former West End Cabaret star embroiled with her son over her late husband’s will did not forge it to collect his fortune, a court has heard.
Jobyna Watts, 92, inherited her husband Eustace Watts’ estate when he died in 2008, while their son, Carlton, received nothing.
Carlton, 64, took his mother, a former dancer to the legendary Windmill theatreto court, claiming that his father’s 2000 will, which left everything to Mrs. Watts, was forged and that an earlier will was the true last will.
But in a preliminary ruling in the case on Monday, the Supreme Court found that the 2000 will was not forged.
“My evaluation of Carlton’s evidence is that he firmly believes that his mother unfairly and unfairly deprived him of his right to his father’s estate, and that this is his view of the actual matters relevant to this case has colored and distorted,” the judge ruled. Master Julia Clark.
“For this reason, I do not consider him a credible witness and will only accept his evidence if it is supported by independent, contemporaneous documentation.”
Ms. Watts made a name for herself as a dancer after World War II, forming a double act with singer-songwriter Eustace, who used the stage name Peter Ricardo. The couple married in 1955.
The adopted son of a judge, Eustace formed a popular calypso band during his music career before turning his hand to business, running a hotel and amassing a portfolio of residential and commercial properties in West London.
Mr Watts claims a previous will dated 1994 dividing his father’s estate between himself, his mother and his brother Fraser Watts was his father’s last true will.
The court heard of growing bitterness between mother and son over the will, with in one case Mr Watts placing a large sign on his car reading: “Jobyna Watts forged her husband’s will and stole his money.”
Mr Watts quoted a forensic witness as claiming that the “pen pressure of the attorney’s and witness’s signatures are very similar” and that the “angle of lettering” on Eustace’s signature was similar to Mrs Watts’ signature.
But Master Clark said the witness “appeared confused”, and there was nothing in his CV “that shows expertise in handwriting analysis”.
She said that at least one lawyer who witnessed Eustace’s 2000 will remembered doing so because “the deceased because he was a long-standing client of the firm” and could therefore vouch that it was not forged .
The case remains open, but there are currently no hearings.