Widow says HST case closed | AspenTimes.com

Widow says HST case closed

John ColsonAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN The widow of writer Hunter S. Thompson said Tuesday that a settlement has been reached in a lawsuit, although no formal evidence of the settlement was in local court records.The suit, which the celebrated writer’s former assistant Deborah Fuller filed last year, alleges that the Thompson estate owes her at least $100,000 in back wages for work she performed over more than 20 years of employment.The settlement, according to Thompson’s widow, Anita, did not involve the payment of money and “settled any future public battles between Deborah and the estate.” She said the settlement also involved certain letters between Fuller and her late husband.Although she would not go into specifics about the history of the dispute, Anita Thompson said, “We did settle. It’s [the settlement] designed to protect the estate and his [Hunter Thompson’s] reputation. Hunter didn’t owe anyone money.”The suit was in danger of dismissal by a local judge for lack of activity because the defense had never been formally served notice.Tuesday was the second deadline by 9th Judicial District Judge Dan Petrie set for the filing either of a settlement or of notice that the estate’s attorney, Hal Haddon, had been formally served with the lawsuit. The first deadline, at the end of December, had been pushed back when both sides agreed they were close to a settlement.But no settlement document had been filed as of 4 p.m. Tuesday, closing time for the Pitkin County courts, located in Aspen. According to the judge’s order, failure to file the documents would result in dismissal of the suit.Anita Thompson, now living and attending college in New York City, said she talked with Haddon on Tuesday and he indicated the settlement papers would be filed by the end of business that day.Fuller, who now lives in Minnesota, lived and worked at Owl Farm – Thompson’s Woody Creek property – from 1983 until 2004, when she left Thompson’s employ. Documents in the court file claimed that she went without pay when Thompson occasionally ran short of money. She claimed that Thompson promised he would make good on the debt when the money was available.Fuller declined to comment on the case. Thompson, the internationally known originator of the gonzo style of journalism and author of numerous books, shot himself to death on Feb. 20, 2005, in the kitchen at his home.Anita Thompson credited the attorneys in the case, along with one of her late husband’s friends, historian Doug Brinkley, with keeping tempers cool and creating an atmosphere amenable to reaching a settlement.”They taught me patience and forgiveness,” she said, adding, “There is peace in the kingdom.”John Colson’s e-mail address is jcolson@aspentimes.com