James Tupper scolded by judge in court amid estate battle with Anne Heche's son
A judge denied actor James Tupper's petition to be named his son's guardian ad litem during a tense courthouse hearing in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
As part of a legal back and forth pertaining to the late Anne Heche's estate, Tupper and his son Atlas, 13, whom he shared with Heche, reported to court to figure out next steps in their ongoing dispute against Heche's other son Homer Laffoon, 20, over who will control the late star's assets and be appointed guardian ad litem of Atlas.
The court found that Tupper did not present enough evidence to halt Laffoon from becoming his half-brother's guardian ad litem, much to the dismay of the Big Little Lies actor, who was reprimanded after he shook his head in disapproval following Judge Lee Bogdanoff's declaration that, according to PEOPLE, "We're not here to pick the best person. I'm here to decide if he's qualified, or disqualified."
Jesse Grant/Getty Images A judge denied actor James Tupper's petition to be named his son's guardian ad litem during a tense courthouse hearing in Los Angeles on Tuesday
Bogdanoff did not take too kindly to Tupper's mannerisms. "Why are you shaking your head? It's very disrespectful," he said to Tupper. "Don't shake your head at me — ever if you're going to appear again. Please take your hands out of your pockets, sir. You wanna say something?" A startled Tupper replied, "Sure. I don't feel that his older brother is going to look out for him."
Tupper claimed that he and Atlas have been unable to gain access to Heche's apartment to retrieve items, including clothing and Atlas' computer. Tupper's attorney Christopher Johnson also claimed that Laffoon has not been communicating with his half-brother and denied him access into Heche's apartment. "The issue is the way he's treated Atlas so far," Johnson said, arguing that Laffoon should not be appointed guardian.
"We've waited two months to get into the apartment," Tupper said.
Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images Anne Heche and James Tupper
Laffoon, Heche's son with former partner Coleman Laffoon, filed an opposition to Tupper's request to be granted Atlas' guardian last week. He claimed that Tupper has "conflicts of interest" and the appointment would "harm" the interests of Atlas. "Dependent upon Mr. Tupper's intentions and actions regarding these funds, it may be necessary for the Estate to institute legal proceedings against Mr. Tupper for the ultimate benefit of [Atlas]," the filing, obtained by PEOPLE, read. "As such, Mr. Tupper has an actual conflict of interest with [Atlas] regarding these funds."
Attorneys for Tupper and Laffoon didn't immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
Heche died in August from injuries sustained in a fiery car crash in Los Angeles. She was 53.