Friday, June 24, 2011

Huguette Clark leaves big bucks to nurse Hadassah Peri

"Huguette Clark, Manhattan billionaire recluse, leaves £21m for nurse"

Hadassah Peri looked after copper-mining heiress from 1991 until her death and became a friend and loyal companion


David Batty

June 23rd, 2011

A billionaire recluse who spent decades in Manhattan hospitals until her death last month has left $34m (£21m) to her nurse.

Hadassah Peri, a private nurse from Brooklyn, was assigned to care for Huguette Clark by an agency in 1991, and became a "friend and loyal companion," according to the copper-mining heiress's will.

Clark, who died aged 104 at Beth Israel Medical Centre, also left Peri her prized collection of French dolls, which the heiress surrounded herself with after she retreated from public life.

The bulk of Clark's estimated $500m (£307m) fortune – around $275m (£172m) – will be used to establish the Bellosguardo arts foundation at her $100m 24-acre estate overlooking the Pacific in Santa Barbara, California.

The mansion, which she had not visited in 50 years, will house most of her art collection, which includes pieces by Renoir, John Singer Sargent and William Merritt Chase, her musical instruments, including a Stradivarius violin, and rare books.

She also left up to $14m to her goddaughter, Wanda Styka, the daughter of late Polish painter Tade Styka, and $500,000 apiece to her lawyer and accountant (who remain under criminal investigation for their handling of her finances) according to the will, filed in Manhattan's surrogate's court.

Clark spent more than 22 years living under a false name in a hospital room in Manhattan. The last known photograph of her shows her standing on a steamship swaddled in furs; it was taken in 1930.

As MSNBC's investigative reporter Bill Dedman, who has written the definitive work on Clark and last year tracked her down to a bustling corridor in the hospital, has put it: "She wasn't sick. She was reclusive. She made Howard Hughes seem outgoing."

The source of Clark's wondrous wealth was her father, William Clark, a copper tycoon from Montana – second in riches only to the oil magnate John Rockefeller.

Deceased--Huguette Clark

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