The obituary writer for this filthy rich woman must have scratched his head so much that he’s gone bald.
Leona Helmsley and her Maltese Trouble before she barked her last.
For truly it’s not that easy to write something good about the “Queen of Mean,” US luxury hotelier and real estate billionare Leona Helmsley, when all angles of her face, her persona, her past show only ugliness.
Even in the afterlife, she lived up to her notoriety. In her last will made public last Tuesday in a New York City court, Helmsley left her beloved white Maltese dog, named Trouble, a $12 million trust fund – but two of her grandchildren got nothing.
Thus her dog will continue to live an opulent life.
She also left millions for her brother, Alvin Rosenthal, who was named to care for Trouble in her absence, as well as two of four grandchildren from her late son Jay Panzirer — so long as they visit their father’s grave site once each calendar year.
Otherwise, she wrote, neither will get a penny of the $5 million she left for each.
Helmsley left nothing to two of Jay Panzirer’s other children — Craig and Meegan Panzirer — for “reasons that are known to them,” she wrote.
But no one made out better than Trouble, who once appeared in ads for the Helmsley Hotels, and lived up to her name by biting a housekeeper.
“I direct that when my dog, Trouble, dies, her remains shall be buried next to my remains in the Helmsley mausoleum,” Helmsley wrote in her will.
The mausoleum, she ordered, must be “washed or steam-cleaned at least once a year.” She left behind $3 million for the upkeep of her final resting place in Westchester County, where she is buried with her husband, Harry Helmsley.
She also left her chauffeur, Nicholas Celea, $100,000.
She ordered that cash from sales of the Helmsley’s residences and belongings, reported to be worth billions, be sold and that the money be given to the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
Helmsley died earlier this month at her Connecticut home. She became known as a symbol of 1980s greed and earned the nickname “the Queen of Mean” after her 1988 indictment and subsequent conviction for tax evasion. One employee had quoted her as snarling, “Only the little people pay taxes.”
Hooray! The demons in hell now have a queen!