LAS VEGAS — The attorney for five friends of the late Liberace charged today that Los Angeles attorney Joel Strote orchestrated a deathbed will that allowed him to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the entertainer's estate. In a civil suit, attorney Harold Geweter contended that Strote executed the multimillionaire's will on Jan. 22, 13 days before Liberace's death, and that the entertainer had no idea what he was signing.
The will left all of Liberace's vast holdings to a trust and Strote was named executor of that trust. Geweter claims that Strote is mismanaging the trust and spending its money on personal possessions. Plaintiffs in the case are Seymore Heller, Liberace's manager for 36 years; Cary James, a companion of Liberace's for six years before his death; Angie Liberace, the only living sibling of the family; Dorothy McMahon, the housekeeper at Liberace's Palm Springs home; and Gladys Luckie, the housekeeper at Liberace's Las Vegas home.