Was Huguette Clark Crazy?
Executors of the copper heiress’s estate seeking the return of $105 million in gifts the late recluse gave to doctors and hospital employees claim she was not all there mentally.
Attorney John Morken, executor of her estate, said in court papers that when she left her Fifth Avenue apartment in 1991 and was admitted to hospital she “was an eccentric recluse living in chaos and in an old, soiled bathrobe and weighed 75 pounds.”
She was “incapacitated,” Morken said.
But according to Beth Israel Hospital officials, Clark, who died at the hospital at 104 in 2011, was sane enough, for instance, to follow the stock market and the 2000 Bush-Gore election recount, according to the New York Post.
As executor, Morken is going after funds on behalf of Clark’s distant relatives, who won $34.5 million in a will dispute earlier this year.
The dispute is now in the hands of a New York Surrogate’s Court judge.
True, she spent the last 20 years of her life in a hospital room rather than in her luxurious Fifth Avenue apartment or at her hilltop Santa Barbara mansion, but she was in “full control of her affairs,” an attorney for the hospital countered.
Clark Tax Bill
Meanwhile, the tax man has been busy at Clark’s hilltop Bellosguardo estate on East Beach. According to my sources, the annual tax assessment jumped from $2,131,000 in 2011, when she died, to $46,818,000 last year.
The resulting tax bill climbed from $22,295 to the present $491,000, my sources say. Adding maintenance and other costs, the annual budget is pushing $1 million, my sources estimate.