Paul Walker's family did not get an advance courtesy call from law enforcement telling them they had determined the cause of Paul Walker's death ... and they're not happy.
Walker family sources tell TMZ, they feel totally betrayed by the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. ... the agency that conducted the probe.
The Sheriff's Dept. held a news conference Tuesday saying speed caused the crash -- not mechanical failure. The family found out through media reports.
The family says they've been waiting for months, and it's been very difficult preparing for the moment when they learned why Paul died. They say after such a long, emotional wait, they now feel shortchanged.
One family member learned of the results Tuesday on TV ... when the news ticker at the bottom of the screen unexpectedly rolled through. The family member says that was simply cold.
We reached out to the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. for comment -- so far, no word back.
Speed, Not Mechanical Failure, Caused Crash
3/25/2014 2:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker died as a result of speeding and not mechanical problems.
A source connected with the CHP -- which did the speed analysis -- tells TMZ ... Roger Rodas, the driver, was going between 80 and 93 MPH when he lost control going around a curve and crashed.
The Associated Press quotes a source from the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. -- the agency that conducted the mechanics analysis -- who says the crash was NOT the result of mechanical failure. Speed was the trigger for the fatal accident.
Investigators also noted the tires were 9 years old. Shortly after Paul died ... law enforcement sources told us they were the original tires on the car and they had hardened ... which means it lost traction on the road.
TMZ broke a story in December ... Porsche had issued a memo to its dealers 9 years ago warning them the 2004 Porsche Carrera GT could be dangerous to an untrained driver. The memo says the road surfaces need to be smooth, like a race track. The car is so sensitive, the memo says, "This vehicle cannot drive over a Foster beer can that is lying on its side."
Investigators say there was no evidence a second car was involved in the collision.
They also said an after-market exhaust system had been installed, which would have increased the engine's horsepower. According to investigators, the coroner's office determined neither Walker nor Rodas had alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of the crash.
TMZ broke the story ... Walker and Roger Rodas died Nov. 30 from a combination of the impact and fire.
During the investigation, German Porsche mechanics flew to L.A. to examine the car .... analyzing the Carrera GT's brakes, engine, body and a tire that wasn't destroyed in the fire.
Asked Mom to Care for Meadow
The Day He Died
3/21/2014 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Just hours before he died in a fiery car crash, Paul Walker told his mother he was too busy to properly care for his teenage daughter ... and asked her to become the girl's legal guardian ... TMZ has learned.
Sources close to the Walker family tell us ... Paul approached his mother, Cheryl, on November 30th and asked her to retire from her nursing job to take care of Meadow full-time.
Turns out Walker had been overwhelmed with his work schedule and couldn't juggle that with his parental responsibilities. So in August -- 3 months before he died -- Meadow moved in with Cheryl, who was working full time.
Paul hired a series of nannies to care for Meadow when Cheryl was on the job, but none of them worked out.
So finally ... on the morning of his death, Paul called Cheryl and said he had given up on the nanny search and wanted her to be a full-time, stay-at-home grandma. Cheryl agreed, and Paul then called other family members to inform them of his decision.
As we previously reported ... Meadow's biological mom has a serious drinking problem and Paul never considered her an option. Meadow had been living with her mom until 2011, when she moved in with Paul.
Cheryl has now filed formal papers to make her Meadow's legal guardian.
Paul Walker's Mom
My Granddaughter's Mom's an Alcoholic
I Want Guardianship
3/19/2014 5:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker's mother just filed court documents asking for guardianship of Paul's 15-year-old daughter ... because the real mom has a serious drinking problem.
Cheryl Walker claims in her docs -- obtained by TMZ -- Meadow and her mom, Rebecca Soteros, are already living with her but Rebecca can't care for her daughter because of her alcoholism.
As we previously reported ... Rebecca has 2 DUIs -- one in 2003 and another last year. We're told Meadow moved from Hawaii -- where Rebecca lived -- to live with Paul 3 years before he died because of her mom's problems with alcohol.
Cheryl says she's more than qualified -- she's raised 4 kids, she's a registered nurse and is a loving person.
Paul had said in his will he wanted his mom to be Meadow's guardian ... so this is clearly in line with what he wanted.
One other note ... the legal docs say Paul's estate is worth $16 MILLION ... a lot less than previously filed legal docs estimating his worth at around $25 mil.
Death Sunglasses Up for Auction
3/13/2014 6:49 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
If you love Paul Walker and no longer have a soul, then boy do we have the auction for you.
The sunglasses Walker was wearing on the day he died -- as well as a fire extinguisher that was allegedly used to try and save Walker's life -- are now up for auction on BidAMI.com.
The seller claims he was at the crash scene last November looking to help ... but cops kept him away. He nosed around once the wreckage was cleared ... and that's when he says he found the sunglasses in the bushes, though he says he didn't realize their significance until photos surfaced of Walker earlier in the day ... wearing the same glasses.
It is unclear how the seller acquired the fire extinguisher or a piece of debris from the crash, but they are both included in the auction as well.
As of this morning, there have been three bids and the price has reached $605.00 and eternal damnation.
Paul Walker's Dad
I'm the Money Man
2/20/2014 11:29 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker got his dying wish -- at least one of them -- TMZ has learned, his dad is now officially the executor of his estate ... just like Paul requested in his will.
A judge approved Paul's request to make his dad executor this morning in Santa Barbara court.
The entire family was there -- Paul's mom and dad, his 15-year-old daughter Meadow, and Meadow's mother Rebecca Soteros. The issue of Meadow's guardianship was not raised in court.
As we reported, Paul specified in his will that he wanted his mother Cheryl to become Meadow's guardian in the event of his death. He made no mention of Rebecca.
Meadow's guardianship will be determined at a later hearing -- for now, she's living with grandma.
I'm Hurtin' For Cash Because Of Paul Walker's Death
2/20/2014 7:31 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Ludacris can't afford to pay thousands of dollars in child support -- and he's blaming his financial woes on the death of his "Fast and Furious" co-star Paul Walker.
Ludacris was in court Wednesday with his baby mama, Tamika Fuller ... who's demanding Luda pay her $15K a month to take care of his 2-month-old baby daughter, Cai.
But Luda went to court and told the judge ... he was counting on "Fast and Furious 7" money to make his payments, and the movie is now on hold so his payday went away.
Luda claims he can only pay $1,800 a month -- confessing he only made around $55K for 2013.
The judge split the baby down the middle, ordering Luda to pay 7K a month for now ... while hizzoner reviews all the financial docs.
By the way ... Tyrese also claimed relative poverty in his child support case because of Walker's death.
Paul Walker's Baby Mama
Big Drinking Problems
2/7/2014 12:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The mother of Paul Walker's 15-year-old daughter appears to have serious alcohol issues -- TMZ has learned, she was arrested for DUI in August and that wasn't her only one -- and it's a major reason why Meadow moved away from her mom to live with Paul.
Rebecca Soteros was first arrested for DUI in 2003 in Orange County. She pled guilty and was sentenced to 3 years probation.
History repeated itself last year, when Soteros was arrested again for DUI in Hawaii. That case is ongoing.
Sources close to the family tell TMZ ... Rebecca's drinking has been an ongoing issue for years. Paul's daughter Meadow called her famous dad in 2011 and pleaded to let her move to L.A. and live with him. He happily obliged, because we're told Paul and Rebecca had countless arguments for years over her drinking problems.
Since Paul's death Meadow has been living with Paul's mom, Cheryl, who will almost certainly be appointed guardian.
Will Had BIG Mistake
But In Death It All Works Out
2/5/2014 11:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker's will was poorly drafted ... making it SEEM like he wanted his mom to wrestle parental control of his daughter from his baby mama-- yet in a strange twist of events, the will now reflects exactly what Paul would have wanted.
Paul's will was drafted back in 2001 ... and it makes his mother Cheryl the legal guardian of Meadow. It reeks of a family feud because there's no mention of Meadow's mother Rebecca Soteros.
The guardianship clause doesn't make sense ... because at the time the will was drafted Meadow lived with her mom in Hawaii .... and sources close to Paul say he was happy with the arrangement when he signed the will.
Now the twist of fate. Three years ago Meadow moved to Southern California to live with her dad and Rebecca stayed in Hawaii. Meadow wants to continue living in So. Cal. and Rebecca is fine with it ... she will continue to live in the Aloha state.
So now it makes complete sense for Paul's mom Cheryl to become the guardian of Meadow.
As TMZ first reported ... Paul's father -- executor of the will -- has petitioned the court to make Paul's mom guardian of Meadow. Cheryl will also be the trustee of Paul's $25 million estate -- which will eventually go outright to Meadow.
So ... Father did know best.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Long-time Partner Makes Final Plans
2/4/2014 3:26 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Philip Seymour Hoffman's longtime partner came out of seclusion Tuesday ... to make plans for the actor's funeral.
Mimi O'Donnell went to the funeral home on New York's Upper East Side to make arrangements for Friday's service. She was accompanied by Hoffman's personal assistant.
Hoffman and O'Donnell were together 15 years and had three kids. There are unconfirmed reports the two split recently.
We're told the funeral will be small and private -- for family and close friends.
Paul Walker's Will
$25 Million Estate
2/4/2014 12:50 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker was worth $25 million when he died and there seems to be some possibility of a family conflict ... this, based on new documents obtained by TMZ.
We've obtained a copy of Paul Walker's will. Walker left his entire estate -- $25 mil -- to his 15-year-old daughter Meadow.
Paul's dad -- the named executor -- filed Paul's will with the court. Paul's dad has petitioned the court to appoint Paul's mother -- Cheryl -- guardian of Meadow. What's more, Paul's dad wants Cheryl to be the guardian of the $25 mil. This is exactly what Paul wanted under the will.
Now Meadow lives with her mom, Rebecca Soteros. If Paul gets his last wish, grandma will become Meadow's guardian. It's unclear if Rebecca approves, but it's definitely strange that Paul wanted his mom to be guardian since Meadow lives with Rebecca.
A court hearing is scheduled for later this month.
Paul Walker Dragged Into Nasty Custody Battle
2/1/2014 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Tyrese Gibson claims his baby mama is using Paul Walker's death to shame him in their child custody war ... TMZ has learned.
Norma Gibson filed court docs claiming Tyrese is a bad dad, who should have stayed in L.A. to spend time with their 6-year-old daughter after Paul Walker's death ... because he had time on his hands since "Fast & Furious 7" was put on hold.
Norma says Tyrese blew off his little girl, choosing instead to go "gallivanting throughout Dubai ... staying in expensive hotels ... partying on yachts, sky-diving with other movie stars, driving expensive cars, and making special appearances in night clubs."
But sources close to Tyrese say he's indignant Norma is using Paul ... and he went to Dubai on business. He had 4 gigs and he needed the money -- ironically to pay the child support Norma was demanding.
The court battle rages on later this month ... when they each try and convince a court-appointed child evaluator who's good and who's evil.
Shaken to the Core
Over Surprise Paul Walker Tribute in Dubai
1/8/2014 9:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Tyrese Gibson nearly broke down today in Dubai ... after coming across an unexpected Paul Walker tribute that left him speechless ... and he just posted the extremely emotional footage online.
Warning: it's a real tear jerker.
As we reported, Tyrese -- who starred alongside Walker in the "Fast & Furious" movies -- has taken the actor's death extremely hard. A day after Walker died, Tyrese burst into pained tears at the crash site and has spoken at length ever since about the impact Paul has had on his life.
Walker was killed November 30th when the Porsche he was riding in skidded off the road at high speed and crashed into a tree.