Huguette Clark, Reclusive Heiress, Leaves Bulk Of $400 Million Fortune To Art Charity, Nurse
Huguette Clark spent the last 20 years of her life living in almost total isolation. She had cut off all contact with her family, preferring instead the company of her collection of dolls.
In addition to being a recluse, Clark was also a very wealthy woman. The heiress to a Montana copper mining concern, she owned a 42-room apartment on New York's Fifth Avenue, an oceanfront estate in Santa Barbara, California and a country manor in Connecticut. Her net worth was estimated to be around $400 million.
So when Clark died last month in a New York hospital at age 104, it raised questions as to what would become of her vast wealth and assets.
Some of those questions were answered on Wednesday when her will was filed in a Manhattan court. Clark has left the bulk of her huge estate to charity: her California Estate is to become a museum, and her extensive collection of art, musical instruments and rare books will go to a foundation that will be set up to promote the arts, according to People magazine.
Hadassah Peri, the nurse who cared for Clark over the last two decades of her life, was left $37 million as well as Clark's treasured doll collection. Peri was an agency nurse randomly assigned to care for Clark in 1991, according to MSNBC. In addition:
Peri spent more time with Clark over the last 20 years than anyone else and "earned the title of 'loyal friend and companion,' " according to a statement from Dadakis' law firm, Holland & Knight.
Clark's closest relatives were left nothing, raising the prospect of legal challenges to the will. Her relatives have pursued legal action in the past -- the Los Angeles Times reports that several of Clark's relatives unsuccessfully argued in court that she was being exploited by her attorney and her accountant.
The New York Times reports that both men are also beneficiaries of the will, each receiving $500,000. Last year, New York prosecutors started an ongoing investigation into allegations that Clarks's estate was being mismanaged.