(NEW YORK) — The scion of a tabloid news empire took to television Thursday morning, lobbing new accusations against his mother, a wealthy Florida socialite, with whom he has feuded with over a family fortune for years.
“She will try to villainize me,” Paul Pope, 45, said of his mother Lois Pope, who recently filed a restraining order against him because she says he too often comes asking for handouts.
The Popes are the wife and son of Generoso Pope, founder of the National Enquirer who left his wife $200 million and his son $20 million, following the sale of the paper and his death in 1989.
In court documents filed in Palm Beach, Fla., last month, Lois Pope accuses her son of demanding more of her money. When she would not turn over the money, she says he began stalking her, threatening her with violence and spreading rumors about her to gossip columnists and tabloid journalists.
Paul Pope “maliciously and repeatedly harassed his 79-year-old mother…Paul Pope’s cruel behavior is causing Lois Pope to suffer substantial emotional distress and to genuinely fear for her safety,” Mrs. Pope claims in a restraining order petition.
Thursday on ABC’s Good Morning America, Paul said the restraining order and the subsequent court hearing were an attempt by his mother to garner attention.
“She’s sued me like five times in 24 years…She’s an actress, and she loves the limelight and she loves whatever type of attention she can get,” he said.
In addition to the money, the two are wrangling over a kidnapping insurance policy Mrs. Pope took out on Paul’s children.
She says it was his idea. He claims it wasn’t, suggesting that it was a veiled threat against his family.
“We were getting along fine and she mentioned in early January getting this kidnapping and ransom policy on my son and I said why would you do that?” he told GMA.
Paul, his mother contends, “maintain[s] an excessive and extravagant lifestyle, but has never had meaningful employment.”
Over the past several years, Paul has repeatedly asked his mother for money, according to court documents. At times, she has acquiesced, giving him $8 million and buying him a yacht, according to court papers. But for decades the two have been locked in a series of lawsuits and countersuits.
Most recently, on March 14, Paul demanded $875,000 from his mother on top of $4 million he had asked for in January, Mrs. Pope claims in her complaint.
Paul has lobbed his own allegations against his mother, claiming she lives her own extravagant lifestyle, including flying her dogs on their own private jet.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
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