Roger Corman — the prolific producer and director who received an honorary Oscar in 2009 — is being sued by his sons over the sale of his film library, which they argue is part of an irrevocable trust established in the late 1970s. The lawsuit is the latest in an ugly longstanding battle between the sons — Roger Martin Corman and Brian William Corman — and their parents, the elder Mr. Corman and Julie Corman.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, says that when Mr. Corman reached his 80s, he wanted to start transferring his wealth to his children. (He turns 92 this month.) In addition to his sons, he has two daughters, Catherine Corman and Mary Corman.
The plan, according to court papers, didn’t go over well with Ms. Corman, the director’s wife, who “became abusive toward her husband and other family members, and commenced to undermine the beneficial interests held by the children notwithstanding the irrevocability of the trusts.”
Last month, Shout! Factory, a media company, and Ace Film, a China-based company, announced that they had acquired a library of 270 films from the Cormans, with their eyes on remakes and merchandise licensing, a catalog that the children say belongs to the irrevocable Pacific Trust, which their parents established in 1978.
According to the lawsuit, in the late 2000s, “Julie insisted to the children that assets in the trusts belong to her, that she is tired for working for free, and that the distributions vowed by Roger William” (referring to the elder Mr. Corman) “would not happen.”
A representative for the Cormans did not respond to a request for comment.