After the tragic death of Don Cornelius on Feb. 1, news is now spreading that all is not well when it comes to the TV icon’s finances. According to reports, Cornelius left behind two large life insurances policy and his estranged ex-wife is expected to receive hundreds of thousands in the wake of his death.
According to TMZ, Cornelius’ marriage with his ex-wife, Viktoria Chapman Cornelius, became extremely dysfunctional during its final years. In 2008, Cornelius was arrested for felony domestic violence against his wife. Cornelius later pled no contest was placed on probation and fined $1,000. Viktoria also filed several restraining orders against him. However, Cornelius has claimed that Viktoria pepper sprayed him on multiple occasions.
By 2009, Cornelius and Viktoria finally decided to divorce and apparently, Cornelius, who had suffered from numerous health issues over the past three decades, was intent on settling the divorce quickly. “I am 72 years old. I have significant health issues. I want to finalize this divorce before I die,” said Cornelius in legal documents obtained from the divorce.
Luckily, Cornelius was able to finalize his divorce later in the year. However, a provision in the settlement agreement required Cornelius to make Viktoria the beneficiary of both his life insurance policies. Under California law, if a policy holder commits suicide more than two years after the policy was issued, payment cannot be denied to the beneficiary. Viktoria is now expected to receive around $300,000 in benefits from the life insurance policies.
Considering that Cornelius and Viktoria were far from friendly after their divorce, this new development could stir up trouble among his surviving family members. We’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, check out some other famously expensive divorce settlements. –nicholas robinson