A high-stakes game of “fetch” for the multimillion-dollar estate of a Florida woman pits her only living child against, among others, a tiny Chihuahua named Conchita.
Heiress Gail Posner lavished the beloved pooch with a $3 million trust fund, along with the run of the $8.3 million Miami Beach mansion she inhabited. Her handlers fared even better; a group that includes her bodyguards, housekeepers and a personal trainer received a whopping total of $27 million, including $10 million to one bodyguard, $5 million to another, and another $5 million to a housekeeper charged with caring for Conchita and two other dogs.
Meanwhile, Posner’s son Bret Carr was left holding the doggie bag — he received only $1 million.
The bizarre will Posner left behind when she succumbed to cancer at age 67 in March is front and center in a lawsuit Carr filed against the estate, claiming his mother’s staff drugged and brainwashed her into signing over the biggest chunk of her holdings to them and her pets.
“They saw a frail woman who was vulnerable, who had a delusional ego; she thought she was a movie star,” Carr told Matt Lauer on TODAY Monday.
“Slowly, they got into her world. And they saw, ‘OK, it’s working and it’s growing,’ and they completely took advantage.”
Video: Millions go to the dogs Carr said that part of the proof his mother was under the influence of her handlers is evident from the fortune she left to Conchita and the other family pets, April Maria and Lucia. Housekeeper and personal assistant Queen Elizabeth Beckford is named as the dogs’ caregiver in the will, which specifies that she can live rent-free in the mansion and inherit $5 million if she continues to care for the dogs in the lavish style to which they have become accustomed.
He claims the staff instigated a campaign in which Posner presented Conchita as the “world’s most pampered dog,” with her own bedroom, bathroom, $15,000 Cartier necklace and weekly spa treatments. Carr also claims that Posner’s staff played into her delusions by telling her that Tom Cruise was coming to visit, and that she would be featured on the cover of national magazines.
The Posners were a family with a troubled history. Carr told Lauer his mother was an alcoholic who battled demons even as she sat in the lap of luxury by virtue of the estate left by her father, renowned corporate takeover artist Victor Posner.
Carr admitted his relationship with his mother was often problematic, but said they began to draw closer starting in 2000.
Carr, a filmmaker, said his mother gave him $700,000 to finish a movie project and promised him “half of everything I get” upon her death. But in 2007, Carr said he began to find himself being shut out of his mother’s life because of interference from her staff.
As proof, he showed video he shot on his camera phone in 2008 that he says shows staff trying to run him out of the house while his mother says she wants him to stay. Carr can be heard on the video telling his mother, “They’re trying to control you,” and she responds, “Oh, I know.”
The footage also shows a bodyguard trying to take the camera phone away from Carr. “I screamed at [the bodyguard] and I got it back, luckily, and I ran out of the house,” Carr told Lauer. “They never let me back into the house; they locked the front gate after that.
Carr said he reunited with his mother on her deathbed — because she was now in the hospital, her staff could no longer keep him away from her. “I was grateful to simply be able to have her pass in my arms; it was the most spiritual experience of my life,” he told Lauer.
Posner’s daughter Tina passed away from a drug overdose in 1994, leaving Carr the only surviving offspring. And Carr’s attorney told Lauer that that is part of the case to have Posner’s will overturned.
“He’s the natural object of her affection,” attorney Alan Kluger said. “He’s her son. All relationships are rocky, all moms and sons have fights, but this is her son, and she loved him.”
In a prerecorded segment, Carr told NBC News: “The estate doesn’t belong to nine bodyguards, maids and a trainer who brainwashed my mother and tried to pickpocket her.”
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