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Don Cornelius

Ex-Wife Scores Huge

Life Insurance Payout

2/1/2012 1:27 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Viktoria Chapman Cornelius
Don Cornelius
died with 2 life insurance policies worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the ex-wife he hated will get all the money ... TMZ has learned.

Don's breakup with Viktoria Chapman Cornelius was brutal. He was convicted of domestic abuse and, according to him, she pepper sprayed him multiple times.

During the divorce in 2009, Don said in legal docs obtained by TMZ, 'I am 72 years old. I have significant health issues. I want to finalize this divorce before I die."

The divorce was indeed finalized later that year, but there's a provision in the settlement agreement that says Don must make Viktoria the beneficiary of both of his life insurance policies -- totaling around $300,000 in benefits.

Under California law, if a policyholder commits suicide within 2 years of the time the policy is issued, the company can deny payment. But Don had the policy for more than 2 years, so Viktoria -- the woman he despised -- will get the loot.


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I agree with you.

956 days ago


Most insurance policies do pay out for suicide, but not for a few years after it's taken out. So if his policy said two years,like the article states....then it's her money. Guess he should have read the fine print.

956 days ago

Sam Miller    

From Soul Train to Hell Train. Hey Don, how hot is it down there you wife beater? LMFAO!!!

956 days ago


TMZ is correct guys the 2 year rule does apply, i sale insurance to banks and have for 10 years. before you call someone dumb or retarded make sure you know the business...smh

955 days ago


Whats with all these White Wife Trophies from Black successful dudes? should be getting down with the black beautiful sisters and not be giving money to the white trophy wives!

953 days ago


look at that 90 year old reptile Larry King and his wife- who looks like his great grandaughter- and Howard Stern- who divorced his wife who actually married him for him- not his money andmarried a model who would not have even wasted her spit on him if he wasnt loaded- And Stern used to make fun of Larry King for these old and uglymen actually believe these young golddiggers love them?? Stern and King are laughing stocks

952 days ago


300k is not huge money to people in that life.

952 days ago


I feel bad for his son who hopefully is left with something.Don's ex wife looks hispanic which is the new white! He really should have read the clause on his insurance papers before signing. Also 300K is all she gets big deal he was worth way more perhaps his son will get the real money because thats nothing.I really am not sure he killed himself he may have been forced to call his son or write him with that info. I am pretty sure his Hispanic ex wife is related to some mexican gang members maybe even mexican mafia who would do a hit they hate blacks after all most hispanics have gang members in their families.

952 days ago


I was truly sad to hear about Don's death. I am from Chicago and started watching Soul Train from it's inception when the dancers were youngsters from the West Side of Chicago. We were so proud when Don moved to Calif with the show.

What makes me even sadder is that with all the struggles, trials and tribulations he had to go through to achieve his success, he chooses a white "trashy looking" woman to be on his arm. She probably had no education, brought nothing to the table-just a white women who showed her boobs on every pic of the two of hem togeter.

I'm sure he realized what a mistake he made, after all he had accomplished. To make it worse, she was going to get a portion of the wealth he had worked so hard to obtain.

It personally annoys me that the pattern of successful black men is to choose white women to marry or pair with white women who have nothing to offer, when they wouled not marry or pair with a black women who has the same qualities-or in this case non-qualities. I wonder if Don thought about this at the end.

In any case, Don you can now rest in peace. In spite of your choices, I still loved you and the show. Valarie

948 days ago


in the state of california, life insurance will get paid out after 2 years and a suicide. the theory behind this is, if you don't kill yourself with in the first two years, then you won't do it.

948 days ago


Life Insurance don't pay when the holder commit suicide .....

948 days ago


Stories like this are just so TACKY. It is not our business to know finances of the Rich and FAMOUS. Remember the days when such information wasn't spoken about. It's bad enough this gentleman died the way he did.

Just sad.

947 days ago

Cali Girl    

Pepper spray???!!! My question is so was it ACTUALLY suicide OR is it likely that she MuRDER him? LA police dept is who is LAME!

947 days ago


she earned every penny.and more.

945 days ago

Morrey Cee    

For life insurance, 100% of Life Insurance Companies pay on any policy that has been in effect (for suicide) 24 months.
The only exception being Graded Benefit Life policies, which usually pay after 3 years.

930 days ago
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