Former prime minister Bob Hawke’s daughter Rosslyn Dillon wanted $4.2million from her father’s estate
A bid by Bob Hawke’s youngest daughter to seize $4.2million from the long-serving Labor prime minister’s estate has been settled out of court.
Rosslyn Dillon, 59, was contesting the former prime minister’s will, claiming the $750,000 he left each of his children was not enough for her to live on.
The resolution avoids a potentially costly and lengthy hearing which would have aired the family’s private affairs in public.
Ms Dillon had demanded funds to buy a $2.5million house in Sydney – furnished with towels worth $4,000 – and wanted $30,000 for a new set of teeth.
The recovering heroin addict also claimed she was raped by Victorian Labor MP Bill Landeryou in the 1980s and Mr Hawke covered it up to protect his career.
Ms Dillon’s challenge to the will was due to be mentioned before Justice Philip Hallen in the New South Wales Supreme Court on Friday but was settled out of court.
‘The final orders haven’t yet been made but the Judge was advised yesterday that the matter had resolved,’ a NSW Supreme Court spokeswoman said.
‘He’s considering the settlement documents in chambers today.’
Bob Hawke’s widow Blanche d’Alpuget was dragged into legal action the former prime minister’s daughter took against his multi-million dollar estate. The case was settled out of court on Friday. The couple is pictured arriving at the Sydney Opera House for his 80th birthday
Bob Hawke’s wayward daughter Rosslyn Dillon was demanding a $2.5million house in Sydney kitted out with $4,000 worth of towels in her lawsuit against his estate. Mr Hawke and Ms Dillon are pictured at the memorial service for Hazel Hawke, his former wife and her mother
Mr Hawke’s widow, Blanche d’Alpuget, was a defendant in the matter along with the executors of her dead husband’s will, as she holds the proceeds of the couple’s former joint tenancy.
Ms d’Alpuget, 76, revealed last month she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre in Darlinghurst.
Ms Dillon’s mother, Hazel Hawke, died eight years after Mr Hawke married Ms d’Alpuget, his biographer and long-time mistress.
Ms Dillon’s affidavit, filed in the Supreme Court in December, revealed she was on welfare, lived in a squalid flat at Randwick, and all her teeth had been taken out.
Her list of demands, itemised in a claim originally obtained by the New Daily, began with $2.5million to buy a house in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
This would be a considerable upgrade on the one-bedroom flat Ms Dillon lives in now, which she claims is in need of repair and infested with cockroaches – despite its $500-a-week rent.
Ms Dillon suffers from depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder and agoraphobia, and says she lives on a disability pension of $1,852.40 per month.
She claimed the $750,000 set aside for her in Mr Hawke’s will was not enough to buy a Sydney home and would slash the pension that was her only income.
The 59-year-old’s affidavit cited Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates she would live 27.6 more years and would therefore need $1.2million to cover her expenses.
Ms Dillon currently has about $21,000 to her name including $6,000 cash and $14,000 in Ansett superannuation from working at a VIP airport lounge in Canberra in the 1980s.
Her proposed new home would have its kitchen and bathroom renovated for an extra $30,000 each, and be kitted out with all-new appliances.
Ms Dillon’s affidavit listed $4,000 for linen and towels, $3,100 for kitchen appliances and $5,500 for other kitchen items, $16,000 for household appliances, $50,000 for furniture, and $6,000 for new clothes and shoes.
Australia’s longest-serving Labor prime minister (pictured in 2012) left $750,000 each to his three children Sue Pieters-Hawke, Stephen Hawke, Rosslyn Dillon and his stepson Louis Pratt. Mr Pratt is the son of Mr Hawke’s second wife Blanche d’Alpuget
Mr Hawke’s second wife and biographer Blanche d’Alpuget received the bulk of his estate including the $9.2million proceeds of selling their Northbridge mansion months before his death
Ms Dillion wanted $30,000 for a full mouth of implanted dentures to replace the ones she has been wearing for the past five years.
‘I have no teeth of my own in my mouth,’ she said.
Rosslyn Dillon’s list of demands
House in Sydney’s eastern suburbs: $2.5 million
Stamp duty: $123,090
Conveyancing fees: $2,000
Computer course: $1,030
Dental implants: $30,000
Funeral, burial plot, headstone: $26,000
Kitchen renovation: $30,000
Bathroom renovation: $30,000
Kitchen appliances: $3,100
Linen and towels: $4,000
Kitchen items: $5,500
Household appliances: $16,000
Clothes and shoes: $6,000
‘I had them all removed around five years ago at a cost of $8,000. I do have dentures, however they are uncomfortable and cause me pain. I cannot afford to have them replaced.’
Having made no plans for her funeral, she demanded a ‘reasonably priced’ $7,000 service, and a $14,400 burial plot at Eastern Suburbs Cemetery with a ‘modest’ $5,000 headstone or $4,400 memorial plaque.
Ms Dillon has no computer or access to the internet but wanted $1,030 to attend a computer course, and for her new home to have a sewing machine.
Ms d’Alpuget, who was Mr Hawke’s second wife, received the bulk of his estate including the $9.2 million proceeds of selling their Northbridge mansion months before his death at 89 last May.
She now lives in a $3.9 million flat in One30 Hyde Park she and her late husband bought in her name.
She previously dismissed Ms Dillon’s brewing legal challenge as being fuelled by grief at her father’s death.
Another of Mr Hawke’s daughters, Sue Pieters-Hawke, told The New Daily her family knew of the rape allegations and that they had distressed their father.
She insisted the family was supportive of Ms Dillon at the time but that it ‘didn’t involve using the legal system’.
The Hawke family is pictured during the 1987 election campaign. Daughter Sue is cradling her daughter Sophie, Mr Hawke’s wife Hazel is next to him and daughter Rosslyn is next to her
Bob Hawke Prime Minister of Australia (1983 – 1991) is pictured marrying his biographer Blanche D’Alpuget in 1995 in Sydney
Ms Dillon alleged in the affidavit she was raped three times in the 1980s by politician Bill Landeryou, a close friend of Mr Hawke.
But as she turned to her father for comfort, she said she was met with a ‘shocking and hurtful’ response as he pleaded with her to stay quiet.
Bill Landeryou (pictured) was a close friend of Hawke’s. He died in February this year
He feared it could derail his political career when he was on the cusp of becoming Labor leader.
Ms Dillon said in her affidavit she told her father of the alleged rape soon after it occurred.
‘You can’t go to the police,’ she claimed her father said.
‘You can’t. I can’t have any controversies right now. I am sorry but I am challenging for the leadership of the Labor Party.’
Ms Dillon admitted she was ‘shocked and hurt that (my father) asked this of me’.
As a result of pressure from her father, once one of Australia’s most beloved politicians, she never went to the police.
Now a mother-of-two, Ms Dillon explained she was still ‘haunted’ by the assaults as she was never able to get ‘closure’ because of her father’s demands.
The couple’s three-bedroom mansion (pictured) at Northbridge, overlooking Middle Harbour on Sydney’s Lower North Shore, sold for $9.2million in March last year
What Ms Dillon claims happened when she told her father Bob Hawke she had been raped by his MP friend
According to an affidavit submitted by Rosslyn Dillon, she told her father about the rapes in the 1980s.
Dillon: ‘Bill (Landeryou) has raped me three times.’
Hawke: ‘What? he touched you?’
Dillon: ‘No, he forced me to have sex with him three times. I want to go to police.’
Hawke: ‘You can’t. I can’t have any controversies right now. I am sorry but I am challenging for the leadership of the Labor Party. You can’t go to police.’
‘I thought to myself, I could not make any bigger sacrifice to the (my father’s) political career if I had tried,’ the affidavit said.
‘He asked me to let the matter go for him and I did so for him.’
‘I am still haunted by the sexual assaults. I feel that I may have had a chance to get over these rapes if I was able to report the incidents to police.’
At the time, Mr Hawke was close friends with Landeryou, an MP in the Victorian Upper House.
He was one of Mr Hawke’s chief supporters in his bid to become prime minister, and had his own state funeral last March.
Ms Dillon had been using heroin in the early 1980s when her father intervened to get her a job in Mr Landeryou’s office.
It was then the sexual assaults began, she claimed.
‘During the time I was employed there I was often alone in Landeryou’s office. At some time he started to touch me in a sexual way,’ she stated.
The off-market sale reaped far less than the $15million figure previously reported in the media, (pictured is a view of Middle Harbour similar to that from the mansion)
Then there was a $3.6million apartment (building pictured) with views of Sydney Harbour and Hyde Park which is likely to have appreciated in value since they bought it in November 2015
Justice Hallen previously heard a planned mediation late in March did not go ahead as the mediator could not travel from South Australia.
The court was told that mediator and former District Court judge John Sulan QC had been unable to travel from SA to New South Wales. Lawyers for the parties went ahead with a settlement conference on March 31 but did not reach an agreement.
Both parties sought to adjourn the matter until Mr Sulan could mediate via video conference at a later date. A mediation was due to occur on May 7.
Mr Hawke was Australia’s longest serving Labor prime minister.
Mr Hawke’s eldest sister Sue, 62, and brother Stephen, 60, were left the same amount as Ms Dillon, as was Ms d’Alpuget’s son Louis Pratt.
Ms d’Alpuget was left with everything else, including the proceeds from the sale of the couple’s luxury $9.2 million mansion.
Mr Hawke’s married Ms d’Alpuget, with whom he had conducted a long-running affair, in 1995 after divorcing Hazel, his wife of 38 years.