all of my assets go to the control of Mr. James Tupper to be used to raise my children and then given to the children,’ the email reads.
It says that her assets will be divided equally among her two sons and that their portions should be given to them when they turn 25 years old.
‘May this go into my records as my word until further papers are drawn up,’ Heche ends the email.
It appears no further paperwork was ever filed.
But Homer fought back in a filing, claiming that the email is not a legally recognized will because Heche did not sign the document.
Tupper claims a 2011 email proves that he should be in charge of the estate. ‘FYI in case I die tomorrow and anyone asks,’ Heche’s email begins. ‘My wishes are that all of my assets go to the control of Mr. James Tupper to be used to raise my children and then given to the children’
The blended family-of-four are pictured in 2012. Tupper claimed that Heche’s email from January 5, 2011 makes it clear that she wanted all assets to be controlled by him.
‘Mr. Tupper repeatedly refers to the email as a ”will” however – as a matter of law – the email does not qualify as either a holographic will or formal witnessed will,’ Laffoon’s filing states.
‘The email was not signed by [Heche] and does not have two witnesses who signed the document during [her] lifetime.’
Laffoon says his mother failed to leave behind a will when she tragically died.
‘Without a will, there can be no nomination of an executor,’ Laffoon stated, adding that he is ‘legally entitled to appointment as administrator.’
However, Tupper claims that Heche’s email from January 5, 2011 makes it clear that she wanted all assets to be controlled by him.
Anne Heche’s 20-year-old son, Homer wasnamed the administrator of her estate on Wednesday.
A photo before the August 5 crash shows Heche at the wheel with a liquor bottle in the cup holder
Heche – best known for roles in Donnie Brasco, Volcano and Wag the Dog and her three-year-relationship with Ellen DeGeneres – slammed her Mini Cooper into a house in Los Angeles, causing a fire, on August 5.
Blood tests showed that she had cocaine and fentanyl in her system when the high-speed crash occurred, but officials confirmed that she had not been drinking alcohol – despite being pictured earlier with a vodka bottle in her cupholder.
She was left badly burned and in a coma. Heche’s life support machine was turned off on August 14, and she was cremated on August 18.
A coroner ruled on August 17 that she died from inhalation injury and burns, and the death was ruled an accident.
The mother-of-two also had a fractured sternum caused by ‘blunt trauma,’ according to information on the website of the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner.
As general administrator of his mother’s estate, one of the issues Laffoon will have to deal with is claims from creditors.
Earlier this month, Lynne Mishele, the woman renting the house that Heche crashed into, setting it ablaze, sued the estate for at least $2 million, citing ‘negligence, infliction of emotional distress and trespass.’
Actor Thomas Jane, 53 – who dated Heche in 2019 and 2020 – also filed a claim saying he loaned his ex-girlfriend $157,000 and he’s still owed $149,000 with interest and late fees.
Judge Bogdanoff Wednesday scheduled another hearing March 15 to decide the bond amount Laffoon has to post to protect claims of creditors and heirs to the estate. Until then, he temporarily set the bond at $800,000.