Widow of Olympic fencer who was James Bond’s physique double wins £800,000 Excessive Court docket inheritance battle

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The widow of an Olympic fencer who physique doubled as James Bond and skilled Orlando Bloom for Pirates of the Caribbean has gained an £800,000 inheritance battle towards her stepson. 

Karen Paul, 49, took her declare to the Excessive Court docket in central London after she was horrified to find her late husband Steven Paul had virtually left her out of his will – although she gave up her company profession to take care of him when he was struck down by motor neurone illness in 2018. 

Mr Paul, who died aged 64 in 2019 following a fall whereas on vacation in Spain, had solely left his spouse of 23 years round £1,000 price of home items. 

The Hollywood swordsman, who doubled for Pierce Brosnan in a fencing scene in Die One other Day, had left all the things else between the 2 sons of his first marriage and the 2 daughters he had with Mrs Paul, together with the £700,000 dwelling by which she nonetheless lives in East Sussex.

Following a authorized battle, Mrs Paul is now in line for a half share of the home when it’s offered in three years’ time, together with her 4 children and step-children sharing the remainder.

Solely one in every of Mr Paul’s kids, James Paul, from his first marriage, had objected to Mrs Paul’s declare, complaining that he had been left strapped for money following the Covid pandemic and had been residing in his automotive – arguing he couldn’t wait three years for the property to be offered.  

However his argument was rejected by the courtroom, which mentioned it was ‘stunning’ that Mr Paul’s will minimize out his spouse, since they’d loved a ‘completely happy marriage’ till he died.

Karen Paul (pictured), 49, took her declare to the Excessive Court docket in central London after she was horrified to find her late husband Steven Paul had left her out his will – although she gave up her company profession to take care of him when he was struck down by motor neurone illness in 2018

Steven Paul (pictured), who died aged 64 in 2019 following a fall while on holiday in Spain, had only left his wife of 23 years around £1,000 worth of household items

Steven Paul (pictured), who died aged 64 in 2019 following a fall whereas on vacation in Spain, had solely left his spouse of 23 years round £1,000 price of home items

Only one of Mr Paul's children, James Paul (pictured), from his first marriage, had objected to Mrs Paul's claim, complaining that he had been left strapped for cash following the Covid pandemic and had been living in his car - arguing he could not wait three years for the property to be sold

Solely one in every of Mr Paul’s kids, James Paul (pictured), from his first marriage, had objected to Mrs Paul’s declare, complaining that he had been left strapped for money following the Covid pandemic and had been residing in his automotive – arguing he couldn’t wait three years for the property to be offered

The Hollywood swordsman, who doubled for Pierce Brosnan in a fencing scene in Die Another Day (pictured), had left everything else between the two sons of his first marriage and the two daughters he had with Mrs Paul, including the £700,000 home in which she still lives in East Sussex

The Hollywood swordsman, who doubled for Pierce Brosnan in a fencing scene in Die One other Day (pictured), had left all the things else between the 2 sons of his first marriage and the 2 daughters he had with Mrs Paul, together with the £700,000 dwelling by which she nonetheless lives in East Sussex

Mr Justice Moor mentioned that, in leaving her solely furnishings and different family contents price about £1,000, he was ‘completely clear that the desire didn’t make affordable monetary provision’ for Mrs Paul.

The courtroom heard Mr Paul got here from a famend dynasty of elite fencers, together with his grandfather Leon Paul a legendary teacher and his dad, Raymond, working as Errol Flynn’s stunt double throughout epic swordplay sequences. His mom June Paul was additionally a silver-winning Olympic sprinter.

He specialised in utilizing the epee, was thrice British champion and took half in three Olympic Video games, earlier than switching to teaching and organising his personal membership in Tunbridge Wells.

He labored on Die One other Day in 2002 and coached Orlando Bloom for his spectacular sword battles with Johnny Depp within the ‘Pirates’ motion pictures.

Mr Paul had two sons, James Paul, 35, and Sebastian Paul, 32, whereas married to his first spouse, Marisa Fitzgerald, in Australia.

However the marriage broke down and in 1998 he married Karen, with whom he had his daughters, Yasmin, 23, and a youthful sister, who can’t be recognized.

They initially lived in Belsize Park, north London, however have been residing in a £700,000 four-bedroom indifferent home in Forest Row, close to East Grinstead, when he died.

Mr Paul had earlier been identified with motor neurone illness and his spouse gave up her work as a company coach to take care of him as he declined.

He died, aged 64, in April 2019 after falling whereas on vacation in Spain.

James (pictured) gave evidence 'that he considered the property was owned as per the legal title - namely solely by his father's estate,' the judge said, although noting that he had 'no evidence' to support the claim

James (pictured) gave proof ‘that he thought-about the property was owned as per the authorized title – specifically solely by his father’s property,’ the decide mentioned, though noting that he had ‘no proof’ to assist the declare

As well as the house, Mr Paul (pictured) also left around £100,000 in cash, which has been entirely swallowed by lawyers' bills

In addition to the home, Mr Paul (pictured) additionally left round £100,000 in money, which has been completely swallowed by legal professionals’ payments

Mr Paul worked on Die Another Day in 2002 and coached Orlando Bloom for his spectacular sword battles with Johnny Depp in the 'Pirates' movies (pictured)

Mr Paul labored on Die One other Day in 2002 and coached Orlando Bloom for his spectacular sword battles with Johnny Depp within the ‘Pirates’ motion pictures (pictured)

Following the revelation that she had been omitted of her husband’s will, Mrs Paul made a declare towards his property for ‘affordable provision.’

She claimed that, though it was in his sole title, their closing dwelling had at all times been thought-about shared by the couple.

And but, all that she had been left was his share of its contents, which have been price about £1,000.

Of the youngsters, solely James, who now lives in Australia, questioned Mrs Paul’s entitlement to a half share of the home, mentioned the decide.

James gave proof ‘that he thought-about the property was owned as per the authorized title – specifically solely by his father’s property,’ the decide mentioned, though noting that he had ‘no proof’ to assist the declare.

Giving proof, James additionally informed the courtroom he had been badly strapped for money within the wake of the Covid pandemic, having misplaced his job as a private coach, and has lately been residing in his automotive.

Regardless of his step-mother’s opposition, he was eager to promote his dad’s outdated dwelling now – reasonably than ready – as he’s in ‘dire want’ of money.

However ruling in Mrs Paul’s favour, the decide mentioned he was satisfied that there had been an settlement that Mr Paul was holding the home on belief for each of the couple with a purpose to make it simpler to get a mortgage.

And he mentioned she has ‘an irreducible proper to half the property,’ on condition that their marriage had been an equal one.

Mr Paul acting as a body double for Pierce Brosnan in the James Bond film Die Another Day

Mr Paul performing as a physique double for Pierce Brosnan within the James Bond movie Die One other Day

The desire was a ‘stunning doc in that I’m glad that the wedding remained completely completely happy however the one provision for Mrs Paul within the will was that she was left the content material of the property,’ he mentioned.

He continued: ‘I’m clear that the desire didn’t make affordable monetary provision for the claimant.

‘I’ve had problem in understanding why the deceased made no provision for her aside from leaving her his share of the contents of the property.

‘I settle for the claimant’s proof that he informed her that she would obtain half the property and the youngsters would get the opposite half.

‘I can solely assume that he believed that half of Freshfield Financial institution was hers and that the life coverage would repay her half of the mortgage.’

He accepted that James may need his inheritance now, however mentioned he couldn’t have been anticipating it, since his dad had died unexpectedly whereas younger.

He mentioned the roughly £80,000 which every baby would obtain when the home is finally offered was a ‘appreciable sum’ and that they will wait three years till Mrs Paul is in a greater place to promote and transfer.

‘I’m clear that, in the event that they obtain an affordable inheritance in three years’ time, their father’s needs could have been revered they usually can not, within the circumstances, anticipate to obtain it any earlier,’ he mentioned.

In addition to the home, Mr Paul additionally left round £100,000 in money, which has been completely swallowed by legal professionals’ payments.

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