A mistress of the late billionaire businessman Richard Pratt has lost her bid to revive a multi-million-dollar claim on his estate.
Madison Ashton, who provided escort services to the cardboard mogul in 2003 and 2004, said she was promised financial assistance for becoming his mistress and no longer working as an escort.
Mr Pratt’s promises included an allowance, a car and a $2.5 million trust for each of her children.
Ms Ashton sued Mr Pratt’s estate and, in 2012, the New South Wales Supreme Court acknowledged the conversations but dismissed her claim, saying there was no intention to create a legal relationship.
Ms Ashton said Mr Pratt had promised to set up two trust funds, worth $2.5 million each, for her two children and pay her $500,000.
The Supreme Court found Ms Ashton’s acceptance of $100,000 and the transfer of car into her name was done in full satisfaction of the trust claim.
In November 2005, Ms Ashton signed a document from a Visy Industries employee that released Mr Pratt from any financial responsibility in exchange for a payment of $50,000 to the former mistress.
Mr Pratt died in 2009.
In appealing the decision, Ms Ashton sought a declaration that Mr Pratt’s 2003 promises constituted a legally binding contract and anything she signed in November 2005 was void.
She also pushed for Jeanne Pratt to pay her damages.
But on Monday, the Court of Appeal dismissed her bid, saying the arrangement failed to spell out important terms such as Ms Ashton’s obligations as mistress, how long it would last and the details of how the trust would work.
The court said she had received substantial gifts as his mistress and there was nothing to suggest she was prevented from returning to the escort industry.
– with ABC AAP