Jerry Lewis died in August at the age of 91 after suffering heart failure, leaving behind a legendary career in the entertainment industry.
But now, more news is coming out, as it’s been discovered that Lewis disinherited his five living children from his first marriage with Patti Palmer. They were married from 1944-1980.
“I have intentionally excluded Gary Lewis, Ronald Lewis, Anthony Joseph Lewis, Christopher Joseph Lewis, Scott Anthony Lewis, and Joseph Christopher Lewis and their descendants as beneficiaries of my estate, it being my intention that they shall receive no benefits hereunder,” declared Lewis in his will, which updated four years before his death.
Lewis kept Joseph in the will despite the fact that he passed away in 2009 from a drug overdose.
As a Forbes writer notes, Lewis could have kept the decision private if he had done it through a trust.
“Had Lewis set up a trust, he could have left his assets to anyone he saw fit — and done so privately. Trusts, unlike wills, are not public documents,” Forbes contributor Mark Eghrari explains.
Gary Lewis, the oldest son, found success as a member of the music group Gary Lewis & The Playboys.
The sole beneficiaries of Lewis’ estate are his second wife, SanDee and their daughter Danielle, 25, whom they adopted together in 1992.
It’s unclear exactly why Lewis chose to leave the other child out of the will.
While Lewis is believed to have left behind a modest amount of cash and property, he held significant pieces of intellectual property, as the entertainment legend owned some of his most notable works outright, including “The Nutty Professor” and “Hardly Working.”