Reg Grundy died in Bermuda (his place of domicile) on 6 May 2016, aged 93 years, leaving a will dated 21 January 2011 and sufficient property in NSW to admit the Will to probate in that jurisdiction. In 2015, Reg’s wealth was estimated as being $809 million, a figure largely stemming from the $320 million sale of Grundy’s company to Pearson Television in 1995.
An earlier post discussed the April 2017 claim for family provision relief in respect of the estate, or notional estate, by Reg’s child from his first marriage; who changed her name by deed poll in 2000, from Robyn Grundy to her present name, Viola La Valette.
Reg and Viola were estranged for some time before his death; a lifetime annuity of $US250000 was provided to Viola (who is disputing the adequacy of that amount). Joy Chambers-Grundy, Reg’s widow, executor and, having survived him by 30 days, takes “the remainder” (the residue) of his estate.
Joy’s request for a suppression order over parts of Reg’s Will was dismissed by the Supreme Court in February last year. The Court believed that an “impediment” to making such an order was Joy’s
“active deployment of the media, in these proceedings, as part of her adversarial contest”
The Court was concerned that Joy’s courting of media attention renders her application to have her affairs shielded from public scrutiny that ordinarily attends proceeding in the court illustrating that an example of this behaviour was an “exclusive” interview Joy gave a Sydney Newspaper in October 2017 in which she was critical of Viola
“deliberately cultivated public fascination with the celebrity status of the deceased and herself, and with family drama attending [Viola’s] … application for family provision relief”
“Her courting of media attention renders more difficult her application to have her affairs shielded from public scrutiny that ordinarily attends proceedings in the court.”
Earlier this year a Melbourne man Simon Russell came forward claiming to be Reg’s son; seeking family provision from the estate. DNA samples from both Reg and Simon held at a lab were tested revealing the men are not related.
Simon sought and the Court granted leave to discontinue the proceedings.In a statement on Friday, a spokeswoman for Joy said:
“Mrs Joy Chambers-Grundy was always positive of the outcome, nevertheless wishes Mr Russell well in his search to find his real father.”