Hemmes’ shunned love child gets $1.7m
The love child of the late Sydney hospitality tycoon John Hemmes has become an instant millionaire after a Supreme Court awarded him $1.75 million from his father’s estate.
Edward Leslie Cameron, 27, was born during a six-year affair between Hemmes and a woman 15 years his junior, Fiona Leslie Cameron. The couple separated in 1989 after Ms Cameron became pregnant. Hemmes refused to accept the child as his own and would not meet with him, even after being declared his biological father in 1995.
Following Hemmes’ death at 83 from bone marrow cancer in 2015, Mr Cameron launched legal action in the NSW Supreme Court, suing for a slice of his estate.
Hemmes owned the Merivale empire which was named after his wife of 60 years, Merivale Margaret Hemmes, and which is now run by their son Justin. The business now owns more than 50 bars and restaurants in Sydney, including Establishment, The Ivy and the Coogee Pavilion.
While no provisions were made for his estranged love child in his will, Supreme Court judge Geoff Lindsay acknowledged that Hemmes paid approximately $300,000 in child support to his former flame over 13 years.
“Apart from compulsory child support payments the deceased did not pay anything to, or for the benefit of, (Mr Cameron) during his lifetime,” Justice Lindsay noted.
“(Mr Cameron) was raised by his mother without the benefit of any personal relationship with his father.”