DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The wife of the late Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson has refused to hand over his old wills that show he left money to his mother, defying a judge's order and a stipulation she signed agreeing to do so, a new court filing charges.
In the latest salvo of a bitter estate battle, Thompson's mother, Clara Thompson, asked a judge in a court filing on Friday to fine her son's wife, Lu-Shawn Thompson, and hold her in contempt for not handing over copies of two previous wills.
Clara has accused Lu-Shawn of getting her husband to change his will on his deathbed so she wouldn't have to share his money with his mom and the rest of his family.
Lu-Shawn had until Jan. 31 to hand over the old wills, according to the judge's order and the stipulation. But Lu-Shawn and her attorneys blew the deadline, even though they had them in hand during depositions that were held in January, Clara's new filing says.
The filing also said that in a deposition, the lawyer who wrote two previous wills for Ken Thompson in the summer of 2008 revealed that Thompson intended to leave his mother money in the earlier documents. The lawyer, Jeffrey Lowin, also admitted that Lu-Shawn — not her husband — had contacted him about revoking the previous wills from 2008.
The new court documents, which include transcripts of depositions, provides a timeline of when Lu-Shawn and Ken got their old wills, revoked them and then filed new ones.
In a Jan. 19 deposition, Lu-Shawn said she and her husband shredded their old wills at their Clinton Hill home a day after he returned from a weeklong stay at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Just two days later, on Sept. 24, Ken Thompson was readmitted to the cancer center, where he would remain until his death on Oct. 9.
He signed his new will on Sept. 27, leaving $750,000 to his wife and two children. Thompson's mom and sister estimate that his estate is worth millions of dollars and includes a brownstone in Brooklyn and a property in New Jersey.
DNAinfo New York reported exclusively in January that Clara Thompson said her son's chemotherapy, pain medication and anti-depressants left him delusional and incoherent at times. She also said the Brooklyn District Attorney wanted to divorce his wife because she was a spendthrift who was burning through his money.
Lu-Shawn said in her deposition that she and Ken Thompson first discussed changing their wills in April, when he was diagnosed with cancer. She said her husband wanted to change his will because while he had spent a decade as a high-profile private practice lawyer, his income dropped when he became district attorney in 2014.
"He did the will in 2008 when he was a millionaire. He died [a district attorney], making $250,000," Lu-Shawn said in her deposition. "He said, 'I cannot pay. You know, I can't give people money. I don't have it.'"
Lu-Shawn also took a jab at Clara in her deposition, saying the mom asked her the day before her son died if he had changed his will. The mom asked her again at a funeral home.
"The day before my husband was buried — he wasn't even cold in the ground — she approached me at the funeral home asking me again," Lu-Shawn said in the deposition.
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Clara Thompson, a retired police officer who raised her children as a single mom, said she and Ken Thompson had been extremely close their entire lives and that he had always intended to make sure she was financially secure.
Lawyers for Clara and Lu-Shawn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.