The two wives of the celebrity voice coach on the Lord of the Rings films are fighting over his life insurance payout in the wake of his death.
Dialect coach and actor Andrew Jack, 76, taught Middle Earth accents to Hollywood stars including Cate Blanchett and Elijah Wood on the series, during a stellar career that also included Star Wars and Indiana Jones blockbusters.
Mr Jack, from Chertsey, died last year after contracting Covid, sparking a dispute between the two women in his life over a £100,000 life insurance payout.
Mr Jack was married to Australian fellow dialect coach Gabrielle Rogers at the time of his death but had only finalised his divorce from his British ex-wife Paula Jack less than two years earlier. Both women are now claiming a stake in the payout.
According to documents filed at the High Court, Ms Rogers is the executor of Mr Jack’s estate but his ex-wife, from Shropshire, is still the trustee in charge of his life insurance settlement.
Lawyers for Ms Rogers say she is “a potential beneficiary” of the policy, whereas Ms Jack is currently the “default beneficiary”.
“Ms Jack now seeks to appoint herself the beneficiary under the settlement in order to benefit from the £100,000 life insurance policy,” the court filing continues.
“She has failed to recognise a conflict of interest which prevents her from having regard to the interests of all potential beneficiaries or giving proper consideration to the claims of all potential beneficiaries.”
Ms Rogers says she wants a “fit and proper person” to replace Ms Jack as trustee of the life insurance settlement and to decide impartially who gets the payout, and also wants her late husband’s ex to pay her court costs.
At a court hearing, John Franklin, representing Ms Rogers, suggested Ms Jack — who separated from her ex-husband in 2012 — “should step away” from the decision-making process.
But John Aldis, for Ms Jack, told Judge Francesca Kaye there are “disputes of fact” between the two women and that the question of whether Mr Jack wanted the payout to go to his widow or his ex-wife may not be clear-cut.
Mr Aldis said there is a “question of what the deceased’s intention was” in regard to the insurance payout.
He added that Ms Jack claimed to have “evidence relating to the relationship between the deceased and Ms Rogers about the possible deterioration of that relationship”.
The case was adjourned to allow Ms Jack to seek legal advice.