Brooke Astor's son, Anthony Marshall, finally spoke out about his family drama. Last week, Marshall's own son, Philip, had charged that his father was mismanaging and neglectful of the 104 year old grand dame's care, asking that new guardians be appointed. Astor was moved into Lenox Hill Hospital for observation, and Anthony Marshall told reporters that he does care about her and has been a thoughtful guardian. (His son's affidavit claims his father skimped on medication and buying Astor clothing - and making her sit in a couch smelling of dog urine). Anthony Marshall's wife Charlene said, "Not everyone has a Park Avenue apartment. Not everyone has eight servants." Hmm, that is a good point, though it's Brooke Astor's money, so she can spend it however she wants. At any rate, Marshall added, “I was very touched and encouraged by the fact that my mother’s present state of age has brought attention to the need for care of elderly people. My mother always liked to spearhead a problem, whether it was within the New York community or throughout the nation. I’m happy she can still do what she did for years for the foundation, even if she doesn’t know it.”
Of course, keeping things interesting, besides accusations that a millionaire is being cheap towards the mother that gave him the money is all the other family history: How Charlene ran off with Anthony after being married to a Maine preacher for 21 years; how Philip and Anthony don't like each other; how Brooke never liked Charlene (she considered friend, socialite and now temporary guardian Annette de la Renta like a daughter). Some friends say Anthony Marshall is a good guy, while a neighbor says he's grouchy - "You say good morning to him, and he's just like, 'errgghh.'"
The Times has a more thorough explanation of the initial $60 million that Vincent Astor set aside for charity that became $195 million in donations that Brooke Astor oversaw. And when Anthony Marshall and his wife visited Astor at the hospital, bringing her flowers bought from a deli. Hey, the rich are just like us - they like bodega flowers too!