Wesley Henderson of Angel's Envy calls mother's lawsuit "baseless and defamatory"
On Monday, 71-year-old Cecilia Henderson filed a lawsuit against her son claiming he is withholding her share of the proceeds from the sale of the craft bourbon brand to Bacardi Limited earlier this year.
Cecilia Henderson is the widow of Lincoln Henderson, who created Angel's Envy with his son Wesley Henderson after retiring from a long career as master distiller for Louisville-based Brown Forman Corp.
Cecilia Henderson claims her son refuses to give her an accounting of her late husband's share of their 50-50 stake in Angel's Envy or to remit any of the money belonging to Lincoln Henderson, which she inherited.
"These claims all seem to be influenced by outsiders looking to capitalize on the family's recent success," according to the statement issued by public relations executive Bob Gunnell, spokesman for Wesley Henderson.
While Cecilia Henderson attempts in the complaint to play down her son's contributions to Angel's Envy, Gunnell pointed to a pair of interviews in which Lincoln Henderson attested to his son's role.
"(M)y son started this whole idea," Lincoln Henderson said in an interview with therewillbebourbon.net. "His name is Wesley Henderson and he is our COO. I had no idea that Wes ever wanted to do anything like this. But when I got close to retirement he started thinking about this and I'm glad he did."
In Madison Beer Review, Lincoln Henderson said he initially resisted the idea to create a new bourbon but his son "kept at it and got investors together to get the money to start making whiskey."
The full statement from Gunnell is as follows:
When Mr. Henderson received word of the complaint filed against him by his mother, Cecilia, he was both surprised and extremely saddened. The complaint includes numerous inaccuracies and misinterpretations all of which are baseless and defamatory. These claims all seem to be influenced by outsiders looking to capitalize on the family's recent success.
Since the time of his father's passing Wes has been working to ensure that the successes of the company continue well in to the future. Wes has remained committed to resolving any issues with his mother and providing for her future.
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