Socialite Alicia Clark died in February. Her will left her $17.5 million estate to the Humane Society. Her estate is in the news because the administrator of her estate has filed a Freedom of Information request to open a file which might shed light on whether Clark was the mother of a JFK love child even though she had long denied having a child with the late President.
She had reportedly planned to blackmail President Kennedy’s father in the early 60’s related to such rumors. The blackmail attempt only became public after her then attorney went public after she did not pay his $1.2 million bill (in 1961 dollars) for negotiating a will with her soon to die husband which gave her $10 million for 13 days of marriage. Meanwhile, a man in the Bahamas claims the will is fake and that her valid will is a handwritten will she made in the Bahamas in 2001. That alleged will left one million to each of the doormen at her NYC apartment and the caretaker of that apartment, and the rest to the guy in the Bahamas. Got it?
So many possibilities, so let’s try to stay focused on the salient points:
1. The JFK love child angle seems to be irrelevant. If Clark had a child and raised him, she would have provided for him in her will and would have been seen with him in the past 55 years. If she gave him up for adoption, that child has no rights under law because his rights to her estate would be terminated due to the adoption.
2. Some (re: me) might think that the estate administrator is grandstanding (successfully because he made the news) or is running up a larger bill than necessary in looking for a love child who likely has nothing to do with the estate, even if he exists.
3. Clark’s former attorney’s $1.2 million bill for what is essentially a pre-nuptial agreement seems excessively large by any standards much less those of 1961. Those agreements are not typically handled on a contingent fee basis which must have been the basis on which he billed.
4. That said, $10 million for 13 days of marriage to a dying man might be worth a $1.2 million fee.
5. Lastly, the Bahamas guy must be suffering from sunstroke or island fever. Everyone besides the writers of Harold and Maude knows that Manhattan socialites do not create handwritten wills on vacation to leave their estates to their staff and random guys in the islands.