Hopper's wife sued by estate

DENNIS Hopper's estate is suing his widow.

Trustees looking after the assets of the 'Easy Rider' actor - who died of cancer in May aged 74 - claim his wife Victoria Duffy stole valuable artwork from her estranged spouse when he was dying.

In papers filed with Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by website, the Dennis Hopper Trust claims: "On at least two occasions in late 2009, respondent with or without the assistance of other had to access to and entered the decedent's residence, studios, and other real property.

"Wrongfully and in bad faith, she removed certain pieces of art, and other personal property, the extent of which is not yet known."

The case is backed by an affidavit sworn by the actor before his death, in which he alleges Victoria - who he was in the process of divorcing - "literally stole from me" and "refused to tell ... where the property was when I asked her, and then left town".

At the time, Dennis estimated the missing art, including a portrait of himself by Andy Warhol and sculptures by Robert Graham and Banksy, were worth over $1.5 million.

Also supporting the claim is the pre-nuptial agreement signed between the couple before their marriage in 1996.

It reveals Victoria - who has a seven-year-old daughter Galen with her late husband - agreed "the terms of the premarital agreement also provide that any assets purchases or acquired by the Decedent during the marriage are his separate property".

The pre-nuptial agreement continues: "The Decedent funded his Trust with separate property assets, including those pieces of art and other personal property that has been misappropriated by Respondent as set forth herein."

The Trust wants a judge to determine title and require transfer of personal property back to the co-trustees.

A hearing is set for December 22, 2010.

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