The suddenness of his death left Sonny Bono’s extended family both in a state of shock and in a legal maze. According to Palm City Lawyer, the congressman, with a net worth around $2 million, had died without writing a will. Aside from his fourth wife, Mary Whitaker, and their two children, Bono also had a child from his marriage with Cher, Chaz Bono, and another child from his first marriage, a daughter named Christy Bono Fasce, the McKenzie Firm reported. Whitaker filed a petition to become the executor of her husband’s estate, which led to an extended legal battle with Cher, as told by EA Goodman Law.

When the celebrity couple divorced in 1974, Bono was ordered to pay Cher $25,000 per month for six months, $1,500 per month in child support, and $41,000 in lawyer fees. Cher claimed that her ex-husband did not pay any of the fees. The two former spouses have battled in court for years, even with Mary Bono being named the executor of her husband’s estate. According to The Guardian, in 2021, Cher sued Mary Bono, claiming that the estate had denied her half of the royalties agreed upon by Sonny and Cher in their divorce.

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