- Sherra Wright spent $973,000 in the ten months since receiving her murdered husband's life insurance settlement
- The money was meant to provide for the couple's six children
- NBA star Lorenzen Wright's father, Herb Wright has launched a legal bid to control the money
- The ex-wife of NBA star Lorenzen Wright, who was murdered in mysterious circumstances in 2010, has spent almost all of the $1 million life insurance policy he took out on himself six months before his death.
Court documents revealed this week in Shelby County, Tennessee, show how Sherra Wright, 41, lavishly spent $973,000 of the settlement within 10 months of receiving it - even though the money was designated to support the couple's six children.
The fast and furious spree included $11,750 for a trip to New York, $69,000 on furniture and a $7,100 deposit on a swimming pool - causing a legal battle to be set off this week between Wright and her father-in-law over what's left in the estate of the Memphis basketball legend - who earned more than $55 million during his career.
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Sherra Wright, the ex-wife of slain NBA basketball player Lorenzen Wright, grieves at the casket of Wright during a memorial service at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee, in August 2010
NBA star Lorenzen Wright was found murdered at the age of 34 in Memphis, Tennessee and his wife Sherra Wright, 41, is now involved in a legal battle with his father over his sons estate
As part of Permanent Parenting Plan filed in January 2010 as part of her divorce against Lorenzen Wright, Sherra demanded that he take out a $1 million life insurance policy for the benefit of his sons and daughters in the event of his death.
The divorce was finalized in February 2010 and in July, Wright, who was 34 at the time of his death was found in a deserted area of southeast Memphis riddled with gunshots - the murder remains unsolved almost three years later.
Records show that Sherra spent $32,000 on a Cadillac Escalade, $339,000 to buy and improve a new house, $5,000 for lawn equipment, $180,000 in property expenses, $2,273 on 'spring outfits for girls' and almost $2,000 on birthday party and gifts for 'Lorenzen Jr.'
The spending report has triggered Lorenzen's father, Herb Wright, to launch a legal battle for control of his grandchildren's inheritance.
'She had no authority to spend that money like that,' said Ruby Wharton, Herb Wright's attorney to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
However, records show that Sherra Wright has spent the majority of the money on her children - a 5,300 square-foot-home, purchased in June is titled in a trust for her four sons and two daughters.
$973,000 in ten months: What did Sherra spend the money on?
$339,000 on new property which she placed in her children's name
$32,000 for a Cadillac Escalade:
$26,000 on a Lexus
$11,750 for a lavish trip to New York City
$7,500 for a new swimming pool as a deposit
$69,000 for new furniture in her home
$5,000 for a motorized lawnmower
The spending report, filed in September but only just now released publicly, caused Shelby County Probate Judge Robert S. Benham to begin investigation into the living circumstances of Wright's children.
The judge has also re-directed the $184,000 in death benefits the NBA pays out to the children and placed it under the control of Herb Wright for the benefit of the six kids - but froze the assets for the duration of the legal fight.
Countering the freezing of the NBA money, Sherra Wright has argued in legal filings that Herb wright has a history of mismanagement of his son's finances and recounted testimony in which he reportedly said last fall that he had 'no particular experience' in financial management and his involvement 'had been limited to writing checks and paying bills, at his son's direction.'
'He denied ever writing any checks from the account to himself or for his benefit, and he denied ever misappropriating any of his son's funds,' said Sherra Wright's attorney Aubrey L. Brown in the released court filings.
Herb Wright and Sherra Wright's multi-million dollar legal fight has become public after a court revealed new details about the NBA widow's extravagant spending
'He admitted that his son had discharged him and he had therefore ceased handling any of his son's financial matters before his son's death.'
However, despite the extravagant spending, the legal documents reveal that Sherra Wright and her children remain financially solvent, listing nearly $1.4 million in 'assets on hand' including significant investment properties in Arkansas.
At the time of his death, Wright was operating under a child support order requiring him to pay $16,650 a month in child support and another $10,000 a month in alimony, for a total of $319,000 a year.
The concerns over the spending stem back to the Permanent Parenting Plan that was filed in January 2010 along with Sherra Wright's divorce suit against Lorenzen Wright.
The divorce came through in February 2010 and on July 28th, Wright's decomposed body was discovered in southeast Memphis showing evidence of being shot multiple times.
Lorenzo Wright (42) was found dead on July 28th in Memphis after going missing nine days previous. At the beginning of the investigation Sherra Wright was a person of interest for the police - his murder is still unsolved
All State Insurance honored the policy 14-months ago in September 2011 and records reveal that her spending rocketed just one month after that.
While the death of Wright is still shrouded in mystery, at the time of the August 2010 of Lorenzen Wright, neighbors reported that Sherra Wright was seeemingly obsessed with money.
'She wouldn't talk in the house,' said neighbor Patricia Coleman.
'She would walk up and down the street and scream and holler. Neighbors would call and ask what's going on? She was always saying she needed money.'
In the aftermath of the case, Sherra became a person of interest for the police.
Homicide detective in Memphis searched her home over the summer of 2010 and focused on a fire pit in her backyard that was lit on July 19th - the night that Lorenzen Wright disappeared.
Patricia Coleman remembers seeing Sherra Wright in the back 'with another man'. Coleman told the New York Daily News, 'I thought it was strange because it was like one of the hottest days of the year.'