Damian Hurley has gushed that he’s ‘grateful for his beautiful family’ – days after it was revealed that he’s been cut out of his late father’s family fortune.
The model, 19, shared a sweet snap to Instagram on Sunday showing himself smiling with his mother Elizabeth, 56, maternal grandmother Angela, 80, and cousins.
It comes after it was revealed that Damian will not receive a penny from late his dad Steve Bing, who died by suicide last year, after he was disinherited.
Close bond: Damian Hurley has gushed that he’s ‘grateful for his beautiful family’ and shared a sweet snap – days after it was revealed that he’s been cut out of his late father’s family fortune (pictured with mum Elizabeth, third right, grandmother Angela, front right, and other relatives)
‘Grateful for my beautiful family, today and every day’: The model, 19, shared the lovely picture to Instagram on Sunday
Posting on social media, Damian rocked a navy blazer and smiled while leaning on his glamorous grandmother’s chair.
Also seen in the lovely image was Damian’s cousin Miles – who is the son of Liz’s older sister Kate Curran – and two stunning female cousins.
Damian penned: ‘Grateful for my beautiful family, today and every day Xx’
Elizabeth has been gently trying to guide her only son through the conflicting emotions of losing the father he was just beginning to get to know.
Shock: It comes after it was revealed that Damian will not receive a penny from late his dad Steve Bing, who died by suicide last year, after he was disinherited (pictured with mum Liz)
Damian and Steve’s relationship had almost been non-existent for most of the teen’s life, but in the weeks before his death, the multi-millionaire businessman had made tentative steps towards establishing a father-son bond, calling him for the first time on his 18th birthday.
The one solace in the tragedy was that Bing died thinking that his two children — Damian and older half-sister Kira — would be financially secure.
He had recently won a court battle, overturning his own father’s attempt to exclude them both from family trust funds believed to be worth up to a billion dollars (£725 million).
Yet the Mail exclusively revealed on Friday that Damian won’t receive a penny, after his grandfather succeeded in appealing the decision.
Former flame: Liz has said that when Steve Bing died he believed his two children were going to be looked after (pictured together in a throwback snap)
Tight: The Hurleys are very close, with Liz previously revealing her mum Angela had moved into her Herefordshire mansion so they could spend lockdown together (pictured together)
Instead, the fortune will be split between the two children of Steve’s sister Mary, who crucially, unlike their cousins, were born in wedlock.
It is a betrayal that has horrified and devastated Liz, not just that Damian has been deprived of a share that could have reached $250 million (around £180 million) but also that he has been effectively disowned by his father’s family.
During an emotionally turbulent year, Hurley has maintained a dignified silence, but so appalled is she by the ‘callous’ treatment of her son by his own grandfather that she gave a statement to the Mail yesterday.
‘When Stephen took his own life, he died thinking his children were going to be taken care of,’ she says.
‘What Stephen wanted has now been callously reversed. I know Stephen would have been devastated.’
Kira’s mother, Lisa Kerkorian, has also been left reeling. She told the Mail this week: ‘As a mum, I wonder why on earth this had to happen. Why make two innocent kids into victims?’
Hard: During a turbulent year, Liz has maintained a dignified silence, but so appalled is she by the treatment of her son by his own grandfather she gave a statement to the Mail on Friday
For many years, Bing had refused to publicly acknowledge Damian, or Kira, 23. He ruthlessly made a will while Liz was pregnant with Damian, ensuring neither would inherit.
Yet in the final years of his life Bing had tried to build bridges, only for his tragic death to unfold against a backdrop of labyrinthine legal action: in March 2019, Steve’s father, the billionaire Dr Peter Bing, went to court to cut Damian and Kira out of the ‘grandchildren trusts’ he had set up nearly 40 years earlier, on the basis they were both born out of wedlock.
It led Liz and Lisa to join forces to contest his application and, in July 2019, a judge ruled that both Damian and Kira were entitled to a slice of the family fortune. But their victory was short-lived.
Dr Bing, now 90, appealed that decision and last October, four months after his son’s death, a judge ruled that he could distribute the trust as he saw fit.
Family: Lisa Kerkorian had a daughter called Kira with the late billionaire Steve (pictured together in an undated snap) and had joined forces with Liz to contest the legal action
‘Damian’s grandfather, Peter Bing, had attempted to have Stephen’s children, including Damian, disregarded as his grandchildren in the irrevocable trust he had previously set up,’ says Hurley.
‘Stephen fought very hard in his last year to have his children recognised and repeatedly told me how incredibly important this was to him.
‘He was happy beyond belief that the trial verdict ruled that Damian was to be treated like his sister’s children as far as the trust was concerned.
‘I am just relieved that Stephen will never know that Damian’s relatives — Stephen’s father and the family of his sister Mary — were ultimately successful in their appeal against the original trial verdict.’
Lisa Kerkorian agrees. ‘It’s been horrible — forget about the actual legality of it all: this is their grandfather saying: ‘You don’t count, and I don’t want you to be a part of our lives because your mum was not married to my son.’
‘Damian and Kira have been disinherited from the Bing family trust. There’s no recourse, they can’t go back. They lost. It’s been very painful for them and left a family void for Damian and Kira to deal with.
The way they were: Liz believes Steve would have been devastated by the decision to exclude Damian from the trust money (pictured in an undated snap)
‘I can tell you Steve loved his children and regretted not being there for them during his lifelong struggle with drug addiction. He expressed remorse to me for not being a father to them and he lived with the guilt of that.’
After Bing’s death, Liz made a point of paying tribute to him as a ‘sweet, kind man’.
As this paper revealed last year, court documents from the inheritance battle showed that Bing had, in fact, been supporting his son financially from birth, although Liz raised Damian for the most part as a single mother.
Latterly, the pair have lived together in a £6 million country estate in Herefordshire.
Textile heir Arun Nayar, Liz’s husband from 2007 to 2011 played a paternal role in young Damian’s life but the chance to get to know his birth father properly would have been a huge boost.
Bing’s fortune descends largely from his developer grandfather Leo’s property empire built in early 1920s New York.
Tragic: Steve (pictured left and right, with former US president Bill Clinton) inherited approximately £460m when he was 18, the launch pad for a life lived out in the gossip columns
Son: Liz Hurley, pictured with Damian, said Steve was happy beyond belief that the trial verdict ruled that Damian was to be treated like his sister’s children as far as the trust was concerned
Steve inherited approximately $600 million (£460 million) when he was just 18, the launch pad for a life lived out in the gossip columns.
A lavish spender, he set up the film company Shangri-La Entertainment, which enjoyed modest success with the film Polar Express, and invested in real estate.
He was linked to a string of beauties over the years, including Naomi Campbell, Uma Thurman, Sharon Stone and Farrah Fawcett.
He met Lisa in Los Angeles in the late 1990s, the start of a six-month fling she cut short because of his hedonistic lifestyle.
‘He was living a life I didn’t want to participate in, so he and I went our separate ways very early on,’ she says.
Unaware she was already pregnant with Kira when they parted, she then reconciled with the billionaire businessmen Kirk Kerkorian, with whom she had previously been involved.
The pair had a shortlived marriage in 1999, but Kirk nonetheless adopted Kira and continued to support her even when, in 2004, a DNA test confirmed that Steve was Kira’s biological father.
Court: In a favourable ruling in July 2019, Judge Daniel Juarez decided that there was no ambiguity to the definitions in the trust and Damian (pictured) and Kira could be beneficiaries
But Bing refused to acknowledge his parentage, which had been confirmed when a private detective took used dental floss from his discarded waste bin.
His life had already become complicated: by then, Liz had given birth to his son Damian.
She had an 18-month relationship with Bing, but her own pregnancy announcement in 2001 had been met with a similarly chilly dismissal by her former lover, who claimed they had not been in an exclusive relationship.
He wrote a will around the time Liz was three months’ pregnant in which he disinherited both Kira and Liz’s unborn baby, stating explicitly that it was ‘not his intention’ to provide for either this child — meaning Damian — or any child ‘now living or hereafter born’.
It was, Lisa says now, the final rubber-stamp of rejection for both.
Lisa believes that it is no coincidence that it was only after Kirk Kerkorian’s death aged 98 in 2015 that Bing decided to contact Kira to ask her if she would be willing to meet with him.
Lisa also believes that, with his own finances by then what she calls ‘in crisis’, Bing wanted to ensure that Damian and Kira were provided for.
‘Steve essentially had blown through his entire fortune, so he was not doing well financially,’ she says. The cushion, however, was the existence of six independent trusts, set up by Peter Bing in 1980, to provide for future grandchildren.
‘These were six separate trusts with separate tax benefits, the only identifying language determining who the beneficiary was of each trust being birth order because there were no grandchildren born in 1980,’ says Lisa.
‘If there were less than six grandchildren, then the remaining trusts would be split equally.’
Peter Bing would later argue that the use of the word ‘grandchild’ was ambiguous and could only apply to those born in wedlock — those of Steve’s sister Mary, who gave birth to daughter Lucy in 1999 and Anton in 2002.
With the trust funds due to be distributed in October 2020, in March 2019 he felt strongly enough to take his case to court to cut out Kira and Damian.
It led an outraged Bing to join forces with his former lovers to contest the legal action. ‘Steve hired his own lawyers and filed affidavits in support of his children,’ said Lisa.
In one affidavit filed to the court, he accused his sister Mary of orchestrating ‘a massive money grab’ to deprive Damian and Kira of their rightful inheritance in favour of her own.
One Hurley family friend said: ‘It is thought Mary’s children are incredibly wealthy, so it is seen as somewhat spiteful to go after the cousins in this way.’
Around this time, Lisa and Kira also met Liz for the first time.
‘Elizabeth came to California in June 2019 for one of the hearings. Obviously, it was not the best of circumstances, but she could not have been more lovely and more gracious, so I have nothing but praise for her,’ says Lisa.
In a favourable ruling in July 2019, Judge Daniel Juarez decided that there was no ambiguity to the definitions in the trust and Damian and Kira could be beneficiaries.
Peter Bing’s lawyers promptly filed an appeal — ultimately heard over Zoom in October last year.
Pictured: In a tribute shared on social media, Liz Hurley described Steve as a sweet, kind man
The ruling went against Hurley and Lisa. Lisa says: ‘It was a bizarre outcome given that a huge number of children in the United States are now born out of wedlock.’
It meant the end of the road for Kira and Damian, who were by then dealing with a more visceral tragedy: last June, Steve Bing fell to his death from the balcony of his rented 27th floor apartment in Los Angeles.
In previous months his behaviour had become increasingly erratic. Lisa recalls him cancelling 13 consecutive meetings with Kira —and she believes the onset of the pandemic was the final blow.
‘I think he was incredibly lost and isolated,’ says Lisa. ‘I can’t imagine ever in a million years taking the drastic measure that he took — but he must have been in so much pain.’
Bing’s death sent shockwaves around the world, compounded by the revelation that the man believed to be worth $600 million (£435 million) had in fact left an estate worth just $337,000 (£260,000).
A combination of generous charitable donations, debts and complex outstanding lawsuits against Steve’s estate had left him effectively insolvent.
‘After Steve died, Kira wrote Peter a letter and it was returned unopened,’ says Lisa.
‘Mary and her children have shown no interest either, but the greatest sadness here is that Peter Bing didn’t view this as an opportunity to get to know his grandchildren as a tribute to his son’s life. It’s a despicable reflection of how poorly a family can treat its own members.’
It’s a sentiment Damian — and Liz — sadly share.
Lookalikes: After an 18-month relationship with Bing, Liz gave birth to her son Damian in 2002