Fight between Anne Heche's son and her ex for her estate heats up

Battle to control Anne Heche’s estate heats up as son Homer, 20, slams her ex James Tupper’s claim that he wants to be appointed court guardian ‘to preserve family harmony’ after her fiery death crash

  • Anne Heche’s adult son has hit out at her ex over his claim he wants to preserve family harmony by being appointed court guardian to protect her younger son
  • In court papers, Homer Laffoon, 20, says James Tupper has ‘potential and actual conflicts of interest’ with his own son Atlas Heche Tupper, 13
  • But he says his interests and Atlas’s coincide in making sure Heche’s estate is administered ‘as efficiently as possible’
  • obtained the legal filings that reveal how Laffoon and Tupper, 57, are battling over control of the actress’s estate
  • Heche died after a fiery crash in Los Angeles two months ago 
  • It is still unknown what assets the Donnie Brasco actress had when she tragically died after being in a coma for nine days 

The battle to gain control of Anne Heche’s estate has reached a boiling point as her older son Homer Laffoon officially objected to her ex-lover James Tupper’s petition to be appointed guardian of her other boy. 

In papers filed in Los Angeles Tuesday, Homer claimed Tupper has ‘potential and actual conflicts of interest’ with the younger boy – his own son he shares with Heche, Atlas Heche Tupper, 13. 

And Homer, 20, slammed Tupper for claiming he wanted to ‘preserve family harmony and a healthy, brotherly relationship’ between Heche’s two sons.

‘Mr. Tupper gives no support or context for these claims,’ wrote Homer’s lawyers. ‘Mr. Laffoon can confirm for the court that there is no disharmony’ between them.

Tupper, 57, filed this week to be appointed ‘guardian ad litem’ over his 13-year-old son. That would make him responsible for protecting Atlas’s interests in court hearings.

Homer Laffoon, pictured shortly after his mother’s crash, says James Tupper has ‘potential and actual conflicts of interest’ with his own son, Atlas Heche Tupper, 13 obtained court documents filed by Tupper seeking to become the legal guardian for his son Atlas Heche Tupper (left) after Heche’s eldest son Homer Laffoon, 20, (right) filed a petition to be in charge of his mother’s estate 

Heche died from injuries sustained in a fireball car crash in Los Angeles on August 5

A hearing is set for next Tuesday on the issues.

Homer is the son of Heche’s former husband, cameraman Coleman Laffoon. The pair married in 2001 and divorced in 2009, by which time she had moved on to Tupper.

In his petition to be appointed guardian, Tupper said he ‘loves both Homer and Atlas as a father and wants the best for them both.’

But Homer said that statement only undermines his application.

‘Instead of advocating solely for the interests of the minor (Atlas), Mr. Tupper’s professed affection and wishes for both the minor and Mr. Laffoon creates a potential conflict of interest in the event the guardian ad litem is ever forced to side with one child against the other.’

Homer said that he is more likely to act in Atlas’s interests as both of the sons ‘share the common goal of administering the estate as efficiently as possible, maximizing the distributable value of the estate and then distributing the estate to the intestate heirs (the minor and Mr. Laffoon) as soon as reasonably practical.’

The battle comes just two months after Heche died from her injuries sustained in a fiery car crash.   

The actress, best known for roles in Donnie Brasco, Volcano and Wag the Dog and her three-year-relationship with Ellen DeGeneres, slammed her Mini Cooper into a house in Los Angeles, causing an explosion on August 5.

Blood tests showed that the actress had cocaine and fentanyl in her system when the high-speed crash occurred, but officials confirmed that she had not been drinking alcohol – despite being pictured shortly before with a vodka bottle in her cupholder. 

She was left badly burned and in a coma. 

Heche’s life support machine was turned off on August 14, and she was cremated on August 18.

A coroner ruled on August 17 that Heche died from inhalation injury and burns, and the death was ruled an accident.

The mother-of-two also had a fractured sternum caused by ‘blunt trauma,’ according to information on the website of the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner.

Homer Laffoon objected to  James Tupper’s appointment as court guardian in papers filed in court in Los Angeles Tuesday

‘James Tupper is Atlas’ father and only living parent. James loves both Homer and Atlas as a father wants the best for them both,’ the filing states. The blended family-of-four are pictured in 2012

Tupper revealed in his September 15 filing that he will object to Laffoon’s petition to take charge of Heche’s estate, and instead would select his own independent administrator. 

Homer was appointed as a ‘temporary administrator’ in September to manage the publication of Heche’s upcoming book Call Me Anne. 

Tupper claims that Laffoon ‘is not suitable’ to run the estate because he is too young, unemployed and was estranged from his mother at the time of her death.

The actor goes on to accuse Homer of changing the locks on the apartment Heche shared with Atlas, allegedly preventing the younger brother from retrieving his belongings. 

Tupper has said that the two half-brothers have not had any contact since the day Heche died. 

Laffoon called Tupper’s claims ‘unfounded personal attacks’ and ‘frivolous legal claims.’ 

He went on to say Tupper is manipulating him and his half-brother to seize control of their mother’s estate. Laffoon also claimed Tupper is keeping him away from Atlas by controlling the 13-year-old’s phone.

Laffoon’s attorneys told TMZ that they are confident the older son will be the winner in court after it appointed him temporarily in charge of the estate. 

Tupper has said that the two half-brothers have not had any contact since the day Heche died. Tupper, Heche and their son Atlas are pictured in 2015

Tupper claims the 2011 email proves that he should be in charge of the estate. ‘FYI in case I die tomorrow and anyone asks,’ Heche’s email begins. ‘My wishes are that all of my assets go to the control of Mr. James Tupper to be used to raise my children and then given to the children’

Last month, revealed an email Heche sent to Tupper in 2011 naming him executor of her estate. The email was included in Tupper’s legal filing as he battles Homer, 20, for control of her estate.

But Homer fought back in a filing last week, claiming that the email is not a legally recognized will because Heche did not sign the document.

‘Mr. Tupper repeatedly refers to the email as a ”will” however – as a matter of law – the email does not qualify as either a holographic will or formal witnessed will,’ Laffoon’s filing states. 

‘The email was not signed by [Heche] and does not have two witnesses who signed the document during [her] lifetime.’

Laffoon says his mother failed to leave behind a will when she tragically died. 

‘Without a will, there can be no nomination of an executor,’ Laffoon stated, adding that he is ‘legally entitled to appointment as administrator.’

However, Tupper claims that Heche’s email from January 25, 2011 makes it clear that she wanted all assets to be controlled by him.

The email from Heche has the subject line ‘WILL’ and is addressed to Tupper and copied to attorneys Kevin Yorn and Melodie Moore. 

‘My wishes are that all of my assets go to the control of Mr. James Tupper to be used to raise my children and then given to the children,’ the email reads. 

It says that her assets will be divided equally among her two sons and that their portions should be given to them when they turn 25 years old. 

A photo before the August 5 crash shows Heche at the wheel with a liquor bottle in the cup holder

In the event that her two sons and Tupper all pass, Heche turned her assets over to her nephew Eliot Bergman, to be divided equally among her nieces and nephews. 

‘May this go into my records as my word until further papers are drawn up,’ Heche ends the email. 

It appears no further paperwork was ever filed. 

In his original petition to the court, Laffoon says that it is unclear how much money or property Heche, 53, had to her name before she died.  Laffoon lists his mother’s personal property and her annual income as ‘unknown.’

The court will have to dig into Heche’s finances to determine the value of her estate and what properties she owned.

In 2021, it was reported that she was selling her cottage in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles for around $2million with co-star and ex-partner Thomas Jane.

It was also previously reported that she owned another home in the Hancock Park-Wilshire area of Los Angeles – a mansion priced at around $4million.

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