Florida polo tycoon has difficulty adopting his 42-year-old girlfriend in order to keep assets away from bio-kids, ex-wife, family of guy he killed in a hit-and-run

A Florida polo tycoon named John Goodman has hit a hitch in his plan to adopt his 42-year-old girlfriend so that his kids and ex-wife won't be able to keep him from writing her into his will. The court says he failed to disclose important information, but there's no word on whether that will have have any bearing on his manslaughter appeal stemming from his conviction for a drunken hit-and-run killing in 2010, or on his apparent plan to keep his assets from the family of the dead man by transferring them to his girlfriend/daughter.

What an enterprising gentleman Mr Goodman appears to be.

A Florida appeals court ruled yesterday that John Goodman (not the actor John Goodman, the Florida polo tycoon John Goodman, who founded something called the International Polo Club) committed a fraud on the court when he failed to notify it, or the opposing parties in a pending lawsuit, about his plan to adopt his girlfriend and thereby give her access to a substantial trust fund. The trust was one in which "all Goodman's children were to share equally," so if his girlfriend also became his child … you get the idea. The "Adoption Agreement" also gave the girlfriend/daughter almost $17 million in additional assets plus an unlimited right to ask for more money from the trust, not a bad right to have if you can get it.

This concerned Goodman's two existing children and his ex-wife for obvious reasons, and also bothered the parents of Scott Wilson. Wilson died in 2010 after a car accident involving Goodman, who was allegedly drunk at the time. The accident knocked Wilson's car into a canal, whereupon Goodman suddenly remembered some polo tycoonery he had to take care of, and, to use a legal term of art, he skedaddled, without even calling 911. Wilson died. Goodman was convicted of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide and sentenced to 16 years in prison, but is out on bail pending appeal.

What's the Point of Being a Polo Tycoon If You Can't Adopt Your Girlfriend?


  1. Even wealthy sociopaths have the right to make art… though it doesn’t excuse them from the moral consequences.

  2. Sheesh. I always knew John Goodman was a monster, but I thought he was one of those “really a good guy with a heart of gold who only scares children because that’s part of his job description” kind of monsters.

  3. Florida polo tycoon has difficulty marrying his 42-year-old girlfriend in order to keep assets
    away from bio-kids, ex-wife, family of guy he killed in a hit-and-run

    … should say “difficulty adopting”

  4. Wilson died in 2010 after a car accident involving Goodman, who was allegedly drunk at the time. […] Goodman was convicted of DUI manslaughter [….]

    I think after there’s a DUI conviction, you graduate from “allegedly drunk” to “drunk.”

  5. Isn’t it time to start keeping a morality tree like family trees? Did this guy have a dad who went the extra mile to be a creep? What about his dad’s dad, and so on? Because this guy is sure teaching his own offspring a thing or two about lowlifeness. Generations from now, he might have left a real legacy.

    1. Yeah. Polo the sport played on horseback? Because I don’t see where the money’s coming from in that unless it’s breeding/selling the horses or betting on it. 

      1. My guess would be the same place Golf club money comes from. Club/Membership fees and associated services. And the more expensive the better.

      2. Licensing products bearing brand / association with the club/sport/etc.

        Relevant Example: http://www.trademarkia.com/logo-76525938.html

        One of many, that one is specific to clothing. Don’t believe for a second that the market is the few polo players/clubbers/fans. The mass market, for many reasons, eats this shit up… despite having almost no significant reason for desiring an association via the product.

        Free money, everyone else involved does the work, design/manufacture/wholesale/retail/distribution/marketing. and it is they who keep the lions share, but the copyright holder gets a nice cut for doing literally nothing, their work building the brand is done.

        That’s a simplified explanation, but IPC,PB has scads of operative licensing agreements.

  6. Correct me if I’m mistaken, but if I were sentenced to prison for DUI manslaughter and my case was pending appeal, wouldn’t I still be in jail? Was the court hoping an angered citizen would find him and kill him in his sleep, or were they bribed?

    1. If you could afford his lawyer (and I’m just assuming you can’t here), then you’d probably be out of custody too.

  7. I’m just surprised there’s a legal mechanism in place for adopting 42-year-olds.  Seems like a moot point for anyone over 18 and legally competent.

    Except for legal shenanigans and trying to hide your assets, I guess….

    1. I was adopted as an adult.  There are non-shenanigan reasons (having a next of kin who will make good medical decisions for you, as an example).  The situation here does not fall into that category, obviously.

      1. In Britain at least, you’d give someone a welfare Power of Attorney for that. They’d then go “I have this piece of paper, give him medicine”

        *Adopting* — i.e. severing all ties to their previous parents and completing replacing them with you — seems like a nuclear option for that.

    2.  I have heard of people who are unable to marry in a state doing this, mostly people who are gay, in order to have inheritance and other legal rights. And it happens often with folks who are developmentally disabled too, even if they are legally competent.

    1. Sadly more common than in bio-families, but still illegal if she’s a minor.  It becomes merely a ethical violation if the adoptee is an adult too unless there are other circumstances (mentally unable to give consent, etc.).

      I should point out, since I’ve just mentioned being adopted as an adult, that there’s never been any sex – voluntary or forced – involved in my case!

    2. Adopting your lover was (and maybe still is) a workaround for gay people not being able to get married.

  8. So is the outrage about this because he wants to use the legal system to keep his money away from his kids and ex-wife or because he wants to avoid paying a big settlement to the dead guys family?

    Because I never understood why kids seem to think they automatically deserve the fruits of their parent’s hard work.  (Although I don’t know if playing polo constitutes hard work)

    1.  I can’t speak for others, but I’m outraged at multiple aspects of this story, not just one specific detail.

    2. Although I generally agree about the oddity of expecting an inheritance (which seems to be an absolute mania in the UK), in this case, I’d bet that his children deserve some sort of combat pay for having him as a father. It’s also possible that he inherited money with the expectation that it would pass on to his children.

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