Divine's estate belongs to her cousins, federal court rules
 

Seattle Gay News
Mobile Edition
rss: SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml



SGN ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT SECTION

SGN Mobile Front Page



MOVIE REVIEWS
CALENDAR
NORTHWEST NEWS CALENDAR
CLASSIFIED

click here to go to the main SGN website

 

posted Friday, August 29 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 35

Divine's estate belongs to her cousins, federal court rules
by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A three-year old legal squabble over the estate of drag icon Divine ended in federal court July 10, with a ruling that awarded her fortune to her cousins.

Divine died in 1988, leaving her estate to her mother, Frances Milstead. Frances then left the estate to her nieces and nephews, Divine's cousins, in a 2008 will.

After Divine's death, her mother hired Michael O'Quinn as a business manager, and charged him with promoting Divine's image and her legacy of film and recordings, and her own book about her son.

O'Quinn and his business partner, Noah Brodie, then set up a holding company called Everything Divine, to manage the estate. In court documents, Brodie claimed that in 2011 he discovered that O'Quinn had willfully ignored Frances Milstead's will, hoping to exclude Divine's cousins and assume control of the fortune for himself.

O'Quinn, on the other hand, said that he was named as a beneficiary in Frances's will. The dispute eventually came to federal court, and ended in a victory for the family claimants.

'It's such a unique and unusual intellectual property,' Brodie told The Hollywood Reporter magazine. 'I was duped, but eventually [O'Quinn] got caught in lie after lie.'

Divine was born Harris Glenn Milstead on October 19, 1945, and was bullied in school because he was perceived as fat and effeminate. At the age of 17, he later said, he realized he was Bisexual. He also realized he had a talent for drag performances, and he was able to talk his parents into producing local drag extravaganzas featuring himself performing as his favorite celebrity, Elizabeth Taylor.

By the time he was 20, Milstead was hanging out with John Waters, and it was Waters who gave him the nickname 'Divine.' As Divine, she began appearing in Waters' films, landing a starring role in Roman Candles in 1966. In all she appeared in more than 19 films, including several that were released after her death.

Divine died of an enlarged heart, a result of her chronic obesity, only three weeks after the release of the classic Hairspray, in which she played both Edna Turnblad and Arvin Hodgepile.

Although Divine identified as a man, her Divine persona took on a life of its own. She often referred to herself as Divine, rather than Glenn, and the name Divine appeared on her passport, rather than her birth name.

'Glenn is the name I was brought up with, Divine is the name I've been using for the past 23 years,' her former manager Bernard Jay quotes her as saying.

'I guess it's always Glenn and it's always Divine. Do you mean the character Divine or the person Divine? You see, it gets very complicated. There's the Divine you're talking to now and there's the character Divine, which is just something I do to make a living. She doesn't really exist at all.'

Although she was out, Divine was notoriously secretive about her private life. In the 1980s she reportedly had a relationship with a man known only as 'Lee,' and after breaking up with him had a brief affair with porn star Bob Ford.



next story
Clipper Vacations Killer Whale Watching Daytrip in the San Juan Islands an exceptional treat
------------------------------
Sun sets on The Days of Anna Madrigal
------------------------------
Seattle Musical Theatre kicks off new season liberated from ugly past
------------------------------
Jack White looks and sounds sexy at the Paramount
------------------------------
Capturing a musical monster - Mahler's 8th Symphony
------------------------------
Captain Smartypants gets 'Starstruck' at The Triple Door
------------------------------
Five acts to check out at Bumbershoot
------------------------------
How to write a novel in one easy lesson
------------------------------
IN MEMORIAM - Robin Williams, et al.
------------------------------
Divine's estate belongs to her cousins, federal court rules
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Marriage rights on trial: Action in several cases
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------
LETTERS
------------------------------
Bob Dylan kicking off tour in Seattle
------------------------------
Brosnan's Man an extraordinary spy trapped in an ordinary thriller
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 36 YEARS!