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Irsay’s Widow Yields on Colts

December 6, 1997

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ The widow of the late Indianapolis Colts owner Robert Irsay agreed Friday to an out-of-court settlement in her $13 million suit against the NFL team and the executors of her late husband’s estate, including his son Jim Irsay.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, her attorney said, but the executors will have no interest in Nancy Irsay’s Sweet Charity horse farm and she will have no financial interest or affiliation with the Colts.

``I’m really not at liberty to say any more about the terms of the settlement,″ attorney Martha Starkey said. ``The parties have agreed to keep all the terms of the settlement confidential.″

Jim Irsay, now the team owner, was on his way to New York for the Colts’ game against the Jets on Sunday and could not be reached for comment.

``All I want to say is I think it’s a very fair settlement for all of us. I’m certainly very happy with it,″ Nancy Irsay told television station WTHR. ``What I’m really happy about is that we can all get on with our lives, which is what my husband Bob wanted in the first place.″

Starkey said the feud is settled, except for ``some follow-up matters the next few days.

``The parties have agreed to dismiss all pending litigation,″ she said.

Jim Irsay assumed ownership of the team after his father’s death last January, more than a year after he suffered a massive stroke. In September, Nancy Irsay, his father’s second wife, filed suit against the team and executors, claiming they conspired to interfere with her inheritance.

At the time, Starkey said, the elder Irsay left a trust in which Nancy Irsay was to receive a certain amount of money within 30 days of his death and other property immediately, which she had not received.

At the time of Irsay’s death, Michael Chernoff, the Colts’ executive vice president and chief financial officer, said Irsay’s will assigned the distribution of his assets to a trust overseen by the five trustees, including Jim Irsay and Chernoff.

The will provided Nancy Irsay all of the couple’s home furnishings, automobiles, jewelry and personal effects. A prenuptial agreement filed in Hamilton County Superior Court also gave Mrs. Irsay $750,000, the couple’s 38.6-acre Carmel property, at least $250,000 in term life insurance, the couple’s Chicago condominium, and four tickets to a suite in the RCA Dome for all the Colts’ home games.

It was not known whether any of these were included in Friday’s settlement.

Ownership of the Colts remained with Robert Irsay in a divorce settlement with his first wife, Jim Irsay’s mother. Both Nancy Irsay and Jim Irsay filed suit to gain control of the rest of his estate after the stroke.

Most of Irsay’s assets, including the Carmel home, were transferred to a trust fund, but Nancy Irsay claimed she wasn’t kept informed about her husband’s financial matters and didn’t like the way his money was handled by the trustees.

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