New Lawsuit Could Leave Robert Durst Penniless

$100M suit relies on arcane 'right to sepulcher' law
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2015 9:00 PM CST
First Wife's Family Sues Robert Durst for $100M
Robert Durst is transported from Orleans Parish Criminal District Court to the Orleans Parish Prison after his arraignment in New Orleans on March 17, 2015.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Robert Durst never admitted to killing first wife Kathleen Durst 34 years ago, and no conclusive evidence has been found—but her death could still cost him his fortune. Kathleen's three sisters and 101-year-old mother have filed a $100 million lawsuit against Durst contending he infringed upon their "right to sepulcher," a New York law protecting the right to a family member's body for the funeral, the New York Times reports. "The family’s priority has been and continues to be to provide Kathleen with a proper and dignified burial," says the family's lawyer. The lawsuit makes clear that Durst, who was featured in the HBO documentary The Jinx, "murdered Kathleen." And in that film Durst is caught mumbling into his mic, "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."

The suit also accuses Durst of engaging in "outrageous and extreme conduct" that caused Kathleen's family "extreme emotional distress, humiliation, mental and physical anguish," per the New York Daily News. But Durst's lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, appears unimpressed. "Anybody can file a lawsuit, but eventually they'll have to come with evidence," he says. Meanwhile, Kathleen's brother, James McCormack, is fighting another sister (one of the suit's plaintiffs) in court for the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit for Kathleen. Durst is currently being held in New Orleans on a gun charge and is expected to face five years in prison. He will also be shipped to Los Angeles on murder charges in another case. His net worth is estimated at around $100 million. (More lawsuit stories.)

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