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Larry King: Talk show host’s widow contests handwritten will

  • Larry King was divorcing Shawn Southwick King at the time of his death

BBC News

The widow of US TV host Larry King has gone to court to contest a handwritten will that purportedly leaves the late star’s $2m estate to his children.

Shawn Southwick King, whom King was divorcing at the time of his death, claims he was “of questionable mental capacity” when the will was signed.

According to the 2019 document, King wanted “100% of my funds to be divided equally” between his five children.

Two of his children died in 2020, while King himself died in January aged 87.

The veteran broadcaster hosted his popular CNN talk show for 25 years and conducted an estimated 50,000 interviews over his six-decade career.

King was married eight times to seven women and had five children, who are listed by name in the contested document.

His daughter Chaia died from lung cancer at 51 last July, while son Andy died of a heart attack in August at the age of 65.

Southwick King, whom King married in 1997 and had two children with, alleges her stepson Larry King Jr exerted undue influence over his father towards the end of his life.

She argues that the handwritten will conflicts with a will he signed in 2015, in which she was named executor of his estate.

She also claims that she and King remained in contact despite their divorce proceedings and might conceivably have reconciled.

King Jr, King’s son from his second marriage, argues that his father and Southwick King were no longer together at the time of his death.

He has asked to be made a special administrator of his father’s estate, which is valued at $2m (£1.44m).

A hearing at Los Angeles County probate court has been scheduled for later this month.

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