Gary Player is one of the best golfers of all time, having won the Masters and British Open three times each. His memorabilia, name, likeness, and logos are worth millions. Player, unfortunately, is having issues with his relatives who he contends are stealing from him.
Player, who is 87 years old, has previously sued his son, Marc, in a Florida court for selling his memorabilia without his permission. He has now also sued his grandson, Damian, who is Marc’s son. Gary Player previously contended that his son has sold at auction, against his wishes, his 1974 Masters tournament trophy for $523,483, his South African Open trophy for $48,841, 1965 U.S. Open irons for $17,947, and his golf shoes from his 52nd Masters for $1,171.
In the newest lawsuit, he contends that his grandson, Damian, is trying to find buyers for collectibles owned by Gary Player, as well as having sold or help sell Rolex watches for which he received “significant sums of money.”
Gary Player said, “I would like to draw the public’s attention to the fact that several trophies and other pieces of memorabilia that form part of my legacy have been put up for sale by my son and ex-manager, Marc. These items belong to me and I have taken action to recover them. I have placed no items for sale — whether by auction or otherwise.”
Having handled many lawsuits involving family members (including a lawsuit involving professional tennis player Anna Kournikova suing her parents), I recognize the difficulty and the emotional impact of these types of lawsuits. Indeed, Player’s attorney appropriately said, “Only with the greatest reluctance and after many years of trying to avoid this did Gary have to enforce his rights in this way.”
There are many discreet issues that must be carefully considered when suing family members or friends that may not be present in other business-related lawsuits. We at Cotzen Law can discuss these issues with you, understanding the difficult quandaries that you may be facing in determining whether to sue a loved one.