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N.Y. Grand Dame Living In Squalor?

Famed philanthropist Brooke Astor, who once led one of New York City's most generous foundations, is sleeping on a filthy couch in torn nightgowns while her son withholds money and proper medical care, her grandson charged in court papers.

The papers, filed last week, seek to remove Anthony Marshall from his position as legal guardian of his 104-year-old mother, who gave nearly $200 million to city causes over decades at the helm of the Astor Foundation, the Daily News reported Wednesday.

Philip Marshall claims that his father pays himself $2.3 million yearly as Astor's caretaker and "has turned a blind eye to her, intentionally and repeatedly ignoring her health, safety, personal and household needs."

The papers charge that Astor's 82-year-old son cut off her access to expensive medications and refused to get her a bed with rails even though she has fallen.

He has reduced her doctors' visits and ordered her staff not to take her to an emergency room or call 911 without contacting him first, the papers claim.

The papers also claim that Astor has been denied many of the staples of her high-society life. Her costly face creams have been replaced with petroleum jelly and her French chef has been fired, they said. Nurses had to use their own money to purchase hair bonnets and no-skid socks for the elderly woman when requests for the items were denied, the papers say.

Reached by the Daily News, Anthony Marshall said: "You said it is shocking and I agree. I don't think I should comment. It is a matter that is going to be coming up in a court of law and it should be left to the court."

The court papers request that guardianship of Astor be transferred to Annette de la Renta, wife of designer Oscar de la Renta, and JPMorgan Chase Bank. Such high-status figures as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former Chase Manhattan Bank CEO David Rockefeller have filed affidavits in support of the transfer.

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