Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian isn’t being held hostage, he just has a new girlfriend, say sources

May 16, 2013
May 16, 2013

Update 2:45 pm ET: A Tracinda spokesman says there are no facts to support Lisa Kerkorian’s claims and “therefore, no merit whatsoever to the allegations she has made.”

The ex-wife of 95-year-old billionaire Kirk Kerkorian has filed a lawsuit making claims that sound more like a scene from a Hollywood movie. Lisa Kerkorian is accusing Tracinda Corp., the private investment firm founded by the elder Kerkorian, of holding him hostage, according to the report by TMZ. TMZ reported Lisa Kerkorian is claiming that Tracinda managers are controlling her ex-husband and have kept him from seeing Lisa’s 15-year-old daughter for the last five years.

Sources close to the firm said Kirk Kerkorian is well and has a new girlfriend, which may be why his ex-wife is upset. Lisa Kerkorian is seeking the appointment of someone to oversee Kirk Kerkorian’s affairs and hopes to reestablish a relationship between him and her daughter, whom he raised as his own.

The suit also claims that Kirk Kerkorian hasn’t been seen in public in almost a year. But Kerkorian is actually known as a fairly private person. And he just may not want to go out that much because of his age. He and his ex-wife had one of the most public, and bitter, divorce battles, which involved wiretapping allegations, private investigators and paternity tests.

Tracinda is well known for investing in high-profile, ailing companies, especially in the auto industry. Tracinda owned shares in General Motors, Ford and Chrysler and the investment firm’s executive, former Chrysler CFO Jerry York, was a constant critic of the Big Three automakers. York died in 2010.

But Tracinda has not been that active in recent years and only has a few investments remaining, according to Capital IQ. Tracinda is still the largest shareholder in MGM Resorts, but it is no longer the majority owner. In March, Tracinda indicated it could raise its MGM stake from 18% to as much as 25%, but has yet to make that move.

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