Court to Mogul: Girlfriend Can't Be Your Daughter, Too
Judge calls adoption a 'fraud' against court
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2013 7:13 AM CDT
John Goodman listens as family members of Scott Wilson speak during the sentencing phase of his DUI manslaughter case in the Palm Beach County Courthouse in West Palm Beach, Fla., Friday, May 11, 2012.   (AP Photo/The Palm Beach Post, Lannis Waters, Pool)

(Newser) – News flash: No, you cannot adopt your girlfriend. Especially not as part of an alleged bid to safeguard tens of millions of dollars. A Florida appeals court judge yesterday ruled that John Goodman's 2011 adoption of his lover "constituted a fraud on the court," reports the Sun Sentinel. At stake was a $300 million trust fund for the former polo mogul's children; 43-year-old girlfriend/"daughter" Heather Laruso Hutchins would have been entitled to a third of it.

The judge said that Goodman was required to notify his ex-wife about the adoption because the exes are embroiled in civil litigation over the trust fund. "Goodman's concealment of the adoption proceeding deprived the children of an opportunity to address the trial court and present their objections," reads the judge's decision. Goodman had earlier this year reached a $46 million settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit tied to a drunk driving accident that got him a 16-year prison sentence. The attorneys for the victim's parents accused Goodman of trying to shield his fortune by way of the adoption. Goodman's attorney had no comment.