SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Eight months after Robin Williams’ suicide, his family is still arguing over who gets some of his belongings.
On Monday, attorneys for Robin Williams’ wife Susan Schneider and those of his children headed to court in a battle over the late comedian’s estate.
In papers filed in December, Schneider says some of the late actor’s personal items were taken without her permission.
Williams’ children, Zachary, Zelda and Cody, said in response that Schneider is “adding insult to a terrible injury” by trying to change the trust agreement and rob them of the late actor’s belongings, including jewelry and memorabilia.
In a statement posted Monday, Zelda Williams denied going to her father’s home in Tiburon to take items. “My brothers and I have not at any point since dad’s death been invited to or visited his and Susan’s house in Tiburon, nor have we removed anything from it,” Williams said.
The two sides can’t even agree on how contentious the case is.
Jim Wagstaffe, attorney for Williams’ widow Susan Schneider, downplayed that it’s a bitter battle.
“The media always has spin,” Wagstaffe said. “And sometimes spin and what happens in real life are different.”
Meredith Bushnell, the attorney representing the actor’s three adult children says if all were good, they wouldn’t need to be in court.
“It’s painful,” Bushnell said. “This is a long, drawn out process.”
Williams’ trust granted his children his memorabilia and awards in the entertainment industry among other particular personal items, according to court documents.
Schneider says that because he wanted her to continue to live at the Tiburon home, it makes sense that he intended for his children only to have the specific personal items kept at another home he owned in Napa.
KPIX legal analyst Melissa Griffin-Caen says at issue is when the estate and memorabilia overlap — like posters and books.
“The question is, if there’s something in that Tiburon house that’s an entertainment item, what claim would the kids have to it?” Caen said.
The judge told both sides to figure out who gets what, or he’ll see them in court again in eight weeks.
Robin Williams died at his home in Tiburon, north of San Francisco, in August. The coroner ruled his death a suicide that resulted from asphyxia caused by hanging.
The actor’s wife has said he struggled with depression, anxiety and a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.