$100 million dispute embroils seasonal MDI family

The House of Stewart is stewing over a trust fund, which has resulted in one son filing a lawsuit against his multi-millionaire father.

We’re not talking about Martha Stewart, another season MDI resident who years ago had legal troubles of her own. We’re talking about the William P. Stewarts – Junior and his son (the 3rd) – who are no relation to Martha. The William P. Stewart family, through limited liability companies, owns residential waterfront properties on Somes Sound in Northeast Harbor.

An alert reader forwarded me a link to this NY Post article after reading my prior blog post, in which I mused about the current ownership of Scherherazade, a 154-foot superyacht owned by WPS Jr., an heir to the MetLife fortune. The article indicates that WPS III claims his dad looted his $100 million trust fund “to finance extravagances including a 154-foot yacht and sprawling pads in Sutton Place, Maine and Bermuda, according to court documents.”

The article suggest that WPS Jr. still owns the boat, which at one point this August was anchored in Somes Sound off Abel’s lobster pound and boat yard.

Aside from the attention he has received in the form of his son’s lawsuit and what the article describes as “a bitter divorce battle” between him and his then-wife Barbara in 2006, WPS Jr. has kept a low profile on MDI in recent years. As I’ve reported before, he used to throw lavish Fourth of July parties, complete with fireworks and live performances by Reba McEntire and Randy Travis, at his Northeast Harbor estate.

If you want to read more about the way the Stewart family imploded – and if you know how to read legalese – you can try your hand at this legal opinion posted at www.justia.com.

Also in my prior blog post, I wondered aloud who might own another superyacht, Meteor, which was spotted in Bar Harbor a couple of weeks ago. The same alert reader who sent me the link about the Stewart lawsuit also tipped me off about this online listing, which claims Meteor is jointly owned by businessmen John Risley and Daniel Meyers.

Bill Trotter

About Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors. He writes about fisheries, marine-related topics, eastern coastal Maine communities and more for the BDN. He lives in Ellsworth. Follow him on Twitter at @billtrotter.