Washington Post

Kerkorian Challenges Paternity Claim

The Associated Press
The Washington Post
Friday, March 22, 2002; 2:29 PM

LOS ANGELES –– Kirk Kerkorian can't be the father of a 4-year-old girl because he is sterile, the billionaire's lawyers argued as his ex-wife sought $320,000 a month in child support.

"This is a child support case in name only," attorney Dennis M. Wasser said Thursday, accusing Lisa Bonder Kerkorian of "using child support as a vehicle to enrich herself."

During the daylong hearing, Superior Court Judge Lee Smalley Edmon ruled that the woman's lawyers may examine Kerkorian's tax returns, but he delayed ruling on her request that Kerkorian pay more than $500,000 in her legal expenses.

She left the courtroom in tears. "I can't afford this," she cried as she ran down the court hallway, clutching a stuffed Easter bunny wrapped in cellophane.

Wasser told the judge that the woman is worth about $12 million and doesn't need help paying her legal bills.

Kerkorian, 84, is worth an estimated $6.5 billion. He is the majority shareholder in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studio and MGM Mirage Inc., which owns several Las Vegas Strip hotels.

He and Lisa Kerkorian, who were married for a month in 1999, had a 10-year romantic relationship that ended when she allegedly saw him with another woman in August 2000.

In January, Lisa Kerkorian filed for $320,000 a month in child support for her daughter, XXXX. Among the expenses she cited were $144,000 for travel, $14,000 for parties and play dates, and $4,300 for food.

Kerkorian has said DNA tests show he's not Kira's father but he has pledged to support her. He has asked the court to award support that doesn't exceed the $50,000 a month he already pays.

Lisa Kerkorian, a 37-year-old former tennis pro, recently admitted that she lied about the paternity. Court papers say she faked a DNA paternity test by using saliva obtained by a ruse from Kerkorian's adult daughter.

In a deposition, however, Lisa Kerkorian contended that her husband approved of the lie.

He wanted people to think he had fathered the girl because "it fraudulently raised his 'stock' in the male world, fraudulently established him as a virile, sexually active octogenarian and gave him some 'kinder, gentler' publicity," according to her deposition.

© 2002 The Associated Press

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