“Heated,” “Tense” Proceedings in Battle Over Cost of Hilary Duff’s Birthday Party

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In case you haven’t been closely following the domestic life of the Duff family, the parents of pop stars Hilary and Haylie Duff are getting divorced, a process that they have apparently been engaged in for many years.  The latest skirmish in that war is taking up court resources in Harris County, Texas.

It involves who is going to pay the $25,000 cost of Hilary Duff’s 21st birthday party.

According to the report, the couple has been separated for quite some time — Mr. Duff stayed in Houston when the rest of the family moved to L.A. over a decade ago.  He pays Mrs. Duff $10,000 a month in child support, which she described as “not even enough to pay my own bills” and definitely not enough to pay for the girls’ lifestyle, including the $25,000 birthday fest, which must be in that amount because that was the cost of Haylie’s a few years ago.

Asked whether Hilary, herself a multi-millionaire, would be upset if the full amount were not bestowed upon her, Susan Duff answered obliquely.  Hilary, she said, deserves “some kind of
recognition for a young life well-lived.”  And what reward for good living could be more appropriate than forcing your estranged father to pay $25,000 for a birthday party you could pay for yourself?

Everyone didn’t behave well at the hearing, during which Bob and Susan Duff sat at opposite ends of the courtroom, surrounded by lawyers, and did not speak to or look at each other.  (The girls were not in court.)  Their attorneys reportedly spent a lot of time shouting and one pounded his fist on the judge’s bench.  “I get very annoyed when he accuses me of lying,” Mr. Duff’s lawyer yelled. “Well, then, he should stop lying!” Mrs. Duff’s attorney yelled back.

Ultimately, Mr. Duff was arrested for contempt of court (he had sold some assets without court approval), and was taken away in handcuffs.  “This isn’t what I wanted,” said Susan.  (It wasn’t clear whether she meant “I didn’t want this” or “this is more than I could have hoped for.”)

As he enjoyed his ten days in jail, Bob Duff was probably comforted by the knowledge that the judge had ruled he only had to pay half of the $25,000 party cost.

Link: Houston Chronicle