THE body of James Gandolfini wasn’t even cold before a bitter battle over his $70 million fortune exploded!
Insiders say that the mothers of the “Sopranos” star’s two young children – his ex-wife Marcy and his widow Deborah – are at war over the 51-year-old actor’s estate.
“There’s been bad blood brewing between Marcy and Deborah for years and it’s finally burst into public,” a source told The ENQUIRER.
“Deborah’s always hated Marcy for her savage attacks on James during their divorce. Marcy accused James of disappearing for days at a time to do drugs and of carrying on extramarital affairs with a number of women.
“And Marcy has thought Deborah was nothing but a gold digger who latched onto James after they split up.”
The Emmy-winning actor died on June 19 of an apparent heart attack on the bathroom floor of his $671-a-night suite at Rome’s posh Boscolo Exedra hotel.
As The ENQUIRER has reported, Gandolfini had downed a gut-busting final meal and at least eight alcoholic beverages before telling his 14-year-old son Michael that he felt ill.
Sources told us that the 6-foot-1 actor – who’s publicly admitted to battling booze and drug addictions – had ballooned to nearly 300 pounds. And before leaving on his overseas trip, he’d been warned by a doctor that he had to stop drinking and go on a strict diet.
GANDOLFINI IS SURVIVED BY Michael, his son with Marcy, and Liliana, his 8 – month- o l d daughter with Deborah. He and Marcy divorced in 2002, and he began dating Deborah, a former talent agent and model, in 2007. They married in 2008.
“Both Marcy and Deborah are determined to do what’s best for their children,” added an insider.
“There’s no question Michael will be well taken care of, but Marcy wants to make sure that Deborah isn’t going to get all James’ money for their daughter.
“They’ll battle over his estate, despite what James has set out in his will. The fact is, James has worked super hard since ‘The Sopranos’ and there’s a lot more money in his estate.” In addition to working steadily in films and on Broadway since “The Sopranos” ended its six-season run in 2007, Gandolfini also produced several TV projects. He’d completed a big-screen comedy and a crime drama, and was attached to the new HBO drama “Criminal Justice” before he died.
At stake in the estate battle are homes in Los Angeles and New Jersey, plus million-dollar properties in Manhattan and other real estate holdings. Gandolfini also had stakes in several restaurants.
As The ENQUIRER has reported, sources said Gandolfini’s marriage to Deborah was on the rocks, and he was desperate to reconcile with a former fiancee, Lora Somoza.
Although Deborah and Marcy stood together at Gandolfini’s June 27 funeral in New York, the source says: “About the only thing they agree on is their dislike for Lora. But in the end, they’ll fight to get what’s best for their kids.”