Peter Falk's Daughter Says She Was Banned From His Funeral
Catherine Falk is devastated, and not just because she is mourning the death of her legendary father, actor Peter Falk.
Banned from attending her father's funeral, Catherine told INSIDE EDITION, "I've been filled with so many different emotions, so much anger, so much sadness, so much pain. I am in a state of shock."
Falk was one of America's most beloved actors, famous for portraying the bumbling but brilliant Detective Colombo.
Now, his daughter is speaking to INSIDE EDITION exclusively about how she was kept away from her dad in his final years. Catherine said she didn't even find out her father died until hours later.
"How would you feel if you had to hear from the media, or hear from an attorney that your dad passed away?" a grieving Catherine asked.
Catherine was adopted by Falk and his first wife, but things were often rocky between father and daughter. They became estranged after Catherine filed a lawsuit against her father after he reportedly stopped paying her college expenses.
"I think that most people feel that I am this money-grubbing daughter, that I'm just going after my dad to get money," said Catherine.
But Catherine blames their problems on Falk's second wife, Shera, who she said constantly sought to divide them.
"My father was married to a woman that made it really difficult for my father to feel free. We weren't allowed to go to his house," Catherine commented.
Still, Catherine said she and her dad reconciled.
"There were definitely bumps in the road, but we had reconciled and I had a very loving relationship with him. I adored him, he adored me," she said.
Catherine was heartbroken when she saw photos of her dad wandering around Beverly Hills looking disheveled and disoriented, his belly protruding from under his shirt. It was later revealed that Falk had Alzheimer's, and Catherine took his wife to court to try to take control of his affairs. She lost.
Now, Catherine says the ultimate betrayal was being denied the right to say goodbye.
Her attorney, Troy Martin, sent letter after letter to Shera's attorney, asking when and where the funeral would be. The response was to deny them any information, stating, "Peter's final resting place is only about Peter, not Catherine, his estranged adopted daughter."
Falk was buried at the famed Westwood Memorial Park, alongside stars such as Caroll O'Connor and Jack Lemmon.
INSIDE EDITION went with Catherine to the newly covered grave, where she said her goodbyes to her famous dad. It eased some of the pain of being banned from his funeral.
"There's a sense of calmness and closure. I'm so happy now to know where he is," Catherine said.
INSIDE EDITION contacted Peter Falk's widow for a comment and our call was not returned.