Durst's attorneys contend the statute of limitations has expired

By Chris Harris
January 06, 2016 01:55 PM
Orleans Parish Sheriffs Office

In court documents filed last week, civil attorneys for real estate scion Robert Durst moved to dismiss a $100 million lawsuit filed against him by the family of his first wife, Kathleen Durst, who believe Durst murdered Kathleen.

PEOPLE obtained a copy of the memorandum of law Durst’s lawyers filed on Dec. 30.

Kathleen Durst went missing in 1982 and was declared legally dead six years later.

Her family’s lawsuit claims Robert Durst denied them “right of sepulcher” – the right to choose a method of burial for their deceased relative.

The action was brought by Kathleen Durst’s three sisters and her mother, Ann McCormack; it claims Durst killed his wife and disposed of her corpse.

Durst has long maintained his innocence – a claim reiterated in last week’s motion.

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It adds, “New York’s statute of limitations for loss of sepulcher, like other personal injuries, is three years from the date the claim accrued,” and therefore that “the statute of limitations has long expired.”

The filing accuses Kathleen Durst’s family of opportunism, claiming the relatives chose “to do nothing for 30 years,” before trying to “piggyback upon the hype created by a fictionalized HBO docu-drama.”

Against the advice of his lawyers, the 72-year-old Durst served as the subject of the cable network s true crime series, The Jinx, which aired last spring.

Durst, who is worth more than $110 million, is being held in New Orleans on gun charges, and will be extradited to Los Angeles before the end of August to face murder charges in the 2000 death of his longtime confidant, Susan Berman. (Durst has pleaded not guilty to the crime.)

Durst was arrested soon after HBO aired the final episode of the Emmy-winning six-part series.

In the show’s finale, Durst seemingly admitted his guilt mere moments after filmmaker Andrew Jarecki confronted him with a 1999 letter he’d penned to Berman. The missive’s handwriting appears to match an anonymous letter mailed to Beverly Hills Police, alerting them to a “cadaver” at his Berman’s residence. Both letters also misspelled the word “Beverly” as “Beverley.”

With a live microphone still attached to his shirt, Durst could be heard softly talking to himself in a bathroom moments later. At one point, the frail millionaire allegedly uttered, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

According to last week’s filing from Durst’s attorneys, The Jinx was a “cleverly” and “imaginatively edited” fabrication whose “producers were more interested in receiving an Emmy than revealing the truth.”

The court filing calls Kathleen Durst’s family’s $100 million demand “nonsense” and claims the suit “woefully” fails to provide evidence to support its claims.

On Wednesday, Alex Spiro, the attorney for the family of Kathy Durst, refused PEOPLE’s request for comment on last week’s motion.

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