Enter your email address and start getting breaking law firm and legal news right now!
Ms. Perelman Picks Up a Suit Against Her Uncle For Millions in Family Feud
In a lawsuit that could be dubbed, “rich person’s problems,” Samantha Perelman, a 23-year-old Columbia University student, will follow her father’s footsteps in suing her uncle. Though her father, Ronald O. Perelman, 70, is the chairman of Revlon, whose personal fortune is estimated to be at $14 billion, this clearly isn’t good enough for an inheritance, and she is specifically concerned with her grandfather’s estate, half of which was meant to pass to her mother, who died of cancer, and subsequently to her. But with uncle James Cohen’s alleged meddling and “undue influence” over her grandfather, the larger part of that estate went to James. That’s $700 million dollars she wants. And though her father failed in his suit against the uncle, Ronald Perelman’s brother in law, having to pay $1.9 million for bringing up a “frivolous claim,” she hopes to succeed where he failed.
That such amazingly rich people are willing to stomp all over their family to become more so is perhaps not surprising, but James Cohen, for his part, calls his niece suit “nothing short of galling.” He also has to duck allegations, perhaps groundless, from her corner, such that the uncle had siphoned money, or had asset transfers, from his father’s estate, that he did not pay taxes, something Cohen claims is simply not true.
The center of Ms. Perelman’s lawsuit will be the money transfer when Cohen sold Hudson Media, his company’s retail operations, to a privacy equity firm, which put $600 million into Cohen’s hands. Hudson Media, owned by the estate and the uncle, figures largely in the allegations of Ms. Perelman that her uncle pressured her grandfather, who had a nerve disease that made him allegedly incompetent to alter his will. She thinks a 2004 version of the will best represents his decision.
Things are ugly between Cohen and Mr. Perelman, the latter who is barred from his brother in law’s property, after he crashed a family bar mitzvah at the Cohen family house in Long Beach, Fla.
Mr. Cohen is confident as to his side in court, saying, “There are no witnesses who will say I unduly influenced my father, because I did not.”