Longtime Friend Testifies to Astor's Senility

Author Auchincloss told her son's lawyer she didn't recognize him
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2009 12:24 PM CDT
Anthony Marshall, son of late philanthropist Brooke Astor, is accused of stealing from his mother's $198 million estate; he's seen in court Monday in New York.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A longtime friend of philanthropist Brooke Astor testified yesterday that her faculties were so deteriorated the last time he saw her that she did not recognize him, the New York Daily News reports. Author Louis Auchincloss said the encounter took place 2 years before Astor allegedly changed her will, awarding $60 million earmarked for charities to her son, Anthony Marshall—who’s currently on trial for fraud.

Auchincloss said he told Francis Morrissey, the lawyer accused along with Marshall, that Astor didn’t recognize him. “It was impossible for her to be clear in testamentary capacity if she didn’t know who I was when we’d been intimate for many, many decades,” said Auchincloss, 91, himself a retired lawyer.