Entertainment

Steve Bing's fierce fight with dad to ensure son entitled to £380m inheritance


Steve Bing has tragically died aged just 55 after he is reported to have taken his own life.

The film producer, who has son Damien with ex-girlfriend Liz Hurley, is said to have jumped from his Los Angeles apartment at 1.10pm on Monday.

The Los Angeles Police Department has said they’re investigating the death of a man in his 50s in the Century City area of the city.

Despite dropping out of college to pursue his dream of becoming a film-maker, Steve went on to be a huge Hollywood success story.

He founded Shangri-La Entertainment after inheriting around $600million from his grandfather, who made his fortune as a real estate developer.

Steve Bing has died aged 55
Steve Bing has died aged 55

Steve’s first big budget movie was the Sylvester Stallone hit Get Carter, released in 2000.

He wrote Kangaroo Jack in 2003, and also invested almost $100million in 2004 movie The Polar Express.

It was as he hit the big time in Hollywood that Steve started dating Liz Hurley.

Then just 35, Steve wooed Liz, then 36, with private jets, chunky gold Rolex watches, sapphire and diamond rings and all-expenses paid trips to New York and Europe.

But beyond the outward flashiness both Liz and her friends said she was ‘very much in love’ with the aspiring filmmaker and heir to a £400million property fortune.

Steve and Liz Hurley started dating in 2000
Steve and Liz Hurley started dating in 2000

“Whenever I saw Steve and Elizabeth together, they always seemed incredibly happy and very much in love,” Liz’ close friend Henry Dent-Brocklehurst told the Daily Mail at the time.

Enchanted by her beauty and model status, their relationship was rumoured to be on the adventurous side.

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After a brief split in March 2001, the couple were said to be more serious than ever, spending all their time together at his luxury suite at the Hotel Bel Air and holidaying to Elton John’s villa in Nice that August – where Liz is believed to have conceived.

But instead of uniting them, the baby news sparked one of the nastiest paternity feuds in Hollywood.

Liz was ‘deeply distraught’ when Steve issued a savage statement suggesting that the child wasn’t his.

Liz with the son she shares with Steve, Damian
Liz with the son she shares with Steve, Damian

“Ms Hurley and I were not in an exclusive relationship when she became pregnant. It is her choice to be a single mother,” he said before vowing to be “extremely involved and responsible” if he was found to be the father.

Some claimed he’d told Liz to get an abortion, others said he felt ‘duped’ because she’d been on the pill (antibiotics reportedly stopped it from working).

Bing’s sister Mary, a social worker from New York, even cruelly claimed to Vanity Fair that her brother had been “snookered into being a parent”.

Liz wasted no time hitting back, arguing that for her, at least, the romance had been a monogamous one.

“I loved Stephen enormously during the 18 months we were together. Contrary to erroneous reports, we were still very much happy together when I discovered I was pregnant,” she said.

Steve and Liz were in their 30s when they were a couple
Steve and Liz were in their 30s when they were a couple

“I was completely loyal and faithful to Stephen throughout this time as, indeed, he assured me he was to me.”

Damian Charles Hurley arrived on April 4, 2002 and a court-ordered DNA test proved that Bing was indeed his father.

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He announced plans to pay £100,000 a year into a trust for his son that could be accessed when he turned 18.

But determined to make it crystal clear that it was never about the money, Liz rejected his gesture and stated the cash was “not wanted or welcome”.

“I have always made it perfectly clear to Stephen Bing, the father of my son Damian, that I don’t want any financial help from him whatsoever,” she said.

The couple enjoyed a high profile romance
The couple enjoyed a high profile romance

“However, following legal proceedings instigated by himself and opposed by me, it appears that one cannot stop someone trying to give you money. Fortunately one can refuse to accept it. This I have done.”

However, despite rumours Steve had never met the son he shared with Liz, it seems the two had a much closer bond than anyone realised.

Last year, Damian’s grandfather and Steve’s dad, Dr Peter Bing, tried to prevent the teenager and his half-sister, Kira Kerkorian, from inheriting any of the family’s huge fortune.

Kira was Steve’s daughter from his relationship with tennis player, Lisa Bonder.

Peter claimed, according to court papers, that Damian wasn’t entitled to any of the £380million family wealth because he had never met Steve.

Steve fought his own father so his son, Damian, could have his share of his inheritance
Steve fought his own father so his son, Damian, could have his share of his inheritance

However, Steve went to battle for his son and his legal team branded Peter’s statement “a sham”.

Peter had set up a trust in 1980 so he could leave his “future grandchildren” the family fortune but in March last year tried to redefine the meaning of grandchildren in the documents.

The new documents claimed Peter’s grandchildren “raised by my children as part of their families” if they were to receive any of the cash.

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He also tried to ban “any person born out of wedlock unless that person had lived for a substantial period of time as a regular member of the household”, which would include Damian and Kira, from inheriting.

Steve challenged the new documents and also accused his own father of “orchestrating a massive money-grab” with his sister Mary.

Liz with son Damien when he was young child
Liz with son Damien when he was young child

He said it had been done so her children would inherit more money.

But in July last year a judge back Steve and Damian will now be entitled to his share of the Bing riches.

Judge Daniel Juarez said: “There is no ambiguity in the Trusts’ use of the term ‘grandchild’.

“The Trustee’s interpretation of the Trusts is unreasonable because no ambiguity exists and the Trustee’s construction of ‘grandchild’ is simply unfounded.”

Peter had insisted he had never met either Damian or Kira and also claimed Steve had had no relationship with his children.

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Liz responded that as well as continuing to financially support Damian, they have shared joint custody since birth.

Following Steve’s tragic death, Liz has posted pictures of her and her ex on Instagram along with a poignant message.

The actress said: “I am saddened beyond belief that my ex Steve is no longer with us.

“It is a terrible end. Our time together was very happy and I’m posting these pictures because although we went through some tough times, it’s the good, wonderful memories of a sweet, kind man that matter. In the past year we had become close again.

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“We last spoke on our son’s 18th birthday. This is devastating news and I thank everyone for their lovely messages.”

Steve’s son Damian also took to social media to upload a video on the sky after he heard about his father’s death.

If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operate a free helpline on 116 123 open 24/7. Alternatively, you can email Jo@samaritans.org or visit their site to find your local branch





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