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Robin Williams' Wife and Children Fight Over Estate

Robin Williams' children and wife have gone to court in a fight over the late comedian's estate.
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Robin Williams' three children only want to grieve for their late father — not get dragged into a legal battle with his widow over the beloved comedian's estate, an attorney for the siblings told NBC News. Court documents filed in December by Susan Schneider Williams claim some of her late husband's personal items were "unilaterally removed" by his adult children following his suicide last August at age 63.

Schneider Williams, who had been married to the Oscar-winning actor for nearly three years, is also trying to block certain personal possessions from being taken from the Tiburon, California, home she shared with him. Schneider Williams filed her petition in San Francisco Superior Court to seek clarification from a judge, and the case is expected to go to court March 30.

Attorney Allan Mayer said the need for the siblings — Zachary, 31; Zelda, 25; and Cody, 23 — to be forced into legal proceedings "adds insult to a terrible injury." The trio are Williams' children from two previous marriages.

"The insinuation that they or their representatives may have taken anything from the house is both despicable and wholly untrue," Mayer told NBC News. "The fact is that they have been barred from what had been their father's house, and not even the trustees of the Robin Williams Trust have been able to conduct a complete inventory."

Schneider Williams in her petition says that she, too, has been unable to grieve the loss of her husband because of "frenetic efforts to interfere with her domestic tranquility." A month after Williams died, she said, the trustee for his children attempted to gain access inside her home in order to take some of his belongings.

Schneider Williams said in her filing that she's not seeking any entertainment memorabilia from her late husband's prolific career, including the "suspenders that (he) wore on the 'Mork & Mindy’ show." But she is entitled to possessions from their marriage, she said, including Williams' promise ring and his wedding tuxedo. "It is difficult to imagine Mr. Williams desiring" an outcome in which the children are given those items, the widow's petition says. She also wants the "Good Will Hunting" actor's watches excluded from the list of jewelry that would be divvied among his children.

In a response filed last month to Schneider Williams' petition, the children said they were "heartbroken" over the dispute, and that their father's widow has "acted against (Williams') wishes by challenging the plans he so carefully made for his estate." Williams was found dead in the Tiburon home after previously struggling with drug addiction and a deep depression.


— Deb Huberman, Joe Fryer and Erik Ortiz