Late Aussie Tycoon's 'secret daughter' to get $27m

 Late Aussie Tycoon's 'secret daughter' to get $27m
Australia's late mining tycoon Michael Wright.

PERTH - The "secret daughter" of Australia's late mining tycoon Michael Wright has been awarded A$25 million (S$26.7 million), more than what she has demanded in a challenge to her father's will, but she will have to give up her claim on the family trust as part of the settlement.

Ms Olivia Jacqueline Mead, 19, claimed to have been left without adequate funds for her proper maintenance, support, education and advancement in life from her father's estate, ABC News reported.

The university student stunned the tight-knit mining community in Western Australia when she revealed she was the fourth child of Mr Wright, who died in 2012. She was born after an affair between the tycoon and a woman in Perth named Ms Elizabeth Mead.

In passing down his judgment yesterday, Supreme Court master Craig Sanderson said a A$3 million trust fund left to Ms Mead was inadequate, adding that the tycoon had a statutory duty to the teenager.

Earlier this month, Ms Mead had asked the court to award her a lump sum of A$12 million to be paid from her father's A$750 million estate. This is less than the sum of her original demands, which added up to about A$20 million.

In a bizarre set of opening claims made in the Western Australia Supreme Court on Feb 2, Ms Mead said she needed money for a A$2.5 million house - five times the median house price in Perth - as well as A$1.5 million for a crystal-encrusted grand piano, A$250,000 for a bass guitar, A$30,000 a year for holidays and A$150 a week for wine for the rest of her life, which she said would end at age 96.

She also raised eyebrows by asking for various annual amounts to care for pets, including A$8,500 for a dog, A$4,000 each for a ferret and a rabbit, and A$2,000 for an axolotl, or Mexican walking fish.

"I looked at my needs, how I want to start a family, and what I'd like to do with my life," Ms Mead told the court.

Her lawyer, Mr Lindsay Ellison, later agreed to drop some of the jewel-encrusted items but insisted his client was not spoilt.

Mr Wright, who had three other children besides Ms Mead, died in April 2012 at age 74. The bulk of his estate was made up of the income stream from mining royalties.


This article was first published on Feb 27, 2015.
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