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Brando executors to settle aide's suit

January 04, 2007|Tami Abdollah | Times Staff Writer

Executors of Marlon Brando's estate have agreed to pay $125,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by his former personal assistant alleging that they forged the late film legend's will, according to court documents.

Angela Borlaza, also known as Evelyn Magaling, said the 80-year-old Brando was too ill in the days before his death to amend his will to make Hollywood producer Mike Medavoy and Larry J. Dressler, Medavoy's brother-in-law, coexecutors. She also alleged that the coexecutors wrongly evicted her from the home that Brando had purchased for her in Winnetka in the San Fernando Valley.

Borlaza had sought $627,000 -- the market value of the Winnetka house -- and $2 million in punitive damages.

According to papers filed Dec. 22 in the Brando estate probate case, Borlaza agreed through mediation to settle all claims for $125,000.

Her attorney, Joel Pipes, declined to discuss the terms of the settlement. "The parties resolved the matter in an amicable fashion," Pipes said.

Charles Larson, attorney for the Brando estate, declined to comment.

Borlaza, who worked for Brando for about 10 years, said Brando had bought her a home as repayment for her services. She also said that Brando had taught her a code he used, so she could distinguish his signature from forgeries, and that the signature on the will was not his true signature.

Brando died July 1, 2004, in Los Angeles of lung failure. His estate is said to be worth more than $20 million, and potential commercial uses of his likeness could make it even more valuable. His will named nine children as beneficiaries.

tami.abdollah@latimes.com

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