A Delray Beach adoption attorney called the move by International Polo Club magnate John Goodman to adopt his 42-year old girlfriend both “awful” and “brilliant.”
Mail Online reported that Goodman was allegedly involved in a drunk driving accident that killed 23-year-old Scott Wilson. Police reports said Goodman ran a stop sign in 2010 in Florida and smashed into Wilson, driving his car into a canal. Wilson’s parents are suing Goodman for wrongful death.
The Palm Beach Post reports that Circuit Judge Glenn Kelley had already ruled that a trust fund set up for Goodman's two minor children was not to be considered part of Goodman's financial worth if the Wilsons are awarded damages by a jury.
Then the story becomes bizarre. Court documents say that Goodman legally adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend, Heather Laruso Hutchins, as his daughter this past October in Miami-Dade County. Adoption papers say that Hutchins can legally receive one-third of the trust fund immediately since she is over 35. The trust funds for Goodman’s two children reportedly contain more than $200 million.
Adoption attorney Charlotte Danciu said, according to cbs12.com, "Unless you intend to create the parent-child relationship, you are violating the law. This was an effort to carve out some of the money to be used by him and his girlfriend to support their lifestyle, which is not the intention of the adoption statute."
Goodman’s lawyer, Daniel M. Bachi, said, “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,” according to CultureMap Houston.
According to tests, Goodman recorded a blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit to drive in Florida after the accident. A criminal trial is scheduled for March 6 on charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident. He could receive up to 30 years in prison if found guilty.