Arturo Gatti's widow rejects deal
MONTREAL -- Arturo Gatti's widow rejected a judge's suggestion to reach a settlement with the late boxer's family in a bitter dispute over his estate.
"I don't want to negotiate," Amanda Rodrigues said as she was whisked past journalists by her lawyer, who was telling her not to comment. Her lawyer later confirmed that there would be no deal.
Earlier Wednesday, Justice Claudine Roy urged both sides to consider attending a settlement conference before a different judge.
Roy noted legal actions in Florida, outstanding income taxes, plus a wrongful-death suit filed against Rodrigues last week in New Jersey that froze the boxer's assets there. The judge added she did not believe Gatti intended for his fortune to be frittered away in lengthy court proceedings.
"The way things are looking, there will probably be no money left for either party by the end of all the legal procedures," Roy said.
Roy said new documents from Rodrigues' lawyers estimate the estate is only worth about $3.4 million. Initially, the amount was believed to be more than double that.
Gatti family lawyer Carmine Mercadante says it's not unusual for a judge to suggest settlement.
"I'm going to discuss it with my client and I'll tell the judge what my clients think," Mercadante said.
But Rodrigues' lawyer, Pierre-Hughes Fortin, said his client's decision is firm.
"My client is not willing to settle the case at this stage. This is her final decision," Fortin said.
Despite the judge's recommendation, the trial continued Wednesday with the cross-examination of Ida Gatti, the boxer's mother.
The Gattis claim Arturo was pressured, weeks before his death in 2009, into signing a will that left everything to Rodrigues. They want it declared invalid.
They say Gatti had a second, earlier will -- which has gone missing -- leaving his fortune to the family.
Fortin questioned how hard the Gatti family had actually looked for an original will, supposedly drafted in 2007.
Ida Gatti, her testimony translated from Italian, said she went to the bank to look in Arturo Gatti's safety deposit box but otherwise did not search for a signed document.
She also testified that she had not been in Arturo Gatti's room in the basement of her home or gone through any of his things.
Fortin asked if a signed copy of the 2007 will might be in Gatti's bedroom at her house.
"I don't know, I didn't look," the 67-year-old woman said.
So Fortin made a request that a bailiff do an inventory of the contents of the room later Wednesday.
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