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Anne Heche's ex James Tupper disputes her son's claim to her estate

LA Times logo LA Times 9/16/2022 Carlos De Loera
James Tupper, left, and Anne Heche attend the 2012 Gentlemen's Ball in New York. (Evan Agostini / Invision/Associated Press) © (Evan Agostini / Invision/Associated Press) James Tupper, left, and Anne Heche attend the 2012 Gentlemen's Ball in New York. (Evan Agostini / Invision/Associated Press)

A fight has broken out over who should be left in charge of Anne Heche's estate.

Heche's ex-boyfriend James Tupper filed court documents Thursday in Los Angeles in which he claimed he is the rightful executor of the estate.

The filing comes after Heche's son Homer Laffoon, 20, filed a petition in August to be named administrator of Heche’s estate, saying the actor died without a will. He also filed to be appointed legal guardian of his 13-year-old brother, Atlas Heche Tupper, Heche's son with Tupper. In court documents, the brothers are listed as the only two heirs of their mother’s estate.

But the "Men in Trees" actor claims in the filing obtained by The Times that Heche did have a will in which she named him executor and that she emailed it to him in 2011.

"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," read the email allegedly sent from Heche, which Tupper filed as evidence.

"They will be divided equally among our children, currently Homer Heche Laffoon and Atlas Heche-Tupper, and their portion given to each when they are the age of 25. When the last child turns 25 any house or other properties owned may be sold and the money divided equally among our children."

According to the document, Tupper said Laffoon was "not suitable for appointment as personal representative of this estate" and that the person in charge of the estate should be "someone with more experience and sophistication."

"He is only 20 years of age and is unemployed, and was estranged from [Heche] at the time of her death due to his dropping out of university studies and not working to support himself," the filing read.

Tupper also questioned whether Laffoon had his younger brother's best interest in mind.

"Homer agreed to attend grief counseling with Atlas, but Atlas was left waiting for him when he did not show up. He also agreed to meet Atlas and Tupper at a restaurant on August 25, 2022, but again did not show up, despite their waiting 1.5 hours for him," Tupper claimed.

"This is particularly upsetting given that Atlas is 13 years old, was with his mother on the day of her death, and he has reached out to Homer repeatedly. In fact, since their mother's death, Homer has not seen his brother, nor had contact with him."

While Tupper isn't opposed to personally handling the estate, he says his first choice is to hire a neutral, third-party professional fiduciary to manage it.

Tupper's petition noted "there is no urgent need to appoint a special administrator at this time," despite Laffoon claiming otherwise.

In his filing, Laffoon argued the publishing of Heche's memoir "Call Me Anne" was an urgent reason to appoint an estate administrator.

The book, which is set to be released Jan. 24, is a follow-up to Heche’s 2001 memoir, “Call Me Crazy,” and documents the actor's rise to fame.

According to its Amazon listing, it will touch on Heche’s relationship with Ellen DeGeneres in the early aughts, her encounter with disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and her journey to self-acceptance, among other things.

Times research librarian Scott Wilson contributed to this report.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.


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