Rich people do strange things to protect their money. Wellington polo mogul John Goodman went so far as to adopt his 42-year-old girlfriend to preserve his family's fortune. Which means, legally, he's his girlfriend's dad, and... well, you get the idea.
Why would a multimillionaire do such a thing? Goodman, 48, has a few good reasons. He's currently facing criminal charges for allegedly driving drunk and causing a car accident that killed 23-year-old Scott Wilson in 2010. Wilson's parents have sued Goodman for damages that could top $100 million, and his children's trust funds have become an issue of contention in the case. Adopting his girlfriend, Heather Hutchins, and making her a beneficiary of the trusts means she immediately inherits a portion of the money, according to WPEC-Channel 12. Theoretically, she could
share the dough with Goodman.
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UPDATE: Goodman's attorney, Daniel Bachi, released a statement saying the adoption was designed to protect the polo mogul's kids, in case Goodman ends up in prison. Hutchins is supposed to look after the trust funds and give Goodman's children most of the money. Read more here.
But there's another twist: Hutchins, also known as Heather Colby, was dating Goodman at the time of the accident. In fact, she was the first person Goodman called after he stumbled away from the crash site and knocked on a stranger's door to borrow a cell phone. The stranger who lent him her phone, Lisa Pembleton, overheard Goodman tell Hutchins "he had really effed up, and he didn't know what he should do."
So. Hutchins is now not only a beneficiary of Goodman's dough but a witness in the vehicular homicide case. She's the person he told about what he called his "end-of-the-world accident."
Should be an interesting trial.