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Matthew Crowley

Battle over Kirk Kerkorian's child support payments lives on

7 December 2015

Kirk Kerkorian died in June, but the battle over his estate rages on.

The court-appointed guardian of the daughter of Kerkorian's ex-wife last month petitioned the Los Angeles Superior Court to revoke the admission of the late Nevada casino magnate's will to probate.

The court's website shows the revocation petition was filed Nov. 23, the same day Lisa Bonder, Kerkorian's ex-wife, filed a $1.3 million creditor's claim against Kerkorian's estate. Mynewsla, a website, says Bonder seeks unpaid child support.

Kerkorian was MGM Grand International's majority shareholder when he died June 15 at age 98. He founded MGM Resorts in the early 1990s and left his imprint on Las Vegas by building the International (now Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino) in 1969, the original MGM Grand (now Bally's - Las Vegas) in 1973 and the current MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Las Vegas in 1993.

Los Angeles area attorney Michael Augustine, whom Mynewsla identified as Kira Kerkorian's guardian ad litem, filed the revocation petition. Guardians at litem protect minors' interests; Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maria Stratton assigned him the duty Sept. 10.

Kira Kerkorian is the child of Bonder, a onetime tennis pro to whom Kerkorian was married for 28 days in 1999. Kerkorian thought he'd fathered the girl until Bonder revealed Hollywood producer Steve Bing was the father. A security guard working for Kerkorian nabbed dental floss from Bing's trash to get a DNA sample.

Kira Kerkorian is 17; she'll turn 18 March 9. Mynewsla reports that in the petition, Augustine suggests Kerkorian lacked the mental capacity to make his will and was unduly influenced by its beneficiaries when it was signed and executed in July 2013.

"My role is to preserve Kira's rights and do what's in her best interests while she is a minor," Augustine said by phone Friday. "Kira is the innocent party here. She hasn't been a part of any of this; she had no control over her conception. I don't want anybody to lose track of that.

"Kira was shortchanged in the father department," he added. "Kerkorian was elderly when Kira was conceived and couldn't travel … and Bing walked. He figured, 'I'm not under any legal obligation.' . . . So he wasn't around, either. And Lisa Bonder hasn't brought any father figure into the picture since."

Bonder's child support fight with Kerkorian has lasted 13 years already. In 2002, she demanded $320,000 in monthly child support for then-4-year-old Kira; a judge granted $50,316 per month. The Associated Press reported that Kerkorian in December 2010 agreed to pay more than $10 million in back child support plus $100,000 a month for Kira, of whom he'd grown fond.

The AP said in the 2010 settlement, Kerkorian agreed to provide $100,000 a month until Kira turns 19, or graduates from high school, is no longer a full-time student or no longer lives with her mother full time. After that, the settlement says, the child support would drop to $50,000 a month.

Mynewsla says Bonder's claim states the $50,000 monthly payments were to run from July 2016 through June 2017 and were made from July through November. Therefore, according to the claim, Kerkorian's estate should receive a $500,000 credit, leaving a $1.3 million balance.

Mynewsla estimated Kerkorian's estate at $4 billion. Variety reported in October that Kerkorian's 9,732-square-foot, six-bedroom, six-and-half-bathroom estate in Beverly Hills, Calif., is on the market, listed for $22 million.
Battle over Kirk Kerkorian's child support payments lives on is republished from