In over 18 years of legal wrangling, more than 40 lawyers have been involved in the case, and about $28 million has been drained from the estate to pay legal fees. In 2007, Pamela Carvel called for her uncle's body to be exhumed, alleging homicide, which she believes Archipane and Davis may have had a hand in. The body was never exhumed.
The battle over the estate continues; despite mounting legal fees and an increasingly unsure finally tally of Carvel's total estate.
Marlon Brando, who was thought by some to be virtually penniless at the time of his death in 2004, left behind a sizable estate: over $21 million.
The Brando estate has gone through legal battles, both as a plaintiff and as a defendant.
Surprisingly, despite having eight children with four different wives, little tension has arisen over who gets how much money.
However, a suit was filed by Brando's former business manager in April 2005 for sexual harassment and unlawful termination, as she was removed from Brando's will as an executor just 12 days before his death.
In another challenge to the executors of Brando's will, his personal assistant, Angela Borlaza, successfully sued after she was kicked out of the home that Brando had purchased for her prior to his death. Borlaza settled her suit against the estate, which claimed that the executors, Mike Medavoy and Larry J. Dressler, used Brando's diminished capacity to get him to sign over control, for $125,000.
However, the Brando estate has been on the other side of the courtroom on occasion, protecting the trademark that is now the Brando name.
In April 2009, representatives of Brando's estate and trust filed a lawsuit against the owners of Broadcast Center Apartments in Los Angeles for illegally using the Brando name. The apartment complex advertised apartments named "The Brando," "The Brando Den," and "The Brando Loft" without permission from Brando Enterprises, a business partnership among the executors of the actor's estate that manages the Brando brand.
The next hearing will take place on August 5, 2009.
The New York Times reported that 26 legal cases had been opened regarding the illegal use of the late actor's name.
This story was updated July 29, 2009.