What was hoped to be a quick settlement has evolved into a drawn-out legal confrontation between director Tim Burton and his ex, Lisa Marie. The trial is set for August 12th, 2008.
Lisa Marie, 39, originally filed a lawsuit against the filmmaker in 2006.
Marie and Burton met in December 1991 and quickly moved in with one another. At that point, according to her complaint, the filmmaker promised to "share equally any and all property accumulated" and agreed to take care of her financial needs for the rest of her life.
Burton did assist Marie's career: the model appeared in four of his films -- Ed Wood in 1994, Mars Attacks! in 1996, Sleepy Hollow in 1999, and Planet of the Apes in 2001.
But while shooting their last film together, Marie's suit states, Burton dumped the model/actress for Helena Bonham Carter, who played the female lead in Apes. Bonham Carter and Tim Burton currently reside in England with their two children.
Lisa Marie's suit claims that while Burton and Bonham Carter pursued their romance, Marie felt "extremely depressed" for several months.
Marie, whose full name is Lisa Marie Smith, eventually received $2.7 million, but in 2004, she complained of a conspiracy preventing her from obtaining her fair share.
Burton fired back with his own petition, seeking a court declaration which would demand Marie abide by the original agreement.
You can read more details of the legal issue in this link.