Hopper Divorce Pits Older Kids Against 7-year-old Daughter

Judge: Dennis Hopper can't exclude 7-year-old daughter from insurance policy.

ByABC News
May 12, 2010, 12:28 PM

May 14, 2010— -- A judge denied Dennis Hopper's motion to exclude his 7-year-old daughter, Galen, from his life insurance policy and make his three adult children sole beneficiaries of $750,000.

The ruling made Wednesday in a Los Angeles courtroom means that Galen Hopper will be entitled to part of the proceeds from Hopper's $1 million policy, along with Hopper's three older children, Marin, Ruthanna and Henry. The remaining $250,000 will go to Galen's mother, Hopper's estranged wife, Victoria Duffy-Hopper, 42, as part of their premarital agreement.

"We were pleased with the result effectively blocking the motion," Duffy-Hopper's lawyer, Mirka Royston, told ABCNews.com. "We feel the court's ruling protects the best interest of the child."

The motion was the latest salvo in the Hoppers' contentious divorce that continues to wend its way through courts, even as Dennis Hopper's health diminishes. The divorce has pitted Duffy-Hopper, wife No. 5, and Galen against Hopper's adult children, whom Duffy-Hopper has accused of masterminding the split.

"Victoria's prime objective is to make sure she can support her child," Royston said. "The adult children are taking control of this case and attempting to limit any funds that go to Victoria or Galen, and it really is quite sad. It's the stuff that movies are made of."

Hopper, 73, who has been battling advanced prostate cancer and is now terminally ill, according to his lawyer, did not attend Wednesday's hearing.

Hopper's lawyer, Joe Mannis, did not respond to requests for comment from ABCNews.com.

"These are his last days," Royston said referring to Hopper. "You would think he would be concentrating on living out his days to the fullest. Instead, the adult children are clamoring to secure as much money for themselves as possible."

Less than three months after Hopper filed for divorce on Jan. 14, he filed a motion to change the beneficiary of his life insurance policy. In previous court documents, Hopper justified the change by claiming that his daughter Galen would be well provided for by his estate.