In honor of the holiday season, let’s talk about some really, really rich people, for a minute, shall we? That is, if you can focus on this article above the clamor of the 99% outside your office.
Huguette Clark was born in 1906 to the William A. Clark family, one of the most prosperous families of the post-reconstruction Gilded Age. She was up there with the Vanderbilts and the Rockefellers, and if she lived on the Upper East Side today, she totally would’ve been a contender for Blair Waldorf’s court of minions.
When the reclusive heiress died in 2011, she left behind a fortune of over $400 million. She didn’t have friends or much family left — in fact, in the final decades of her life, she gave up her home (a 42-room house that was the largest home on 5th Ave) to live at a Manhattan hospital, where she preferred to be undisturbed. While living at the hospital, she (and those authorized to use her accounts) spent about $1 million per month.
Now, her remaining family has filed court papers, because though Clark penned a will in March of 2005 leaving her fortune to 21 relatives, she also wrote a will just six weeks later. The second will leaves nothing to her family, $300 million to arts-related charitable causes and $34 million to her nurse.
Her family accuses her attorney Wallace Bock and accountant Irving Kamsler of “plundering” her fortune. Both were left $500,000 and the 24-acre Santa Barbara estate where she lived as a child, to serve as a headquarters for her arts foundation, which they were to execute. According to the Huffington Post, the family feels that Bock and Kamsler had “improper influence” over Clark. They feel “that a very significant member of their family should have fallen
victim, it appears, to the greed of persons who had put themselves in a
position of trust with their great-aunt.”
We think this would all make an excellent Lifetime movie.