2003-08-21 06:56:58 UTC
Will of Maurice Gibb colored by accusations
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Aug. 18, 2003 10:55 AM
MIAMI - Most of the homes owned by Bee Gee brother Maurice Gibb are on the
market, his will - which left his estate to his wife and provided trust funds
for his adult children - is being administered, and the surviving Gibb brothers
have decided to rent out their Miami Beach studio to other artists.
But seven months after his death, angry accusations from Maurice Gibb's famous
brothers, Barry and Robin, that his death at Mount Sinai Medical Center could
have been avoided have not materialized into a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Friends say Maurice's widow, Yvonne Gibb, has not had time to decide what legal
course to take, if any.
Gibb's estate, worth in "excess of $2 million," will go to his widow, according
to his last will and testament filed in Miami-Dade County court. He also left
her "all ownership in copyrights, musical compositions" and real estate,
including six homes, some of which they owned together.
The couple, married for nearly 30 years, owned two homes in England, two on
Miami Beach, one in Spain and one in the Bahamas. Most are now up for sale.
The 18-page will, drawn up 12 years ago, also asks that trust funds be set up
for his two grown children, son Adam, 27, and daughter Samantha, 22, of Miami
"We're in the process of administering the will," said Rose La Femina, the
local attorney who represents Yvonne Gibb. She declined to discuss any
Maurice Gibb's probate file includes his death certificate, which shows he was
cremated by a Fort Lauderdale firm. His ashes were buried on his property in
Gibb, 53, a long-time Miami Beach resident, died Jan. 12 after emergency
surgery for a blocked intestine at the Miami Beach hospital.
Both brothers have said that mistakes were made at the hospital.
"I believe the doctor completely screwed things up," Robin Gibb, Maurice's
twin, told the Daily Mail in London on Aug. 9.
"There is a tremendous amount of anger and the hospital is not off the hook.
The lawyers are looking into it - they have been since the day it happened,
because his death was totally preventable," he told the newspaper.
Arnold Gitomer, the New York attorney who is representing the family, did not
return repeated telephone calls.
A spokesman for Mount Sinai declined to comment on any aspect of the Gibb case,
citing patients privacy.
Maurice Gibb died because a portion of his small intestine became twisted back
on itself, shutting off its blood supply and flooding his system with toxins,
according to an autopsy by Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office. Gibb's
intestinal problem was congenital, the autopsy report said.
Yvonne Gibb recently returned to her Miami Beach home on Sunset Island No. 2.
According to London newspapers, she is putting the two-story, five-bedroom home
on the market and will move into a 13-bedroom Le Gorce Island home the couple
had purchased for $7 million just before Gibb's death.
Already on the market are the couple's 1930s mansion in Esher, Surrey, and a
home in Spain.
In the months after Maurice Gibb's death, his brothers considered selling their
Middle Ear studio on Miami Beach, but for now have decided to rent it out when
they are not using it.
Barry and Robin have made little use of the studio since the death of their
brother - the trio's bassist, vocalist and sometime musical muse. The trio had
performed together for more than 40 years.
Robin is putting out a solo album, promoting it in England and appearing on the
BBC version of "American Idol," BBC's "Fame Academy."
Barry, the oldest brother, remains on Miami Beach.
Later this year, the two surviving brothers will begin writing the first Bee
Gees album without Maurice.
"In the beginning, Barry and I couldn't decide if we were going to go forward
with the name of the Bee Gees or just as Barry and Robin," Robin told the
British newspaper. "Now we've decided to continue as the Bee Gees because we
feel we can and Maurice would have wanted it."