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Dele's Mother to Deal With Details in Tahiti

January 14, 2003|Lance Pugmire | From Staff and Wire Reports

Patricia Phillips, the mother of former NBA player Bison Dele, a.k.a. Brian Williams, arrived in Tahiti on Monday after receiving permission from a French Polynesian judge to access her son's $600,000 catamaran, the "Hakuna Matata."

Dele, his girlfriend Serena Karlan and boat captain Bertrand Saldo have been missing in the South Pacific since July 6, and they are presumed dead. The leading suspect in the deaths was Phillips' only other child, Kevin Williams, a.k.a. Miles Dabord, who died Sept. 27 after an apparent suicide attempt.

Phillips said she plans to spend three weeks in Tahiti and New Zealand, citing her primary objectives as securing a death certificate for Dele from French Polynesian authorities and gathering her son's belongings. The catamaran, Phillips said, remains docked where Kevin Williams left it -- a marina in Taravao, Tahiti. She said it requires some repairs and maintenance. After doing that, Phillips said she will explore a sale.

Phillips has been named conservator of Dele's estate. "I can't spend a penny of the money, except for what bills are required from Brian's affairs," Phillips said.

She has a court date at the Santa Monica-based Los Angeles County Superior Court probate division Feb. 7 to pursue the restoration of the allowance Dele formerly paid her, believed to be $5,000 a month. Should Phillips receive a death certificate for Dele, she said it will ease her bid to become executor of Dele's estate. Dele did not have a will, Phillips said.

-- Lance Pugmire


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