The Astor Trial So Far: High Society, Low Class

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2009 10:56 PM CDT
Anthony Marshall and his wife Charlene Marshall in Manhattan Supreme Court.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Meryl Gordon has a plum seat at the so-called Brooke Astor trial, in which her son, Anthony Marshall, stands accused of thievery. Complete with the crème de la crème of New York society recounting terrible things and scathing Astorisms, Gordon writes in Vanity Fair, it’s a “story about money that everyone could understand, that did not involve credit-default swaps or derivatives: a son accused of stealing from his mother.” And the press is all over it.

“This is being treated like a gangland trial in the newspapers,” says Annette de la Renta, who cared for Astor in her final days after Marshall was dismissed. And it sort of is: forged wills, rebellious children who shockingly didn’t know there was any money in it for them, and the deterioration of a beloved matron. Which makes it sort of human: “This is not a society trial,” says de la Renta. “If it could happen to Brooke Astor, it could happen to anyone.” Stay tuned.