People of the Year — 7. Leona Helmsley & Her Dog

leonahelmsley.jpgAfter the billionaire hotelier died in August and was laid to rest alongside her husband, Harry, in a $1.4-million mausoleum in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone thought the “Queen of Mean� could cause no more trouble. Everyone was wrong. In Helmsley’s will, in addition to leaving two of her grandchildren zilch, she gave $12 million to her dog, a beloved Maltese named—you guessed it—Trouble. She also requested that the pooch be buried beside her when his time comes.

Prediction for 2008: In September, a state official declared that it’s unlawful for animals to be buried in cemeteries for humans. Sorry, Leona. Commence rolling over.

Adapted from “People of the Year,� InTown Westchester, December 2007

(AP Photo/Jennifer Graylock)

Crazy dog lady Leona Helmsley not so crazy about her grandkids

tjndc5-5gbbarajwuaotht1l9c_layout.jpgWhat do you do if your dear old Grandma dies and leaves $12 million to her ugly white Maltese but leaves you nothing? That’s what two of Leona “Queen of Mean” Helmsley’s grandkids are asking themselves today, after it was reported that the billionaire hotelier, who died August 20th in Greenwich and is buried in a mausoleum at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, left them out of her extremely-strange-and-kind-of-funny-in-a-sad-way will.

Helmsley––who went to prison for tax evasion and is reported to have once said, “only the little people pay taxes”––is remembered by many as the worst thing to come out of the 80s (besides leg-warmers).

Some of her relatives did benefit from her passing: Her brother, Alvin Rosenthal, who will care for the dog–named Trouble–will receive “millions,” according to the AP, as will two of her four grandchildren (offspring of her deceased son Jay Panzirer). However, the kids must visit their father’s grave site once a year…otherwise neither will get “a penny” of the $5 million she left for each (seriously, this sounds like some macabre black comedy).

The two grandkids who were cut off are Craig and Meegan Panzirer. The “reasons…are known to them,” Helmsley wrote in her will.
Also stipulated in the will: When Trouble dies, Helmsley wants her remains to be buried next to her own remains in the Helmsley mausoleum, which must be “washed or steam-cleaned at least once a year.” She left $3 million for its upkeep.
Also receiving money: her chauffeur, Nicholas Celea ($100,000). The rest will go to the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

So, if you’re keeping track of her priorities: The dog gets $12 million. The good grandkids get $5 million, her mausoleum get $3 million, her driver gets $100,000 and her other grandkids get nothing.

Rest in peace, Leona.

(AP Photo/Jennifer Graylock)