Elizabeth Hurley fought ‘like a mother bear’ to get her son’s share of the Bing fortune

Steve Bing died by suicide in June 2020. He had been struggling with his mental health for some time, apparently. Bing was independently wealthy, and he came from enormous family wealth as well. Last year, there was some confusion about whether Bing’s two (now adult) children would inherit any part of his fortune. Bing fathered Damian Hurley with his then-girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley, and before that, he fathered Kira Kerkorian with his then-girlfriend Lisa Bonder. Neither child was “born in wedlock,” which is apparently why Steve Bing’s father tried to cut his grandchildren out of Steve Bing’s estate and the family fortune. Lisa Bonder spoke about how hard she and Elizabeth Hurley fought to have their children recognized by the Bing family, only to lose out completely.

Elizabeth Hurley has fought “just like a mother bear protecting her cub” in a bid to make sure her son gets his share of a massive family fortune, according to a new report. Lisa Bonder-Kerkorian, whose daughter was also left out in the cold in the bitter inheritance battle, backed Hurley in an interview with the Sunday Times of London.

The women both had children with businessman Stephen Bing, whose father, Dr. Peter Bing, has an estimated $2 billion fortune — one he refuses to share with the late Stephen’s two kids, who were both born out of wedlock. He said, ‘You’re not born in wedlock, so you don’t count’, and I was like, ‘Wow, do we live in the Stone Age here?’” Bonder-Kerkorian said of Peter Bing.

She and Hurley joined forces in 2019, going to court with the billionaire to make sure their kids, Hurley’s son Damian, 19, and Bonder-Kerkorian’s daughter, Kira, 23, got their fair share.

“Elizabeth couldn’t have been more lovely,” Bonder-Kerkorian told the Sunday Times of London of her time fighting side-by-side with Hurley. The parents initially won. Stephen Bing had begun to build relationships with his once estranged son and daughter, only to commit suicide last summer. But 90-year-old Peter Bing refused to give up the fight, and eventually prevailed in his bid to keep Stephen’s children from receiving the funds, estimated to be about $250 million a piece, according to a report.

“When Stephen took his own life, he died thinking his children were going to be taken care of,” Hurley said in a statement. “What Stephen wanted has now been callously reversed. I know Stephen would have been devastated.”

Being shut out of the family funds was devastating for Kira Bonder, but it wasn’t about the money, her mom insists. “No, for these kids it was really about knowing their father, knowing their grandfather, and being welcomed into a family that they felt had abandoned them many years ago.”

The conflict may have contributed to Stephen Bing’s mental health issues, she said. “To have his own parents say, ‘I don’t want to meet your kids, I don’t want to know your kids, your kids don’t count’… I believe that dynamic contributed to Steve’s mental health woes,” Bonder-Kerkorian said.

[From Page Six]

I can’t really believe that families like this still exist, where only children “born in wedlock” count. Like, I understand the complicated web of family finances and inheritance and all of that. Damian and Kira weren’t asking to join the board of the family’s company or for automatic Thanksgiving invitations. Liz and Lisa fought what they thought was a winning battle with the father of their children, to ensure that his will recognized his children. Only to have Peter Bing be a crotchety old douchebag. And it’s crazy that Peter Bing can just withdraw $250 million (each) to his grandkids, against the wishes of Steve Bing. Yikes. The whole thing is yikes.

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Photos courtesy of Instagram.

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51 Responses to “Elizabeth Hurley fought ‘like a mother bear’ to get her son’s share of the Bing fortune”

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  1. Bros says:

    If he had truly thought any of those things it would have been pretty simple to get it ratified in legal documents prior to his death or any time over the past 18 or whatever years. It also doesn’t sound like he had access even to his own fortune as his dad is still controlling the purse strings. I agree it sounds like stone age, but in the absence of legal marriage which confers rights on heirs (which he even could have explicitly written his kids out of) there’s no automatically entitlement to anything on his passing. It was kind of lazy on everyone’s parts, or maybe extra efforts
    On the granddaddy’s part to ensure none went to them.

    • Sunshine says:

      I agree with Bros here.
      Knowing his parents, if those were his wishes, he would have bifurcated his assets and sorted his kids out before he committed suicide.
      It sounds cold, but it’s understandable that was the court’s take on this as well.
      I hope they all find peace.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      from what I’ve read, it isn’t Steve Bing’s assets the kids have been cut off from, it’s actually their grandfather’s assets they’re being denied a piece of. The kids are cut off from being beneficiaries of Peter Bing’s trust that he set up in 1980 for his then future grandchildren who were born to or adopted at a young age by his children. His argument in court was that the intent was for the trust to go to grandchildren born resulting from a marriage and lived with and/or had a relationship with their parent (Steve or his sister Mary) while they were a minor. Ostensibly, the argument could have been made that Peter Bing would have had the opportunity to have a relationship of some sort himself with his grandchildren via their relationship with whichever of his children was their parent. Presenting the case that Peter Bing is denying Steve’s children from accessing an inheritance from Steve’s estate is intentionally misleading.

      This fight over the trust Peter Bing set up was going on prior to Steve committing suicide – Steve complained it was a money grab by his sister to get all the money for her children and leave Steve’s kids (you know, the ones he denied fathering and wanted nothing to do with until they were adults). Steve Bing had no right to demand that Peter Bing provide any trust or any inheritance to Steve’s children. It wasn’t Steve’s money to give to his children.

      • Still_Sarah says:

        @ Portsmouth pup : I went online to check Steve Bing’s net worth at the time of his death. There are reports that he only had $300,000 left from the $600 million he inherited at age 18. So grandfather Bing’s money starts to look a lot more important when you know that. Steve Bing was broke apparently.

      • pottymouth pup says:

        @Still_Sarah I knew that Steve Bing was, for all intents & purposes, broke at the time of his death. That still has no bearing on what I wrote. This isn’t a fight over Peter Bing keeping Steve Bing’s assets from Steve Bing’s children; this is Steve Bing’s children fighting to get their hands on a trust Peter Bing set up for his future grandchildren. It would be one thing for Peter Bing’s estate to deny them if Peter Bing was dead and couldn’t clarify his intent to the trust (or add caveats as to who he wants his money to go to) they might have a case but Peter Bing is alive and has made it clear his intent was for the trust to be set up for the grandchildren raised at least in part by his own children. Even if Peter Bing’s will left half of his estate to his son should Steve have survived him, the fact that Steve did not survive him means Peter could revise his will to include or exclude Steve’s progeny.

        Additionally, these aren’t the children of women who struggled to support their children because the father was a POS who denied paternity & had no interest in any relationship with them (until shortly before dying). Had that been the situation, you could make an argument that, morally, a man as rich as Peter Bing should have helped out when his son refused to acknowledge the children and pay support but Peter Bing’s connection to those kids is purely biological, he had no involvement in their lives and no relationship with them so he really has no financial obligation to them

  2. PeacefulParsley says:

    The kid is already dripping with privilege and wealth. He should be relieved that toxic “family” like that want nothing to do with him.

  3. Amy Bee says:

    Is it that Stephen Bing didn’t have a will when he died?

    • Mcmmom says:

      I’m confused about that as well – did he not have a will?

    • sa says:

      I assumed that it’s family money that, since his parents (or at least his father) are still alive, he hadn’t yet inherited, which is why his father can still control it.

      I don’t know what the law is there, but in many states if you don’t have a will the law doesn’t distinguish between kids born within a marriage and those born outside of marriage.

      • Still_Sarah says:

        He inherited money from his grandfather and came into that money when he was 18. It was $600 million but it was reportedly almost all gone at the time of his death.

      • sa says:

        So if the money he’d already inherited was almost all gone, that further supports that the money at issue here wasn’t *his* money.

  4. Chaine says:

    Sorry but I’m not able to get overwrought about this. Does it seem unfair to the kids? Maybe, but Dr. Peter Bing is still alive, he’s made his intent clear, and I think the court is correct in honoring his wishes for the trust he set up with his own frickin money. No one is entitled to get a bunch of money just because their grandad gave their cousins some money. Both Damien and Kira have wealthy moms and live lives of privilege and luxury, and nepotism will likely ensure that they’ll never want for anything even if they won’t necessarily be rich enough to buy their own private Gulfstreams.

    • terra says:

      I think the main issue is that, apart from coming from a wealthy family, Steve Bing was independently wealthy.

      Why should his father say that Steve’s personal fortune cannot go to his children? Yes, they’re already privileged beyond imagination and obvisiouly don’t need the help (see: the private jet Instagram post above), but it feels like a bad precedent to set.

      If his trust can’t be touched for some legal reason, well, it’s a jerky thing to do, but that is his money. Fine, be a terrible, judgmental human being. But their father’s person wealth? That doesn’t make sense to me.

      Maybe they did get a portion of those funds and are just being shut out of the family funds? The article is a bit unclear on that issue.

      • Ainsley7 says:

        It’s my understanding that he died with quite a bit of debt. So, there wasn’t any personal fortune for his kids to inherit. I don’t know how he managed to blow through $600+ million, but he did.

      • terra says:

        @Ainsley7 Just . . . wow. I was going to write ‘how in the world is that possible?’ but then I answered my own question: depression.

        If he struggled with depression for quite some time he likely wasn’t paying attention to a great many things. When my depression really sinks in hard I lose all ability to concentrate on pretty much anything. Perhaps it was the same with him.

      • Chaine says:

        The legal battle doesn’t have anything to do with whatever Steve left his kids. It has to do with a trust set up by Steve’s dad decades before the kids were born.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s what I’m thinking as well. They’d be entitled to anything Steve willed to them, but beyond that, I don’t see how they can lay claim to some other guy’s money while he’s still alive and controlling it.

  5. Ainsley7 says:

    The grandfather set up 6 trusts for his potential grandkids. If there weren’t 6 grandkids then the remaining trusts were to be split between the existing kids. So, Stephen’s wish that his kids be recognized should have been honored, but they were just wishes. Stephen had no control over the money. Which is why the verdict came down as it did. If it was Stephen’s money in question, then it would have gone the other way. The grandfather is a jerk, but it’s his money.

    • tealily says:

      Yeah, the guy’s clearly an a**hole and I’m sure the decision is a kick in the teeth to the kids, but this sounds like the right call legally.

  6. Bunny says:

    This was never Stephen Bing’s money. It was (and is) his father, Peter Bing’s money.

    Stephen could have made arrangements for his children to be cared for, but apparently didn’t.

    The grandfather, nasty though he may be, owes nothing to anyone, especially not a quarter of a billion dollars simply for existing.

    If it were me, I’d split things evenly, but is isn’t, and no one has the right to tell PB how to spend his cash.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      ITA Bing could have made a will that provided for his children but didn’t so his personal wealth went to his family and his father has refused to behave like a decent human being.

      I think part of the issue is that Dr Bing didn’t approve of his son’s lifestyle and relationships (esp the one with Hurley).

  7. Lori says:

    Steven was near penniless when he died. He had ripped thru his own inheritance and was going after a share of the family money to leave to his kids. And based on the fact that he barely acknowledged those kids until his own money was gone, IMO he was just using those gets to access to the family pie. He had won in court but his father wasnt backing down. He died trying to get his hands in that money.

  8. Miss Margo says:

    This is another example of laws being out of date. In the olden days they would call children born out of wedlock “bastards” and they wouldn’t get anything from the father’s side. No money, last name nothing. And they wouldn’t be recognized to inherit anything like a title. They need to modernize the laws and courts and recognize that if a dude makes a kid he MUST pay the kid support. Regardless of marriage. It’s 2021!

    • Cee says:

      This is the one thing that my country has done right – we don’t need wills/testaments. When a person dies their estate is divided equally between the spouse (if there is no marriage or civil union, the partner can still inherit after proof of cohabitation and will have full equal rights of a spouse after the 10 year mark) and any children born from the deceased. There is no distinction between children born in or out of wedlock and they can’t be desinherited. So 50% goes to spouse/partner and the remaining 50% is equally divided among all children.
      If there are no spouses or children, then the next of kin inherits (siblings, parents, newphews, etc)

      I can’t believe someone can still deny his children from basic inheritance rights, especially denying use of a family name.

      • VS says:

        those kids are not entitled to their grandfather’s money. He isn’t their parents; their father should have taken care of them when he was alive
        You can say the grandfather is a jerk but it is his own money; he can deal with it as he wishes

      • Cee says:

        Yeah but they’re his descendants and in some countries it would be impossible to exclude them form an inheritance. Because the bloodline is direct, whether he likes it or not.

  9. Jayna says:

    Meh. He paid child support for both children and had zero relationship with either their whole lives, except a little with the girl in the last few years and barely anything with Elizabeth’s son late in life. He blew through his own fortune.

    But either way, Elizabeth’s son was never part of this family. It was a nonexistant relationship. Elizabeth is wealthy (net worth between 35 to 50 million dollars. I truly believe Steve’s father can do what he wants with his own fortune. I personally think her son getting all of that money would not be good for him as a human being developing character and drive to make his own money.

    He’s Liz’s only kid and will have her fortune one day. Kira and Damien already live a very privileged life. Make your own money. Inheriting $250 million is something I would never want for my child.

    • Isabella says:

      Also, I think it is all about the money. The kids have never had a relationship with Bing’s family and the courts can’t force that.

      “Being shut out of the family funds was devastating for Kira Bonder, but it wasn’t about the money, her mom insists. “No, for these kids it was really about knowing their father, knowing their grandfather, and being welcomed into a family that they felt had abandoned them many years ago.”

  10. nina says:

    He should’ve provided for his kids and made a Will. With a 600M fortune he could’ve set up trust funds for them before he blew through his money. Cruel as it may be, its his dad’s money, he gets to make the rules.

  11. Lena says:

    From what I understand Bing blew through his trust fund, his father controlled the family inheritance and had in place for years his inheritance was for ‘children born in wedlock’ only. Bing knew this (I am sure)!but his children were born not just out of wedlock but with no relationship (Lisa Kirkorian was married to another man when she conceived Kira by an affair, He denied he and Hurley had an exclusive relationship when she got pregnant). He tried in his last years to have relationships with both kids but he didn’t control the purse strings and the directive only children born in wedlock was in grandpa’s will. Archaic but the express wishes prevailed

  12. joe dokes says:

    The grandfather is upset that his grandchildren aren’t Jewish.

    • Isabella says:

      Where did you get that impression?

      • Jaded says:

        It’s not an impression, Steve Bing’s grandfather was Jewish and his grandmother was Serbian. However his father wasn’t upset that Steve’s children weren’t Jewish, he wasn’t even a practicing Jew, it was because they were born out of wedlock.

  13. detritus says:

    Sounds like Dr is a nasty miser.

    I bet he’d be looking for other reasons not to pay if the ‘out of wedlock’ didn’t provide an excuse.

    That said, he should be taxed to hell and back, just like Hurley and all other wealthy 1%ers.

    This is 1% fighting with 0.1% over more money than 99% will have in their lifetime.

  14. SusanRagain says:

    I wish the entire Mama Bear thing would go away. Have always hated that phrase.

    Anyone can leave their money to whatever/ whoever they choose, blood relatives are not guaranteed to inherit.
    No one “needs” $250 M. How do you blow thru $600M?
    I picture Scrooge McDuck throwing wads of cash on the fire to be toasty warm. lol

    I can work up zero outrage about this.
    Neither of the now adult offspring will go hungry.

    Wealth hoarding is sickening. Tax the rich!

  15. CROOKSNNANNIES says:

    Just wanted to come here to say thank you for writing died by suicide. It looks like the comments people are still staying committed suicide. Hopefully people accept the more respectful term soon.

  16. ME says:

    I think whatever a person’s Will says should be binding and legal. I hate when people try to contest Wills. This is NOT your money. The person who died can leave it to whomever they choose. You are not entitled to anything.

  17. LidiaJara says:

    I agree that no one is entitled to an inheritance, but as someone who was not welcomed into my Dad’s family because I’m illegitimate I can share that it sucks. Being the only grandchild who didn’t get an inheritance is slightly painful, but it’s more the lack of birthday cards, visits, holidays. It’s also strange to have brothers who have this big huge close family and then I just have me and my mom. I find that shit super rude and unnecessary. My mom is a very awesome mom though, so I’m luckier than many.

  18. Jaded says:

    Steve Bing forced Elizabeth Hurley to get a DNA test done on Damien when he was a baby because he refused to believe he was his father. He only met Damien a few months before he died and I don’t think he had much to do with his daughter either. He had struggled with mental health and addiction issues for a long time and he sounds like a classic rich man-child burning through his fortune on gambling, drugs and women. He dated a number of A-list celebrities but apparently he loved prostitutes. On the other hand he donated millions to the Democrats and a number of philanthropic organizations. A complicated man for sure.

    • ME says:

      Hey when you’re going to pay a huge amount of money in child support, it’s a good idea to get a DNA/paternity test to make sure the child is yours. I see nothing wrong with that.

  19. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    When Bing was still wealthy (or was thought to be) and Hurley “accidentally” got pregnant, she said at the time that it wasn’t about money, that she was wealthy herself so she didn’t want Bing’s money, just acknowledgment he was the father. But she changed her mind shortly after the baby was born and demanded money, which I believe she got.

    I think you’d have to be a big @sshole to cut out a child from your life regardless of how you feel about the kid’s mother. But when women suddenly forget how birth control works just because they’re with a wealthy man (and there are many examples beyond Hurley), this is what you can end up with – a father who never wanted, and possible resented, the child. BOTH parents are to blame for that.

    • TeaForTwo says:

      Don’t place the sole onus on women. Don’t want to be a father? Wear a f#@king condom.

  20. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Poor things.

  21. psl says:

    Damian Hurley is ridiculously pretty.

    He will make plenty of money on his own.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Yeah I don’t feel sorry for him at all. He’s other worldly.

      • psl says:

        Right? I remember when he was little and was the spitting image of Bing, who was denying his paternity.

        Grew up to be unbelievably good looking.

  22. jferber says:

    The only one I actually feel sorry for is Steve Bing. Sad he had so many demons and so much mental chaos in his life. May he rest in peace.

  23. Turtledove says:

    This leaves me so conflicted.

    Of course those “kids” have no legal right to their grandfather’s money.

    And being as they both have well off moms, it isn’t like they need the money to survive, far from it, right? Hurley is not a single mom working 3 jobs nad barely paying the electric bill/feeding her kids.

    But I also feel like, Dr Bing is a billionaire that is NINETY years old and he is worried about giving a portion of his fortune to offspring that ARE of his blood? What an absolute prick. He has every right to do what he wants, of course. And legally, yes, this was the only call to make.
    Yo can’t go after someone’s money while they are alive and try to tell them what to do with it.

    But good lord, you can’t take it with you at 90 how much can he POSSIBLY spend on himself before he kicks it? I get it, they were never around their grandfather, had no relationship with him at all and were hardly ever around their actual father. And perhaps Dr Bing does think both women had those babies to get their hands on the Bing fortune. But even if that were the case, the kids had nothing to do with that.

    I know, I know, the kids will be fine financially. They have always been fine. But the whole story is just gross.

  24. JillyBean says:

    Liz was married to Kirk kerkorian when she had Kira- he raised Kira as his own. Now that tale is completely as or more insane…
    All super super rich regardless of any inheritance from Bing,

    Kerkorian owned MGM for godsakes

  25. Shannon says:

    Le…sigh….family wealth is usually protected at all cost from “interlopers”. I don’t agree with the sentiment, but I kind of do understand it.