James Tupper just suffered a major blow in his fight against Anne Heche‘s oldest son Homer Laffoon!
As we’ve been following, ever since the actress tragically passed away in mid-August following a deadly car crash, her son and ex have been battling it out over control of her estate. Homer’s already been granted “authority as Special Administrator,” but he also wants guardian ad litem of his 13-year-old brother Atlas throughout the case. James, on the other hand, is totally against this and wants to be the spokesperson for his son — or have a neutral party take over. He also doesn’t think the 20-year-old is capable of being the administrator.
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Welp, he’s gotta be pretty unhappy right now because a California judge just denied his petition to be the guardian ad litem!! According to court documents obtained by Page Six on Tuesday, the court found that James didn’t provide enough evidence to stop Homer from becoming his half-brother’s legal guardian.
Interestingly, James and Atlas actually appeared in court on Tuesday to hash it out with a judge before the final decision was made. And it sounds like the Men In Trees alum really pissed off the authority figure!!
According to PeopleJames, Atlas, and the father’s attorney Christopher Johnsonappeared in court alongside Homer’s lawyer Bryan L. Phipps (on Zoom). Homer didn’t attend. The hearing lasted less than 15 minutes — oof! James never stood a chance. LOLz! Judge Lee Bogdanoff sounded irritated from the start as he began:
“I take it the matter has not been resolved.”
Hah! All parties concurred and the court learned James and Atlas had still not gained access to Anne’s apartment to collect his items, including clothes and a computer. The judge asked Bryan why the others hadn’t been allowed inside to collect Atlas’ belongings and “maybe to look around in memory of his mom.” The attorney insisted there were some outstanding issues, such as an inventory of personal property, that needed to take place before granting access. However, photos of some items had been taken and James was told he could pick them up. When the judge asked why he hadn’t picked them up yet, the actor said they’d only been made available the previous day. The judge replied:
“Yesterday? That’s a small detail you left out.”
Homer’s lawyer clapped back arguing they were ready two weeks ago. Hmm. The judge then confirmed the father and son could go to the apartment, saying:
“Get into the apartment, get his stuff as quickly as possible. You wanna walk around, that’s fine too.”
Bogdanoff also made it clear that the half-brothers have an equal interest in their mother’s estate, which will be divided equally. Though he did note there aren’t a lot of hard assets in the case but there still is Anne’s intellectual property and potential creditors. James’ lawyer argued the main concern is who the administrator will be — which resulted in a bunch of heated discussions! From the judge’s perspective, there was nothing to debate, he stated:
“We’re not nominating, we’re not deciding who’s the greatest person here. In order to prevent disappointment as administrator, I’d have to find that there are grounds for his removal. That’s fraud, conflict of interest, doing something terrible.”
Christopher argued that “the issue is the way he’s treated Atlas so far,” and claimed Homer hasn’t communicated with Atlas or allowed him into the apartment. When Christopher argued the young man (whom Anne shared with ex-husband Coleman Laffoon) wasn’t qualified, the judge declared:
“Sir, in California if you’re illiterate you can be an administrator. Ok? If you can’t read, you’ve never gone to college, you can be an administrator. Ok? The fact that he may be generation Z or whatever, or maybe he’s a chill guy, that doesn’t disqualify him. Maybe he’s not the greatest communicator, that doesn’t disqualify him. None of it does.”
Standing very firm!!
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James’ team didn’t stop fighting, though. The attorney argued Homer locked Atlas out of the home without authority, but the judge pushed back:
“He changed the locks. Somebody dies tragically and suddenly. There’s a gray area to what he can and can’t do. Everybody’s trying to figure it out.”
The LA judge then told Christopher he was wasting his time, continuing:
“We’re not here to pick like the best person. I’m here to decide if he’s qualified, or disqualified.”
At this point, James was visibly upset and shaking his head — actions the judge called him out on, adding:
“Why are you shaking your head? It’s very disrespectful. Don’t shake your head at me — ever if you’re going to appear again. Please take your hands out of your pockets, sir. You wanna say something?”
Startled, the Big Little Liars star said:
Sure. I don’t feel that his older brother is going to look out for him. We’ve waited two months to get into the apartment.”
The 57-year-old revealed he’d already bought his teenager a new computer and later claimed Homer was treating Atlas like they are “enemies.” He expressed sadness for the situation since the 13-year-old is “going through grief and this is complicating everything.” The father is worried the brothers’ relationship could be permanently ruined over this, too. We’re sure the legal battle doesn’t help either! The poor boy is stuck in the middle!
Atlas never spoke during the hearing, though he stayed by his father’s side and appeared very sad. Following the ruling, Homer’s lawyer, Bryan, told Page Six in a written statement:
“We are pleased — but not surprised– with the court’s ruling this morning denying James’ petition to appoint himself guardian ad litem for Atlas. We look forward to the court resolving Homer’s petition at the next hearing and, in the meantime, Homer will continue to diligently administer the Estate pursuant to his authority as Special Administrator.”
The feuding group is set to appear together in court for their next hearing on November 30, 2022. Thoughts?!
[Image via E! Entertainment/YouTube & James Tupper/Anne Heche/Instagram]