LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Tony Hsieh’s longtime assistant and friend, Jennifer “Mimi” Pham, has agreed to pay his estate to settle all claims she made for part of the former Zappos CEO’s wealth, court documents filed Thursday said.
Pham and her boyfriend, Roberto Grande, had filed several creditors’ claims, asking a judge to grant them millions as part of contracts with several businesses.
Hsieh died in a house fire in November 2020 in Connecticut. He was 46. Last year, a judge named his father and brother as special administrators to his estate, since the entrepreneur did not have a will.
As part of a settlement filed Thursday, Pham and Grande will pay the Hsieh estate $750,000 to settle all claims.
Pham’s claims had totaled more than $130 million. The settlement indicates she will have to pay the state instead. No other details about why are indicated in court documents.
In the two lawsuits filed in February, Pham claimed she was owed some of Hsieh’s “vast fortune” for work she performed on his behalf, documents said. The lawsuits estimated Hsieh’s wealth at $840 million.
According to the lawsuits, the duo was so close, Hsieh used Pham’s cell phone as his own.
A judge must sign off on the settlement.
Hsieh’s family claims some people in his inner circle allowed him to enter into contracts even as his health deteriorated due to longtime substance misuse, court records said. In court filings, Hsieh’s family said he suffered from social anxiety.
The family writes in court documents that Hsieh used “alcohol as a social lubricant to alleviate his social anxiety.” The family also said doctors prescribed Hsieh with Adderall, Xanax and Ambien.
While Hsieh lived in Las Vegas, he had bought up several properties and was living most of the last year of his life in Park City.
In November 2019, Hsieh’s family said he began to experiment with ketamine, which in high doses can lead to hallucinations, they said. Soon after, Hsieh began to misuse ketamine, causing “Tony to suffer from disorganized delusions and delusions of grandeur,” they write in court documents. One example the family gives is Hsieh’s belief that all humans were living in a simulation called the “simulation hypothesis.”
A spokesperson for Hsieh’s family has repeatedly declined to comment on the ongoing legal matters.