A doctor who certified Colleen McCullough was sane and rational was unable to rouse her on his visit to her sickbed, the bestselling author’s primary carer has told a court.
Carer Nicola Wright also denies fabricating evidence because she wanted Dr McCullough’s widower, Ric Robinson, to lose the NSW Supreme Court battle over the author’s multimillion-dollar estate.
“I have no interest in whether he loses or wins,” Ms Wright testified on Thursday.
Variously estimated at between $1.2 million and $2 million, the estate would be worth much more than that in the long term thanks to book and entertainment royalties.
The author’s executor and friend, Selwa Anthony, claims the University of Oklahoma Foundation and not Mr Robinson is the rightful sole beneficiary of the estate as per a July 2014 will.
Ms Anthony claims Mr Robinson took advantage of his wife’s ill health to unduly influence her to leave him everything in the lead-up to her death on Norfolk Island on January 29, 2015.
Under cross-examination on Thursday from Mr Robinson’s lawyer, David Murr SC, the author’s solicitor Piria Coleman agreed she believed the university will was the genuine one.
Ms Coleman further agreed she had fabricated a document and given it to Mr Robinson, deceiving him into thinking it was a new will in his favour.
Mr Murr referred to a letter from Dr Robert Challender given to her by Mr Robinson on January 17, 2015, a fortnight before his wife’s death.
The GP said he had seen Dr McCullough several times over the previous six weeks and while she was not in good shape physically, her mental state was sane, rational and she was “completely able to make well considered decisions”.
The GP also wrote that he saw no signs of her being in physical or emotional distress.
Ms Coleman agreed the letter unequivocally said Dr McCullough had “testamentary capacity” and was not subject to undue influence.
Ms Wright referred to Dr Challender’s visit on January 14, 2015.
“Ric wanted a doctor to certify that Col was sane because he wanted her will changed,” she said in her affidavit.
‘”She could hardly speak.”
The GP could not rouse her but said he would write about how he saw her one to three weeks previously, Ms Wright said.
“I want to suggest that Dr Challender did rouse Col that day,” Mr Murr said.
“I disagree,” she replied.
She agreed she thought Dr McCullough had been “very badly done by by her husband” but denied fabricating evidence about conversations.
Earlier, Ms Coleman agreed she believed Dr McCullough was the “goodie” and her husband the “baddie” in the marriage but denied trying to cast Mr Robinson in as bad a light as possible.
The hearing continues before Justice .Nigel Rein