A battle is shaping up over the estate of the late Alan Thicke, pitting sons Robin and Brennan against their father’s widow, Tanya Thicke.
In legal documents obtained by ET Canada, Brennan and Robin Thicke are listed as co-trustees of Thicke’s living trust, and are taking Tanya (nee Callau) to court.
The brothers contend their legal actions are to “honour the memory of their father, protect his legacy, and prevent his testamentary intentions from being undermined by avarice and overreaching of his third wife, Tanya Callau.”
In a statement to ET Canada, the attorney representing the Thicke brothers, Alex Weingarten shared the following statement: “My clients made every effort to resolve this without the need for going to court. The only thing they care about is protecting the legacy of their father and honouring his intentions. That is exactly what we are going to do.”
In their petition, the late “Growing Pains” star’s sons contend their father attained “the vast majority of his wealth long before meeting Callau, who signed a prenuptial agreement ahead of their 2005 marriage.”
According to the brothers’ petition, Thicke’s trust left each of his three children equal shares of a Carpinteria ranch, 75 per cent of his personal effects and 60 per cent of his remaining estate.
To his third wife, Thicke left the ranch’s furnishings, 25 per cent of his personal effects, a $500,000 life insurance policy, all of his death benefits from pensions and union memberships and 40 per cent of his remaining estate. The trust also allows her to live at the ranch, so long as she continues to pay for associated expenses and maintains the property.
While that may seem cut-and-dried, Thicke’s sons allege Callau is now seeking a bigger slice of the pie and they say she’s claiming the prenup she signed is no longer valid.
“Now that Alan is dead, Tanya claims there are numerous problems with the Trust and the Prenuptial Agreement,” states the petition. “Tanya asserts that there is no chance the ‘Prenup’ could withstand legal challenge and that she has very significant community rights in the Trust’s assets and rights of reimbursement with respect to improvements to the Ranch. Tanya also claims ‘Marvin rights’ asserting that she had to forgo opportunities to pursue and advance her own career in order to support Alan and be his companion and partner, including raising [the couple’s son] Carter.” (Marvin rights refers to the famous trial in which Michelle Triola sued her longtime lover — but not husband — Lee Marvin when they split, establishing the term “palimony.”)
The petition also claims Thicke’s widow has “threatened to make her claims fodder for ‘tabloid publicity’ unless the Co-Trustees agreed to participate in a mediation and succumb to her demands.”
The Thicke brothers are “asking the court for instructions concerning the extent to which the Trust’s property is the actor’s separate property and whether Callau’s challenge to the prenup is barred because she waived her community property rights when signing it.”
In a statement provided to ET Canada, Callau’s attorney disputes the claims made in the Thicke brothers’ lawsuit, describing the suit as a “smear tactic” intended to intimidate his client.
“Tanya Thicke has never threatened to take private family matters public and she never has,” says lawyer Adam F. Streisand. “It is clear that Alan’s sons have chosen this distasteful public smear tactic to bully Tanya, by stirring up the tabloid media, filing a bogus lawsuit, and refusing family mediation. Tanya is still grieving the death of her beloved husband and out of respect for Alan’s memory intends to handle his sons’ false statements privately.”