The Astor Trial Drags On

cityfile · 08/18/09 07:26AM

The Brooke Astor trial started sometime in late 2005, didn't it? Or does it just feel like it's been going on forever? The Times reports today that the society trial, which was supposed to take 8-10 weeks, is now grinding into its fourth month and probably won't conclude until after Labor Day, primarily because prosecutors seem intent on calling to the witness stand every person on the planet who encountered Brooke Astor during the last few years of her life. The lengthy proceedings haven't been easy on the man accused of bilking his mom, Anthony Marshall. Not only has the stress of the trial caused him to collapse every other day or so, his defense is costing him about $100,000 a week. The jurors, however, seem to have adjusted just fine: "Members have taken to rolling their eyes when a lawyer draws out his line of questioning, napped during the dullest testimony or chewed sunflower seeds to pass the time." [NYT]

Astor Case's Latest Twist

cityfile · 08/12/09 05:26AM

Just when you thought the drama at the Brooke Astor trial had subsided a bit comes the news that "a knife-wielding woman" attacked the jury forewoman on the subway, and one of the alternate jurors riding in the same car stepped in to stop the assault and apprehend the attacker. The forewoman, who is described as a 44-year-old caterer, escaped serious injury, according to the judge, but she did "suffer some bruises and other minor injuries." The judge also said that the attack didn't appear to be connected to the trial. But how often you hear about knife-wielding female muggers on the subway? Let's hope someone has the sense to sit Charlene Marshall down for a nice long chat today. [NYT]

Julianne Moore Lists, Emeril Lagasse Trades Up

cityfile · 08/06/09 07:33AM

Julianne Moore's West Village townhouse is up for sale. Moore picked up the five-story, six-bedroom home on West 11th Street for $3.5 million in 2003. It can now be yours for $11.95 million. [NYO, Sotheby's, Curbed]
• Emeril Lagasse has closed on the purchase of developer Penny Bradley's 6,900-square-foot townhouse at 158 East 61st Street for "around" its most recent asking price of $11.5 million. Now that he's found a new place to store his pots and pans, the chef and Food Network fixture has put his condo at the Beekman Regent up for sale for $5.995 million. [NYP, BHS]
• Chris Burch, the entrepreneur and ex-husband of Tory Burch, has picked up a new Hamptons home. Burch paid "around $9 million" for the Southampton estate of disgraced Bear Stearns exec Ralph Cioffi. The property had been listed at $10.7 million when it went into contract last month. [NYP]

Astor Trial Goes Low-Glam

cityfile · 07/24/09 10:36AM

There's a reason why you haven't heard much about the Brooke Astor trial in recent weeks, according to the New York Times' A.G. Sulzberger: "[T]he parade of celebrity witnesses has come and gone, and as the testimony has narrowed to the observations of her hired help, the gallery has mostly thinned out to the usual suspects: reporters, lawyers and court employees." Celebrity witnesses may have left the building, but celebrity newspaper reporters are still on the scene, apparently. [NYT]

More Astor Drama

cityfile · 07/08/09 11:54AM

The Brooke Astor trial has been delayed. Again. Astor's son, Anthony Marshall, had to be rushed to the hospital today after he fell in the men's room, hit his head, and reported feeling dizzy. The bad news is that the trial has been suspended indefinitely. The good: Once his trial is over, Marshall will get to come back as the plaintiff in a slip-and-fall personal injury suit against the city. [NYDN, previously]

Astor Case Very 'Confusing'

cityfile · 07/08/09 09:16AM

A man who spent 10 weeks as an alternate juror in the trial of Brooke Astor's son but was removed last week for unknown reasons, is now speaking out. If you were thinking the parade of famous faces on the witness stand would have had an influence the jury, well, that doesn't seem to be the case. Frank Waring, a retired maintenance worker, says the whole thing has been bewildering more than anything else: "Mr. Waring said he was sure of two things: The trial was confusing, and it was exhausting. 'You don't know who's doing what or who's telling the truth,' he said. 'To me, it's a very confusing trial.' [NYT]

Brooke Astor Supported Her Son, The Pharmaceutical Industry

cityfile · 06/30/09 10:49AM

Brooke Astor's son, Anthony Marshall, wasn't the only one profiting from his mother's poor health. The neighborhood pharmacist was doing quite nicely, too. According to papers filed in court this week, Astor gobbled down two dozen pills a day, including the medications Bextra, Tenormin, Prevacid, Alphagan, Sonata, Neurontin, Zoloft, Aricept, Detrol, Rhinocort, Xalatan, Antivert, Percocet, and Procrit. Describing her list of meds it as "Brooke Astor's socialite diet," the Daily News suggests "it's a wonder she had room for food." Considering Astor was a svelte 91 pounds when she died, whatever she was taking was working pretty well, wasn't it? [NYDN]

Marshall Takes Ill Once Again

cityfile · 06/22/09 12:43PM

Anthony Marshall, Brooke Astor's 85-year-old son who is currently on trial for looting his mother's estate—and who requires the use of a cane to get to and from the courtroom—had to leave court to see a doctor today after falling off his treadmill last night and hitting his head. That's not the only health issue he's dealing with: Marshall's wife, Charlene, confessed today that the reason he missed court a couple of weeks ago was because he suffered a small stroke. [NYDN]

Astor Trial: The Weekly Recap

cityfile · 06/18/09 11:30AM

Summer's here (supposedly) and that means television's gone bad. But while you wait for the next season of your favorite show to begin again next fall, there's always the ongoing, glorious, convoluted Astor trial, now rolling into its eighth week, to feed your drama fix. But just in case you haven't been reading all the stories about the case in the papers, we've gone ahead and recapped what you missed. This week's installment: "The Codicil." Join us after the jump, won't you?

Courtroom Sketches From the Astor Trial

cityfile · 06/16/09 08:11AM

It's really a shame there haven't been cameras at the trial of Anthony Marshall, the son of Brooke Astor who now stands accused on plundering his mother's fortune. Hundred (thousands?) of Upper East Siders would have been glued to their TV sets the past few weeks. Sketch artist Jane Rosenberg has been in attendance the past few weeks to document the goings-on with paper and colored pencils. Can you identify the notable people above who've appeared on the witness stand? As always, answers below.

Mrs. Astor's Butler Takes the Stand

cityfile · 06/10/09 09:22AM

Yesterday was "Take Your Butler to Court" day over at the ongoing Astor trial, where 85-year old Anthony Marshall stands accused of bilking his Alzheimer's riddled mother, Brooke Astor, out of millions. Astor's butler, Chris Ely—who once worked for Queen Elizabeth (a coincidence Joanna Malloy has magically massaged into a strange column about the similarities between ne'er-do-well mamas' boys Marshall and Prince Charles)—testified, explaining, among other things, why you really don't want to be a butler: Being forced to go on emergency runs for "nighties, underwear and bedwetting pads."

Britney, Brown, & The Arrival of Prince Harry

cityfile · 05/28/09 06:47AM

• A recent Elle photoshoot with Britney Spears turned out to be a bit messier than expected. [P6]
• A photographer has filed suit against Chris Brown. He's claiming the singer's bodyguards beat him up when he tried to take pics of Brown in March. [Us]
• Is Anthony Weiner engaged to Huma Abedin? [P6]
Jay-Z is supposedly in talks with Lyor Cohen to set up a new record label at Warner Music. [NYDN]
• Chace Crawford may be having a fling with 19-year-old Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Esti Ginzburg. [P6]
• Jane Fonda knows how to travel. She pretends she's injured so she can cruise through security in a wheelchair, apparently. [NYDN]
• Get ready: Prince Harry arrives in NYC tomorrow. [NYDN]

Graydon Carter Takes the Stand

cityfile · 05/21/09 08:35AM

Graydon Carter appeared as a witness yesterday at the trial of Anthony Marshall, the son of Brooke Astor who stands accused of swindling his mother when she was suffering from Alzheimer's. The Vanity Fair editor recalled the three articles he asked her to write for the magazine in the late '90s (she was paid $1,000 for her efforts). And he described their regular lunches at the Knickerbocker Club and the Four Seasons, and the time when he even managed to convince her to travel downtown to dine at Da Silvano.

Astor Case Turns to Poop

cityfile · 05/19/09 11:33AM

The big topic of discussion at the Brooke Astor trial today: dog poop. Was there really feces on the floor of Astor's apartment? Was her son, Anthony Marshall, somehow responsible? Or was one of Astor's many housekeepers to blame? And will the jury get to hear this vital piece of info? Apparently not. "It would seem to me the transient conditions of the apartment—I would include in that dog feces—would be a problem of the staff," the judge said today. [NYDN]

Astor Trial Begins Today, Boldface Names to Follow

cityfile · 04/27/09 11:22AM

The trial of Brooke Astor's son kicked off this morning with prosecutors arguing that Anthony Marshall was a liar and a thief who'd conspired to steal $200 million from his ailing mother. More importantly, the prosecution indicated that some 60 witnesses could be called to testify—including Barbara Walters, Henry Kissinger, Annette de la Renta, David Rockefeller, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, New York Public Library head Paul LeClerc, and former Met chief Philippe de Montebello—so there should be plenty of material to keep up the public's attention for what is expected to be a three-month trial. [NYDN, NYP]

The Astor Case Heats Up

cityfile · 02/27/09 02:58PM

It got a bit nasty at a pre-trial hearing yesterday for Anthony Marshall, the son of the late Brooke Astor, who stands accused of defrauding his socialite mother in her final years. Both an attorney for Marshall and the prosecutor "lobbed insults" and accused the other side of "playing to the press," a dust-up that concluded with assistant DA Joel Seidemann shouting "Don't touch me!" and "Get your hands off me" at Marshall's lawyer John Cuti. The two patched things up at the end of the session and shook hands, but if this is any indication of what the actual trial will be like when it begins in March 23, you may want to make sure you have some popcorn ready. [NYDN]