Smith's Girlfriend Denied Percentage Of His Estate
The girlfriend of ELLIOTT SMITH has been denied a percentage of the late singer/songwriter's earnings because she acted as an unlicensed talent agent. The Oscar-nominated star's live-in lover, Jennifer Chiba, was seeking 15 per cent of Smith's posthumous earnings, arguing she was entitled to the money because her late lover had promised to support her for the rest of her life. Chiba initially filed her lawsuit in July 2004 - but both the California labour commissioner and a trial judge have ruled that, because she acted as an unlicensed talent agent under the state's Talent Agencies Act, her claim on Smith's estate is void. On Tuesday (16Oct07), a California appeal court agreed, leaving Chiba with no right to a percentage of Smith's estate. However, the court did acknowledge that should she appeal again to the Supreme Court, then Chiba might have more luck citing her "cohabitative agreement" with Smith. Smith died in October 2003. His death was initially ruled a suicide although the Los Angeles police investigation remains open.