Justices of the Georgia Supreme Court can certainly be forgiven if they don't ever want to hear the names Harvey Strother and Anne Melican for the rest of their lives. In a high-asset divorce and estate matter that has been consistently playing out in headlines and media stories in Georgia for several years, various issues have come before the Court on three different occasions.
It is a sensational case, replete with details worthy of any soap opera, including the following: intense and sustained acrimony between a Cobb County tycoon's family members and mistress; portrayal of an oft-described brilliant business entrepreneur who ended up, according to court documents, "chugging a gallon and a half of wine each day;" assets that included diamond rings, luxurious condos and boat slips; and assorted legal issues that bounced up and down the judicial ladder with regularity over a period of years.
The Georgia Supreme Court has just concluded its most recent involvement in the case by ruling 4-3 yesterday that Melican, Strother's long-time mistress, is entitled to the $1.36 million proceeds received from the sale of a Florida condo awarded her by Strother when he changed his will shortly before his death in 2004.
Strother had also amended his will on two other occasions prior to that, in each instance signing over property and other assets to Melican. His original will, executed in 1988, left most of his assets to his wife, children and grandchildren, who contested all the changes made that favored Melican.
Related Resource: Miami Herald, "Ga. court sides with mistress in divorce battle" May 31, 2011