Larry King's Estranged Widow Shawn Contests His Will, Claims the Two Were Working Toward 'Reconciliation'

Larry King died on Jan. 23 at age 87

Larry King's widow Shawn Southwick King has contested the late television icon's handwritten will, which excluded her from his multi-million dollar fortune.

In court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Shawn challenged both the validity of the will and the request of Larry's son, Larry King Jr., to be appointed administrator of the estate.

Shawn, whom Larry filed for divorce from in 2019 after 22 years of marriage, claimed the two were working toward a possible "reconciliation" before his health took a turn.

"Larry was not pushing the divorce and was generally nonresponsive and refused to participate in the divorce proceeding. He gave no indication that he actually wanted to pursue divorce," state the court documents. "After the filing, the parties had gone to counseling, were still speaking, and reconciliation remained possible until Larry's health conditions made that impractical."

Larry King and Shawn King
Shawn Southwick King and Larry King in April 2018. David Livingston/Getty

She also claimed she was "actively involved" in Larry's business dealings and has "the most knowledge" of his assets and wishes at the time of his death.

A rep for Shawn had no comment.

Shawn, 61, asked to be named a special administrator in place of Larry Jr., pointing to his lack of a relationship with his father until his 30s.

"[Larry Jr] has never been involved in Larry's career or business, and it would be highly inappropriate to place him in a position of representing Larry's estate," state the court papers.

And according to the court documents, Larry and Shawn drafted a Family Trust in 2015 that is "still in existence" and gives her "all the powers of the sole shareholder" for several of the longtime journalist's businesses.

Shawn King and Larry King
Shawn King and Larry King.

Last week, PEOPLE obtained a copy of Larry's handwritten will, in which he requested that his estate be split equally among his five children: sons Larry King Jr., 59, Cannon, 20, and Chance, 21, as well as late son Andy and late daughter Chaia.

"This is my Last Will & Testament," the document stated. "It should replace all previous writings. In the event of my death, any day after the above date I want 100% [placed above illegible cross-out] of my funds to be divided equally among my children Andy, Chaia, Larry Jr., Chance & Cannon."

According to the documents, Larry's estate is worth $2 million.

The document was dated Oct. 17, 2019 — two months after he filed for divorce from Shawn, his seventh wife. (In 2010, Larry filed for divorce from Shawn only to retract the paperwork three months later. Larry filed for divorce again in 2019, citing irreconcilable differences.)

The will was also written less than a year before his children Andy and Chaia died within 23 days apart from each other in the summer of 2020.

Larry died on Jan. 23 at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. His death came after he contracted COVID-19 in December and was subsequently hospitalized.

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