The only good thing about the battle over Brooke Astor's estate that is taking place in Westchester Surrogate Court is that Astor herself does not have to be privy to it. Her son Anthony Marshall accused custodians of the estate, Astor's friend Annette de La Renta and JP Morgan Chase, of a "malicious jihad." de la Renta and Chase were appointed to oversee the estate after there were some questions about whether Astor's will was improperly changed to Marshall's benefit, but now Marshall wants a new and impartial guardian.
According to the Daily News, Marshall accuses Chase of "criminality" in questioning his tax payments and a $5 million gift from his mother, to which Chase responded, "We took appropriate steps under the law. That's not because we hate Anthony Marshall." And the Post reports he claims de la Renta refused to let him see his mother shortly before her death.
Most heartless and hostile was Ms. de la Renta's refusal to allow Charlene to see my mother with me on the Saturday night before her death on Monday, when we thought she was going to die and she was given the last rites. When I asked her personally that night to allow Charlene and me some final moments with my mother... she emphatically refused
Of course, Marshall buried Astor secretly, so it's tit for tat, no?
Marshall also questions de la Renta's motives, because she had previosly said Astor has been mentally unfit to understand more recent changes to the will, yet she was given a number of pieces of jewelry; Marshall's filing said, "It is apparently Ms. de la Renta's contention that... Mrs. Astor recovered for enough time to make this gift to her." de la Renta's lawyer said his client's "only interest is to see to it as much as she is able that her dear friend Mrs.Astor's true wishes are carried out."
Photographs of Anthony and Charlene Marshall, and Oscar de la Renta, Annette de la Renta, and David Rockefeller by Louis Lanzano/AP