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Robbie Robertson Children Sue His Widow Over His Estate

Robbie Robertson Children Sue His Widow Over His Estate

The children of The Band’s Robbie Robertson have filed a lawsuit against the late rocker’s widow, claiming that she abused him financially to inherit part of his estate by coercing him to execute documents that are “oppressive, abusive and contrary to his expressly stated intentions,” according to legal documents filed this week in California.  

Robertson’s three kids joined the trustees of his estate and trust, Adriane Hibbert and David Jackel, as plaintiffs in the case against Janet Zuccarini, who they say in 2023, while Robertson’s health and mental capacity was in decline, presented him with a plan to purchase David Geffen’s former home in Beverly Hills for $6 million in which, according to the suit, the two would be “equal owners and equal contributors to expenses.” However, he ponied up all of the $1.8 million down payment, according to the complaint.

A year later, the guitarist’s cancer returned, making him unable to read or write after it fully metastasized, the complaint reads. As his health deteriorated, Zuccarini and Robertson eloped in the spring of 2023 in a ceremony that was “kept secret” from his family members, his children Delphine, Sebastian and Alexandra Robertson state in the suit.

“A great time for marriage,” the suit claims Zuccarini had decided. She then had Robertson, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee who is credited with helping create the Americana music genre, sign a prenuptial agreement, knowing he “was no longer able to read and would not comprehend the true import of what he was signing”; she saw an “opportunity to embark on a marriage with a sick and dying man,” his children and the trustees allege in the complaint. 

They also allege that Zuccarini got Robinson to spend $175,957 on renovations and $3,381.31 on furniture and furnishings” on the Beverly Hills home. This amounts to “financial elder abuse” and “tortious interference with inheritance,” the suit concludes. Following Robertson’s death in August 2023, Zuccarini’s lawyers told the trust of its liability to her for half of her living expenses for as long as she remained in the Beverly Hills home. 

“Given her actuarial life expectancy, measured in decades, Robertson’s modest estate and trust would be drained dry unless Zuccarini decided to give up this sinecure and find a new place to live that she could pay for on her own,” the complaint states.

After Robertson’s kids reached out to Zuccarini to say their father had told them the estate would be their inheritance, her lawyers began to play hardball, the suit claims, telling them if Zucarini didn’t receive her “windfall” then an earlier “Even-Steven payments” agreement it would be defaulted to and she’d also be “an omitted spouse entitled to a one-third share of Robertson’s entire estate.” Yet the children claim in the suit that Zuccarini explicitly told them, in writing, that she knew their father didn’t understand what he was signing and that he never would have done so if he knew she’d get half of his estate. 

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The suit calls for the court to cancel the former couple’s property agreement amendment from March 2023, and that compensatory and punitive damages be paid. 

“This lawsuit is a meritless fiction and the truth will prevail,” Gabrielle A. Vidal, an attorney for Zuccarini, said in a statement to the the L.A. Times on Friday. “This is a gross and exploitative attempt by Robbie Robertson’s children to eviscerate their father’s expressed wishes for his beloved wife Janet.”

The Hollywood Reporter reached out to Vidal on Friday.

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