Hemingway heirs settle transsexual's estate fight

Saturday, October 4, 2003

— Eight grandchildren of Ernest Hemingway have settled a dispute over the $7.5 million estate of the writer's transsexual child, Gloria, averting a ruling from a judge on whether the heir, whose birth name was Gregory, died a man or a woman.

Lawyers from both sides disclosed the settlement Friday. The details were confidential.

The dispute was between the grandchildren and Gloria Hemingway's widow, Ida, and stemmed from her assertion that she was entitled to the estate because she had remarried Hemingway in 1997, after Hemingway underwent sex-change surgery and began going by the name Gloria.

The grandchildren contested the validity of the marriage because Florida law does not recognize same-sex marriage.

Circuit Judge Arthur Rothenberg would have had to determine whether Gloria Hemingway was a man or a woman.

Gloria Hemingway died of cardiovascular disease in a cell in a Miami women's jail after being arrested for indecent exposure in 2001.

A will written in 1994 called for Gloria's estate to be split among the eight children and Ida. But the couple divorced in 1995, with a settlement excluding Ida from inheriting.

Eight months after Gloria Hemingway's death, Ida Hemingway produced a will that was dated in 1997 and 1998. It left $1,000 each to three of Gloria's eight children, $20,000 to a friend and the rest to Ida.

Ida Hemingway said she found the will in a desk. The children claimed it was either a forgery or was written under Ida's undue influence.