Movie and Broadway producer John Hart took the stand in the trial of Brooke Astor's son yesterday, offering a first-hand look at her mental deterioration over more than a decade of friendship, the New York Daily News reports. Hart met Astor at a dinner party in 1992; the pair hit it off, and the dazzled Hart, new to New York, accompanied her to many exclusive events, gaining “entrée to a world I never would have gotten into,” he said.
They spent much time at the elite Knickerbocker Club and Astor’s various estates, where Hart testified Brooke once confided to him that she didn't think inherited money was good for children. As her mental state weakened, and she often didn't recognize him, or others of long acquaintance, Hart read to Astor from her autobiography and showed her pictures of herself. In the poignant final scene of their friendship, Hart and Astor sat in a vast room and played, like children, with a collection of glass animals.