Secret daughter in will fight
The secret daughter of billionaire mining heir Michael Wright has launched an extraordinary contest against his will, claiming she should be provided with a $2.5 million house, a $250,000 diamond-studded bass guitar and a $1.2 million crystal-encrusted grand piano - as well as every other expense she incurs until age 96.
Student Olivia Mead, 19, was yesterday revealed in WA's Supreme Court as the previously unknown daughter of Mr Wright, who was the son of mining magnate Peter Wright and owned the Voyager Estate winery. He died in 2012 with an estimated family fortune of $2.7 billion.
Ms Mead is suing the estate of Mr Wright, as well as his two other daughters Leonie Baldock and Alexandra Burt and the Voyager business, claiming she has been left "without adequate provision" in her father's will.
That will bequested her a $3 million trust fund when she turns 30, as well as an allowance for the intervening years.
But on the first day of a civil trial, the court was told of the astonishing list of items she now claims she is entitled to from the Wright estate. The list includes provision for clothes, shoes, restaurant meals, holidays and bills for the next 77 years.
The statement of claim filed with the court, and pored over in detail by Wright family lawyer Jane Needham, includes a Kuhn-Bosendorfer art case piano - which is inlaid with more than 200 hand-cut pieces of lead crystal in diamond patterns on the case, lid, legs and fallboard - valued at $1.5 million.
Ms Mead said she would need a Ritter Royal Flora Aurum bass guitar - which has a nut made out of 10,000-year-old Siberian mammoth ivory, 24-carat gold inlay and knobs topped with 3.3 carat diamonds - valued at $250,000.
It was also claimed she would need a $2.5 million house, to be refurbished twice at a cost of $500,000, five pairs of $5000 shoes a year, 20 pairs of $300 shoes a year, $40,000 a year for holidays, two cars, $10,000 a year for handbags and fashion accessories and $2014 a year to keep an axolotl - a salamander also known as a Mexican walking fish.
She is also claiming $300 a week for clothes, $800 a week for food and alcohol, $400 a week for restaurant bills and $150 a week for fine wine - all for life.
Sometimes in tears, Ms Mead explained that despite a hoped-for career in public relations, the claimed expenses should be provided by the estate of her late father. "I looked at my needs, how I want to start a family, and what I'd like to do with my life," Ms Mead explained.
But Ms Needham accused her of "thinking of every possible thing you might possibly want and putting it down" in order to inflate the claim against the will.
"There is no lifestyle you are considering that you would need five pairs of $5000 shoes every year for the rest of your life," she said.
Master Craig Sanderson will be asked to rule on the claim, after a trial expected to last a week.