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Chabad files suit for estate

Jewish center’s leader, Rabbi Reuven Mintz, claims former Rat Pack member wanted to set up foundation in his name.

March 12, 2009|By Brianna Bailey

Bishop decided in 2005 that he did not want to leave his money to charity, Julian claims. Mintz stopped visiting Bishop after the entertainer told him he no longer had any interest in setting up a children’s charity, he claims.

“In my opinion, it’s unfortunate that the rabbi has not apparently accepted Joey Bishop’s decision that he did not want to provide any more to charity because he had already provided so much over the years,” Julian said. “If the rabbi cared so much about Joey Bishop, why did he stop coming to his house?”

Newport Beach Chabad now runs its own chapter of the Friendship Circle in Orange County. The program partners teenage volunteers with special-needs children for a variety of activities. Mintz announced plans earlier this year to expand Friendship Circle’s enrollment by at least 50%.

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Bishop’s attorney, James McCormick, began visiting the entertainer’s home every week in 2004 “ingratiating himself” with Bishop, according to the legal documents.

“During this period of time, Mr. Bishop was also subject to the direct and continuing influence of Garibotti, who controlled every aspect of Mr. Bishop’s daily existence and who decided what persons would be allowed to visit Mr. Bishop.”

The lawsuit goes on to state that McCormick wrote a proposal and presented it to Bishop stating that up to $2.4 million from the entertainer’s survivor’s trust fund be split between McCormick and Garibotti. A later draft of the document eliminated the gift to McCormick, but proposed dividing Bishop’s estate between Garibotti, Hookstratten and Hymes. Any mention of a charitable donation was eliminated in the process, according to the lawsuit.

“The case has absolutely no merit,” McCormick’s attorney, Adam Streisand said. “It’s completely frivolous and I expect it’s going to be thrown out of court so fast it’s going to make your head spin.”


Reporter BRIANNA BAILEY may be reached at (714) 966-4625 or at brianna.bailey@latimes.com.

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