Judge Has Bad News for Hawaiian Princess

Abigail Kawananakoa is deemed mentally incapable of managing her trust
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2018 9:35 AM CDT
Judge Has Bad News for Hawaiian Princess
This March 15, 2018 file image from video shows Abigail Kawananakoa, left, and her wife, Veronica Gail Worth, in a Honolulu courtroom.   (Hawaii News Now via AP, Pool, File)

A judge ruled this week that Hawaiian "princess" Abigail Kawananakoa isn't mentally capable of handling her $215 million fortune—the latest development in a saga of aging royalty and alleged abuse, the Guardian reports. Kawananakoa, 92, who descends from the royal family that once ruled the Hawaiian kingdom, had a stroke in 2017. Longtime ex-attorney Jim Wright then said she could no longer co-manage her estate, Kawananakoa fired him, hired a new lawyer, and married Veronica Worth, her girlfriend of 20 years. On Monday a judge agreed she could remove Wright as a trustee but opposed Kawananakoa's request to make Worth a trustee. In Wright's place the judge put First Hawaiian Bank.

"I think it's a great decision by the judge," says Lilikala Kame’eleihiwa, who sits on the board of Kawananakoa’s trust. Adding to the drama, Wright alleges that Worth has physically abused Kawananakoa, a claim her domestic workers support. In fact, they say they were fired and told to move out after telling a court-appointed psychiatrist and judge about Worth's alleged abuse: "It's retaliation," one of them tells Hawaii News Now. Worth denies it, saying Kawananakoa’s bruises were caused by falls into furniture. All this after a life of luxury and generosity, in which Kawananakoa reportedly gave money to needy students, the poor, and charities. "At the moment," says Kame’eleihiwa, "she is a benefactor for the Hawaiian people." (More Hawaii stories.)

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