Lawsuit over Gore Vidal estate

This was the front page story in the New York Times Sunday Styles section, of all places.

I’ve commented at least once on how the death of a family elder is so often deeply mourned by a vicious lawsuit. It happens even when the elder wasn’t particularly rich. But Gore Vidal was. (A footnote: hey, you young writers who looks at Vidal’s net worth and thinks that writing is the way the make a lot of money —forget it.)

A good description of Vidal from the article:

A close friend, who asked not to be identified because of the family’s sensitivity, said: “Anger was Gore’s default mode. He wanted to go out like Ebenezer Scrooge, with a huge finger to everyone around him.”

Vidal (what a putz) didn’t even leave some money to his long-time faithful servant. He left his entire estate to Harvard University. He didn’t go to Harvard. His family is somewhat divided over this. At least one family member thinks he was not compos mentis when he signed his last will.

In this long and fascinating article — a portrait of a difficult man throughout his contentious life — a few more lawsuits are buried, a particularly entangled one for defamation. (That’s the “contentious” part of Gore Vidal.) See how many you can find.

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