Reg Grundy’s widow ordered to hand over medical records

 

The widow of Reg Grundy has been given a three-week deadline to hand over the late TV king's medical records to his estranged daughter or risk court sanctions as they battle it out over his $900 million fortune.

A bitter real-life episode of Wheel of Fortune is playing out in the NSW Supreme Court as the former host's second wife and only child vie for a greater slice of his riches.

In 2017 Viola La Valette - who changed her name from Kim Robin Grundy - launched a lawsuit against her stepmother Carolyn Joy Chambers-Grundy disputing his will.

Viola La Valette arrives at the Supreme Court in Sydney. Picture: John Grainger
Viola La Valette arrives at the Supreme Court in Sydney. Picture: John Grainger

Ms Chambers-Grundy has already been ordered to produce information from four of her husband's doctors as well as from specialists in Florida and California, but Ms La Valette claims the former actor has been dawdling for nearly a year.

On Tuesday Justice Julie Ward threatened to make costs orders against the Logie Award-winner if she fails to authorise the release of the records before November 11.

"It needs to be made very clear … that it's a serious matter not to honour undertakings made to the court," the judge warned.

Reg Grundy and his wife Joy Chambers-Grundy.
Reg Grundy and his wife Joy Chambers-Grundy.

Ms La Valette claims that her dad suffered from Alzheimer's disease in the last years of his life and his partner influenced him to reduce the amount he left her in his 2011 will.

Before the 93-year-old Neighbours creator died in 2016 he made Ms Chambers-Grundy the main beneficiary of his massive estate, and the only provision Mr Grundy made for his daughter were annual payments of $250,000.

Ms La Valette, who appeared in court clad in an oversized sun hat, originally wanted her stepmother to release the medical records by Friday.

Justice Ward said she understood the time frame concerns and was "not particularly impressed" that Ms Chambers-Grundy gave strict instructions to her lawyer to request an extra 21-days while she travels in the United States.

Barrister Paul Blackburn-Hart SC said Ms Chambers-Grundy will "more likely than not" honour the extended deadline.

Joy Chambers-Grundy. Picture: Richard Dobson
Joy Chambers-Grundy. Picture: Richard Dobson

Ms La Valette didn't speak to her dad for 22 years before his death, and in his 2010 biography, Mr Grundy wrote that "the loss of my daughter is the greatest heartbreak of my life".

The media mogul, who became a household name producing a string of soap operas and game shows, had made his home in Bermuda where his second wife still lives in their luxury mansion.

Earlier this year a former Victorian mayor who looks remarkably like Mr Grundy entered the legal fight for inheritance in another twist for the marathon court battle.

But in June Simon Thomas Russell's hopes were shattered after paternity tests came back showing he was not the multi-millionaire's long lost son.

Viola La Valette. Picture: John Grainger
Viola La Valette. Picture: John Grainger