Thursday, June 23, 2011

Heiress Huguette Clark died at age 104 and leaves $400M to charity

Reclusive heiress Huguette Clark died at age 104 in May.

Reclusive heiress Huguette Clark died at age 104 in May.

Reclusive Manhattan copper heiress Huguette Clark stiffed her relatives in her will, leaving the bulk of her $400 million fortune to charity - and a whopping $33 million to her nurse.

Clark, who died May 24 at Beth Israel Medical Center at the age of 104, also left $500,000 each to her lawyer, Wallace (Wally) Bock, 79, and her accountant, Irving Kamsler, 64, a convicted sex offender. The Manhattan district attorney's office is investigating Bock and Kamsler for possibly mishandling her riches.

"I intentionally make no provision in this, my Last Will and Testament, for any members of my family, whether on my paternal or maternal side, having had minimal contacts with them over the years," Clark wrote in her will filed yesterday in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Clark's will was executed in April 2005, when she was 98 and purportedly of sound mind.

The closest person to a relative to benefit from Clark's last wishes was goddaughter Wanda Styka, who was bequeathed $12 million after taxes.

But nurse Hadassah Peri, who had been randomly assigned in 1991 by an agency to take care of Clark, was the most bountiful beneficiary.

"I was her private duty nurse, but also her close friend," Peri, 60, an immigrant of the Philippines and a married mother of three, said through a spokesman.

"I knew her as a kind and generous person with whom I shared many wonderful moments and whom I love very much," added Peri, who saw Clark every day for 20 years. "I am profoundly sad at her passing, awed at the generosity she has shown me and my family."

Peri of Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, whom Clark already gave $2 million to buy four homes, also received the millionairess' extensive collection of French and Japanese dolls.

"Just as Madame Clark demonstrated kindness toward others in her actions, so, too, will I and my family devote a substantial portion of this bequest toward making the world a better place for all people," Peri added.

Her longtime assistant and her physician were also left generous inheritances.

But Anthony Ruggiero, 81, who has taken care of Clark's 52-acre New Canaan, Conn., estate for 21 years, was left a measly year's salary, about $15,000.

"If this isn't being hung out to dry, I don't know what is," Ruggiero's son, Anthony Jr., 56, told the Daily News. Ruggiero, who helped his dad take care of Clark's property, said they both live on the estate but will have to move because it is being sold.

Clark, who had no children, was the daughter of former U.S. Sen. William Andrews Clark, a Montana copper mining king.


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