Mysterious Copper Heiress Leaves $33M to Longtime Nurse

Most of $400M estate left to charity

By Greg Wilson
|  Thursday, Jun 23, 2011  |  Updated 9:41 AM EDT
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Mysterious Copper Heiress Leaves $33M to Longtime Nurse

AP

Taken in 1930, about the time of her divorce, this is the last known photo of Huguette Clark.

Huguette Clark, the mysterious copper heiress who lived in hospitals under fake names until her death at 104, left her longtime nurse $33 million from her $400 million estate.

Clark, whose father was born in 1839 and became one of America's richest men, left the bulk of her estate to charity, according to her newly released will. She left $500,000 each to her attorney and accountant, two of the only people to have contact with her over the last two decades of her life. She died in May.

No money was left to the distant relatives who surfaced after MSNBC broke the story of her mysterious life. She owned vast estates in Connecticut and Santa Barbara that she had not seen in decades, and her Fifth Avenue apartment in Manhattan is the largest on a street populated by billionaires.

The nurse who cared for her since 1991, after being randomly assigned to her by an agency, Hadassah Peri, had already been given $2 million by Clark, according to MSNBC. She now is in line to receive a gift of cash and Clark's vast collection of dolls, which MSNBC reporter Bill Dedmon estimated is worth a total of $33 million after taxes.

Clark's collection of masterpieces, including works by Renoir, Monet and John Singer Sargent, will go to a new charity called the Bellosguardo Foundation, named for her rolling estate in Connecticut.

The will is likely to be contested by relatives, though Clark made it clear she was freezing them out.

"I intentionally make no provision in this my Last Will and Testament for any members of my family, whether on my paternal or maternal side, having had minimal contacts with them over the years," the will said. "The persons and institutions named herein as beneficiaries of my Estate are the true objects of my bounty."

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