Florida's Third District Court of Appeals has reversed a ruling that allowed multimillionaire John Goodman to adopt his longtime adult girlfriend, Heather Hutchins.
Goodman, 49, founded the International Polo Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. He adopted Hutchins, 42, in an attempt to preserve part of his fortune for her.
Writing about the court’s decision to disallow the 2011 adoption, Senior Judge Alan R. Schwartz noted that the adoption of a "paramour" or lover was "so contrary to the beneficent purposes of such an action" that the court could not allow it.
The appeal of the adoption was filed by Carroll Goodman, Mr. Goodman's ex-wife and the mother of their two children. When the adoption was initially approved, Hutchins was recognized as one of Mr. Goodman's "children." She was also then considered part of the trust fund that had been set up by the Goodmans for their biological children in 1991.
In his decision to void the adoption, Schwartz cited the trust fund that the Goodmans had set up in for their two biological children, and that Goodman gave his ex-wife "no notice of the adoption proceeding.”
The adoption agreement was quite a lucrative one. Hutchins and Mr. Goodman entered an contract that paid her $5 million immediately at the signing of agreement and another $3 million by the end of 2012, according to ABC News. The agreement also called for lifetime payments valued at an estimated $8.75 million -- a total of $16.75 million over time. She was also allowed to request additional amounts from the trust.
The adoption case garnered even more attention after Mr. Goodman was sentenced to 16 years in prison and fined $10,000 for killing a man in a drunk-driving crash. Goodman slammed his Bentley into 23-year-old Scott Wilson's Hyundai and sent the car into a nearby canal. Wilson, an engineering graduate, was strapped into the driver's seat and drowned.