A New York woman is contesting her late father’s will after he disinherited her when she walked in on him having sex with another man.
54-year-old Diana Downing said her relationship with her wealthy Manhattan landlord father Vincent Downing never recovered after she barged in on the rendezvous decades ago when she was a teenager.
Downing, who was disbarred as an attorney after pleaded guilty in 2010 to felony charges related to a Medicaid fraud scheme, wrote in an affidavit:
“While it is challenging to untangle the dynamics of our family, I believe that strains between my father and myself emerged when I was a young teenager.”
NY Daily News reports:
Downing accused her father of being “a closeted homosexual with a difficult-to-control temper.”
“I also suspect that I interrupted an encounter between my father and a male lover,” she wrote. “I believe that my father was so embarrassed that he shunned me.”
Downing said her dad, Vincent Downing, never recovered from his discomfort over the incident. She said he skipped her high school graduation and her Yale University commencement.
The two never reconciled before Vincent Downing died at 86 on May 10, 2016, when he was crushed by a car in a pedestrian crosswalk on the Upper East Side. He was survived by Diana and two other children.
Downing filed a petition earlier this month to halt the distribution of her father’s assets to the beneficiaries of his will.
She claims that her was really a resident of Paris for the past 20 years.
If she can prove that claim to be true, French law would grant her some of her father’s money since children can’t be disinherited there. She is also waging a legal battle in France over the same claims.
However, Helen Chaitman, a lawyer for Diana’s brother, David Downing, said the allegations about walking in on her father having sex with another man are ”totally fabricated” with “no basis in fact.”
David Downing’s legal team also deny that his father was a resident of France. Diana Downing claims that emails and mail backup her claim that her dad — who had U.S. and Irish citizenship — lived in France. Downing had most of his medical procedures in France, she contends, and his family visited him there.
Diana Downing added in her affidavit that if her father hadn’t died in the accident in 2016, they may have reconciled.
“I was cautiously hopeful that my father would overcome the embarrassment that I believe prompted him to shun me in my teen years, and which I suspect haunted him,” she wrote.
“I believe that, shortly before he died, my father was preparing to reconnect with me.”