Broward News

Polo Mogul John Goodman Says He Adopted Girlfriend to Protect His Kids

Wellington multimillionaire John Goodman knows he might be going away for a while. The founder of the International Polo Club is facing multiple criminal charges for allegedly driving drunk and causing the car accident that killed 23-year-old Scott Wilson in 2010. He has pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter, and failure to render aid; his trial is scheduled for March.

Apparently, Goodman,48, is worried enough about doing prison time that he devised a bizarre way to make sure his two young children are provided for in his absence. He adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend, Heather Hutchins, so she could look after his kids' trust funds and give them most of the money, according to a statement Goodman's attorney, Daniel Bachi, released today.

"Mr. Goodman has placed his trust in Ms. Hutchins to continue his vision and provide

oversight, should he become unavailable to do so, for the growth and preservation of the Trust assets for the benefit of his two minor children," the statement says. "A separate contract between Mr. Goodman and Ms. Hutchins assures that 95% of the assets of the Trust ultimately will go to his two minor children."

When news broke earlier this week that Goodman has adopted Hutchins and made her a beneficiary of his children's trust funds, some observers assumed he was trying to maintain control over the money -- shielding it from a civil lawsuit filed by Wilson's parents and perhaps benefiting if Hutchins decided to share the wealth. But according to Bachi, the polo mogul can't benefit from the trust fund money.

"Mr. Goodman cannot have a beneficial interest in the Trust nor can he derive financial benefit from the Trust. The legal adoption of Ms. Hutchins does not change that in any way."

And here's the most interesting part of the statement, hinting that Goodman might be "unable" to help his kids for a while.

"It should be obvious to everyone that at the present time Mr. Goodman's continued availability to ensure that the Trust's assets grow and continue to provide benefits for his children is uncertain... Everything that has been done by Mr. Goodman was done with the intention to preserve and grow the assets of the Trust for his two minor children, should he personally be unable to continue his historical role in achieving these goals."

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Lisa Rab
Contact: Lisa Rab