© 2023 Hawaiʻi Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Native Hawaiian Heiress Faces Court Test To Control Millions

Jennifer Sinco Kelleher/AP
Native Hawaiian heiress Abigail Kawananakoa, left, sits next to her wife, Veronica Gail Worth, while the couple's Chihuahua sits on her lap during a court hearing in Honolulu, on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019.

A judge says a 93-year-old Native Hawaiian heiress doesn't need a guardian to take care of her but is ordering a hearing to determine whether she needs a conservator to manage her $215 million trust.

Abigail Kawananakoa's wealth has been tied up in a legal battle since her 2017 stroke.

She's considered a princess because she's a descendant of the family that ruled Hawaii before the kingdom's 1893 overthrow.

Board members of her foundation and ex-employees say her wife is manipulating her. Lawyers for the couple dispute that.

Native Hawaiians have been watching the case because they're concerned about the fate of the foundation she set up to benefit Hawaiians.

The couple's lawyers said Friday that Kawananakoa should be able to do what she wants with her money.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. Founded in 1846, AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.
Related Stories