Watch CBS News

Leona Helmsley Leaves Billions To Dogs

The late New York hotel queen Leona Helmsley left a two-page "mission statement" that specifies that practically her entire trust, valued between $5 billion and $8 billion, be used for the care and welfare of dogs, The New York Times reports.

The newspaper, citing two unidentified sources, said Helmsley indicated in 2003 that the money should go to poor people and dogs. A year later, the sources said, she dropped poor people from the list.

The "mission statement" is not part of her will, but the Times reports the law favors remaining faithful to the donor's intent. That means the trustees of the fortune may have difficulty ignoring her wishes, though that has already happened in at least one instance.

Manhattan Surrogate Judge Renee Roth reduced the trust fund for Helmsley's personal dog, "Trouble," from $12 million to $2 million.

The 9-year-old Maltese lives in Florida with Carl Lekic, the general manager of the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel. Helmsley died last August.

The New York Post said Lekic put Trouble's annual cost at $190,000. That figure includes Lekic's $60,000 guardian fee, $100,000 for security, $8,000 for grooming, $3,000 for miscellaneous expenses, $1,200 for food and 2,500 to $18,000 for medical care.

The Post also that Judge Roth also gave $6 million to Helmsley's two disinherited grandchildren.

Roth's decision was made April 30, but only became public last month.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.