Hemmes’ shunned love child gets $1.7m

The Weekend Australian - - THE NATION - RHIAN DEUTROM

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.”

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