OAKLAND — Heirs of Albert Einstein announced Thursday that they have settled a dispute over rights to a trust overseeing letters written by the legendary physicist.
Lawyers said at a court hearing that the settlement had been reached in a suit filed last year by Einstein's granddaughter, Evelyn, against the trustees of an archive that originally consisted of some 450 of Einstein's letters.
As a result of the lawsuit, some of the letters, which gave a revealing look at Einstein's personal life, were sold by Christie's in New York last week for nearly $900,000.
Judge William McKinstry agreed to keep the terms of the settlement--which involves family members in California, Switzerland and Israel--confidential.
The out-of-court settlement avoids a trial of the suit. In the suit, Evelyn Einstein--poor, disabled and in bad health--had sought a share of the letters by the Nobel Prize-winning author of the revolutionary theory of relativity. The suit estimated that the assets of the trust were worth some $15 million.
Among items auctioned last week were letters from Einstein to his first wife, Mileva Maric, including a 1914 letter in which he set rules for their relationship, stating: "You will renounce all personal relations with me, except when they are required to keep up social appearances." Einstein died in 1955.