Gore-Tex Heiress, Susan Gore, has been denied the right to adopt her 65-year-old ex-husband as a means to boost her family's inheritance fortune.
A Delaware Supreme Court rejected Susan Gore's request on Tuesday, ruling that an adoption would not entitle the man to inherit a share of the billion dollar Gore Text Fortune, Reuters reported.
The family of the late Wilbert L. Gore, who established the waterproof fabric company in 1958, has been in dispute over the distribution of the company's fortune for years.
Wilbert Gore left his company to his five children and wife, but complications arose when his daughter Susan Gore, tried to adopt her husband in an aim to even out the distribution of family trust shares.
According to the court, all of Wilbert's children had four children of their own, apart from Susan, which would result in her three children getting less inheritance. By adopted her ex-husband, Jan Otto, Susan Gore would be able to claim that she too, had four children.
The case took an ugly turn when Susan Gore officially and secretly adopted Otto in 2003. The process was kept from Susan Gore's mother, Vieve Gore, with fear that she might change the terms of distribution for the fortune.
Within a year of the official adoption, Otto deceived Susan Gore and tried to claim his share of the fortune for himself instead of his children, according to the court's opinion. By this point, Vieve Gore died, releasing the trust funds and opening up a messy battle, which led to the ruling court's ruling on Tuesday.
The fact that Susan kept this adoption secret until Vieve died further evidences that Susan and the Otto grandchildren knew that they were acting to thwart Vieve's intentions, Chief Justice Myron Steele wrote in the 37-page opinion, Reuters reported.
The court's decision to deny Otto of the inheritance comes after Susan Gore tried to un-adopt' him.