Rub the war criminal's belly three times and make a wish! Yes, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger took a little stumble this morning as he left the Manhattan State Supreme Court building. He had been testifying in the trial of Brooke Astor's son Anthony Marshall and his lawyer Francis Morrissey; the men are accused of looting Astor's fortune.
Kissinger said he believed Astor's mental faculties started to decline in 2001, when she was 99. He noted that in 2002, she gave a party for then-U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, but she didn't recognize Annan. Astor ended up asking Kissnger to make a toast for Annan, because she was at a loss. Prosecutors contend that Marshall and Morrissey made changes to her will in 2004, which she didn't understand and that they allegedly forged her signature.
Marshall's son Philip Marshall, who had accused his father of mishandling Astor's estate, was cross-examined by the defense and later told reporters, "If I could speak with my father, I would say, 'Please, try to plea bargain and seek forgiveness from your mother and those who love her.'" And Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter recalled a lunch where Astor kept asking him, "Where is Graydon Carter?"