Saturday 17 March 2018

Aussie mining mogul's granddaughter sues family for €17m upkeep

Olivia Mead arrives at the Supreme Court for her case against the Wright family.
Olivia Mead arrives at the Supreme Court for her case against the Wright family.
Michael Wright, who died in 2012

Kathy Marks

The daughter of one of Australia's richest men is suing her late father's estate claiming the €2 million trust he set up for her is inadequate to properly maintain her future lifestyle.

When19-year-old Olivia Mead launched her lawsuit earlier this month against the estate of Michael Wright, she gave the Supreme Court of Western Australia a shopping list of things she needs for her “proper maintenance, support, education and advancement” until her prospective death, aged 96.

The list includes five pairs of €3,500 shoes every year for the rest of her life. Annual holidays totalling €28,000. €6,800 for handbags each year.

Oh, and a €1.7 million home and a guarantee for a €70,000 wedding and an enough cash to provide for four children (two years apart).

All together, about €17 million.

Not excessive at all her lawyers argue, who say she is entitled to a bigger share of the wealth bequeathed by her grandfather, Peter Wright, a legendary figure in the Australian mining industry.

Almost as extraordinary as the lifestyle to which the 19-year-old Olivia Mead aspires is the fact that few outside the family even knew of her existence until the case began.

Ms Mead is the product of an affair which four-times-married Michael Wright had with her mother, Elizabeth.

When he died in 2012, he left most of his fortune to his two older daughters – who run the family business, including mining interests and a winery – and their brother.

The court heard that Ms Mead was not a “spoilt child” and “had very little money spent on her”.

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