September 01, 2006

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Kissel kids sue

The 3 Kissel children have filed legal actions against Nancy Kissel. Articles below the jump.

SCMP: Kissel children sue mother over murder

Nancy Kissel's three children have filed a claim against her for the wrongful death of their father, almost one year from the day she was sentenced to life for his murder. Another writ was also lodged in the High Court on Wednesday by the family lawyer on behalf of Robert Kissel's estate.

The Kissel trial was one of Hong Kong's most sensational, featuring accusations by Nancy that Robert, a high-flying Merrill Lynch banker, was a frequent cocaine and alcohol user who subjected her to regular beatings. She was accused of drugging her husband with a "milkshake" of sedatives before slamming him over the head with an ornament in November 2003. While admitting to the crime, she claimed she was only acting in self-defence. The prosecution alleged Kissel wanted to remove her husband so she could run away with her TV repairman lover, Michael Del Priore.

Kissel has apparently been working with her lawyers on her appeal against the sentence, which is due later this year. Her lawyers did not return calls to confirm how close the appeal was from court.

Kissel's friends say she is putting on a brave face in the wake of the latest twist in the saga. A friend of Nancy's, who also knew Robert, said she felt strongly that her trial was a "travesty of justice". A friend said she felt the press coverage of her trial was "badly biased" towards the opinions of her husband's father, William. "She feels that in the April 2006 death of Robert's older brother Andrew, there are clues to the true character of her late husband," the friend said. "She suggests this is not a story of a bad brother and a good brother ... but an evil brother and a slightly less evil younger one."

Andrew, 46, was found dead in the basement of his home two days before he was due to appear in a US court to plead guilty to a multimillion-dollar embezzlement.

According to Robert Kissel's high school sweetheart, Carol Horton, his sister Jane Clayton and her husband recently bought a bigger house to accommodate their enlarged family, which now includes the Kissel children, whom they were granted custody of last year. But Mrs Clayton has no access to her brother's estate, she said.

"The kids are doing really well. They have settled in and made lots of friends in their new schools. The eldest daughter, Elaine, has taken up a job as a babysitter on the weekends. They are all involved in after-school activities, sports and dance," Mrs Horton said.

Kissel family patriarch William, who lives in Florida, visited his daughter in Seattle often, Mrs Horton said, but was still having a hard time coping with the loss of both his sons. A former colleague of Robert Kissel hopes the writs never make it to court "for the children's sake".

"They are going to want to put this behind them as much as they possibly can," he said.

SCMP: Legal action taken to beat deadline

The two writs lodged yesterday were not supposed to be acted on straight away, according to a partner at law firm Haldanes. Rather, they were aimed at staving off a looming deadline for the commencement of legal action, said David Hoare, solicitor for the family of Robert Kissel.

Under Hong Kong law, civil proceedings must be launched within three years of a person's death. "Basically these are protection writs," Mr Hoare said, adding they allowed parties to sue later.

"My instructions are not to progress the claims any further at this stage while [Nancy Kissel's] appeals are yet to be finalised." The writ on behalf of the children, Elaine, Hannah and Reis, was filed by their aunt Jane Kissel Clayton and seeks damages under the Fatal Accidents Ordinance. That law allows the dependants of a dead person to sue the person responsible for their death.

The second writ was filed under Robert Kissel's name because an executor has yet to be appointed to his estate in Hong Kong.

That writ was filed in order to preserve the claim over the late banker's estate, thought to be worth many millions.

The Standard: Kissel kids in damages lawsuit

Nancy Kissel is back in the news, with three of her children suing her for damages through their aunt, Jane Clayton, the sister of murdered banker Robert Kissel. Nancy Kissel is serving a life sentence for the murder of her husband in 2003. Last year her trial gripped Hong Kong for months and commanded strong media attention with its lurid details of drugs, sex, bizarre behavior and brutality. The verdict was delivered, and Kissel sentenced, in September.

This week's civil lawsuit was filed in the High Court Wednesday and made available to the public Thursday.

Through Clayton, Nancy and Robert Kissel's five-year-old son Reis and their two daughters, eight-year-old June and 11-year-old Elaine, are seeking damages under the Fatal Accidents Ordinance.

Under that law, if death is caused by a wrongful act, "an action for damages may be brought for the benefit of the dependents of the deceased against the person who would have been liable" - that is, their mother Nancy Kissel.

A second lawsuit, also filed Wednesday, seeks damages against Kissel on behalf of her murdered husband.

On November 3, 2003, Kissel served her husband a sedative-laced milkshake before bludgeoning him to death and wrapping his body in a carpet to hide in a storage room.

Kissel, who is serving her sentence at the Tai Lam Center for Women in the New Territories, has 14 days to contest the claim.

According to the writ, Jane Clayton lives in Washington state in the United States.

posted by Simon on 09.01.06 at 08:10 AM in the Kissel category.


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Where in NJ did the Kissel brother grow up?

posted by: djtreat on 10.01.06 at 10:05 AM [permalink]

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