The Drama Behind Dennis Hopper's Divorce
By Mike Ryan Posted Jan 22nd 2010 03:55PM
There was always something comforting about having a healthy and vibrant Dennis Hopper in the world. Our thoughts are with the 'Easy Rider' and 'Apocalypse Now' star as he struggles with prostate cancer but, yes, there was always that voice inside our head the morning after a late night out saying, "Yes, your head hurts right now, but if Dennis Hopper is still alive and healthy, really, what damage could you have possibly done to yourself in comparison?" And then we would feel peace with the world. We were shocked to learn that the health of Hopper -- whose hard living lifestyle was only overshadowed by his contribution to cinema; featured in more than 150 films and documentaries -- has deteriorated enough that some outlets are reporting him to be on his "death bed." Even more shocking, though, is the fact that he filed for a divorce from his wife of 14 years, Victoria Duffy-Hopper, while on said "death bed."
What's at stake that would cause this swift and seemingly random chain of events? This is Hollywood people -- it's money. Let's look at the cast of characters involved in this sad and tragic drama that's unfolding in front of our eyes.
Dennis Hopper: Unfortunately, as reported, he is terminally ill with prostate cancer. His filling for divorce citing "irreconcilable differences" isn't, again unfortunately, going to be a long time concern. Hopper does have a daughter with Duffy, six-year-old Galen. It's not likely this move is in anyway to protect her, considering access to his estate will only be made more difficult if a divorce between Hopper and Duffy is made final. Also, have you ever been in the difficult situation of being around someone who is terminally ill this far along? This is the part where we remind you that we are not a doctor, but, we will spare you because, well, that's obvious. But, did they seem like someone who had the cognitive ability to make a rational decision as important enough as, "You know, I would like a divorce." Now, Hopper is definitely a unique man, but usually a time like this brings forgiveness and people become closer, not the opposite. This doesn't really add up. Without question, the reason behind this move is money. That's obvious. But who looks to gain what?
Victoria Duffy-Hopper: Dennis Hopper's current wife. The Huffington Post is reporting that Duffy will get 25 percent of Hopper's estate as long as the divorce doesn't go through. If it does, she and their daughter get nothing. Now, keep in mind: Duffy is Hopper's fifth wife, but she has been with Hopper for 14 years. This isn't someone who latched on to him right when it was announced he was ill. The New York Post reports a family friend recalling Hopper complaining that Victoria just wanted "more and more luxury." Look, it would be extremely difficult to paint her as a gold digger; 14 years is a really long time and 25 percent of an estate seems, if anything, unfair to her considering the length of their marriage. So, we don't think that's plausible and even if it was, she's more than earned it! So, this leaves us with ...
Marin Hopper: Dennis Hopper's oldest daughter -- seven years older than Duffy. A daughter that, as again The Huffington Post reports, was living for free at Dennis Hopper's estate and made a living setting up personal appearances for him. She recently became executor of his will. It's not clear what, exactly, Marin will gain financially by shutting out Duffy. Though, by multiple accounts, Marin Hopper and Duffy were far from close. Is she pulling the strings for the reportedly highly medicated actor? Who's to say for sure? Does she have the most to gain from doing this? "It's so horrible, Dennis is at home, Victoria and Galen are living there as well, and Marin is pulling her father out of his bed and driving him to the divorce lawyers. The poor guy has no idea what is going on ... Even his lawyers are telling people he is on painkillers and is essentially sleeping all the time," a Huffington Post source says. Again, it seems unlikely Dennis Hopper is in any condition to start, or even request, a legal proceding.
"Marin has always hated Victoria ... If she can get her father to reject Victoria on his deathbed, and get more money in the process, she'll be the happiest woman in Los Angeles," according to the HuffPo source.
It's always a sad affair when a public figure can't at least have some peace in his final days. Unfortunately, when we think of Dennis Hopper, this story will always be the exclamation point on his long and illustrious life and career. It appears, maybe, to some, if true, tarnishing a man's legacy is worth the price of a fortune. There was something odd about this story from the moment it broke and, from the reports that are materializing, things are starting to make a little bit more sense. Though, digging deeper into this sordid affair, it doesn't make it any less rotten.
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