Lawyer For Anne Heche's Son Responds After Court Denies James Tupper's Claims, Shares Actress' Net Worth

The death of Anne Heche was as much a shock to her friends and family as it was to the fans who enjoyed her work. The controversy surrounding Heche’s death in a car accident has not ended with the event itself. There has now been a legal battle in the courts over her estate, but now that fight appears to be over, at least for now.

James Tupper, Anne Heche’s former partner and father to their 13-year-old son, Atlas, had filed papers in court claiming that he had been in charge of the actress’ estate prior to her death and that's what she had wanted. However, with Heche having no legal will, a judge has now ruled that Heche’s adult son, Homer Heche Laffoon, will be in charge of the estate... at least for now. In a statement to ET, Laffoon’s lawyer, Bryan Phipps, said:

We are pleased -- but not surprised -- with the court’s ruling this morning denying James’ petition to appoint himself guardian ad litem for Atlas. We look forward to the court resolving Homer’s petition at the next hearing and, in the meantime, Homer will continue to diligently administer the Estate pursuant to his authority as Special Administrator.

The judge ruled that at this time there was simply no legal reason for Homer Heche Laffoon to not act as the administrator of Anne Heche’s estate, which is valued to be about $400,000. The estate will be split 50/50 between Homer and the 13-year-old Atlas, but Homer will be the administrator of the estate since Atlas is a minor. 

There was some disagreement in court regarding some other items, such as whether or not Atlas had been able to enter Heche’s apartment to retrieve personal belongings. Tupper’s legal team claimed he had been prevented from doing so, but whatever the situation, the judge ruled that Atlas should be allowed to enter the apartment to obtain his things.

In August, Anne Heche was involved in a single vehicle accident when her car crashed into an apartment building, setting fire to both the vehicle and the building. Heche was eventually pulled from the car, but not until after firefighters were able to get the blaze under control. The actress remained in a coma for about a week before being declared brain dead and taken off life support.

Tupper was clearly unhappy with the ruling, reportedly shaking his head as the judge spoke, something he was admonished for by the judge. He has the ability to appeal the ruling, so we'll have to wait and if this is truly the end of this legal battle, or just the beginning. He has until October 20 to file the appeal. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.