Dazed Astor Didn't Recognize Jesse Jackson: Witness
Her son also convinced her she was going broke
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Apr 29, 2009 4:42 PM CDT
Anthony Marshall arrives at State Supreme court with his wife Charlene today in New York.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A decade before her death, Brooke Astor was so out of it that she couldn’t recognize Jesse Jackson, a prosecution witness testified today in the fraud trial against Astor’s son, the New York Daily News reports. Anthony Marshall’s defense rides on his mother’s mental state, with the prosecution charging that he took advantage of her deteriorated state to raid family coffers.

“She realized Jackson was a distinguished person,” the witness recalled of Astor, then 95. “But she couldn’t remember why she asked him there.” Impaired by Alzheimer’s, Astor would blurt random things—like “I’ve never had a facelift”—in the years before she died at 105, the witness adds. Meanwhile, her son tried to convince her that she was running short of cash.