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By Wealth Possessed : Love, Money and Property Don't Always Mix--Just Ask Hannah Nash and Her Estranged Sons

April 26, 1992|GARRY ABRAMS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

"Living here on SSI. Can you imagine anything so ludicrous in your life," she says. "Mentally, I wasn't able to work."

In a 1988 statement filed with the court, Hannah listed monthly living expenses of $8,865, including $4,560 for a mortgage, $1,680 in fees to a homeowners association and $1,000 for food and entertainment.

Jerome disputes his mother's pleas of poverty, saying she makes the claim in a bid for sympathy.

Early last year, the legal thicket--if not the family bitterness--began to be cleared away. In a hearing on Feb. 20, Superior Court Judge Stephen O'Neil ruled that Hannah never had a partnership with her children.

"She's testified under oath at her own deposition that there never was a partnership . . . even if there were, how do you make a partnership with 14- and 15-year-old children?" O'Neill said.

After that ruling, about 20 Nash properties were placed in receivership--administration by a third party.

The properties came out of receivership last summer, and the final details were wrapped up early this year.

Hannah got three properties, her condominium and two rental buildings, one of which was sold, according to attorneys. Jerome got the rest, about 17 properties, although not all had been owned with family members. David, according to court papers, apparently sold his interest in the real estate holdings to Jerome for $450,000.

So that's where it stands. For the moment. The Nash family is still divided and each has drawn his own lesson from this war of blood and money.

Sitting in her breakfast nook, Hannah Nash reels off names from the materialistic 1980s, all of them now or formerly in prison: Charles Keating, Leona Helmsley, Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky.

Then she delivers the moral of her story: "Don't give too much, too soon. Too much is no good."

And Jerome Nash says, "She is still my mother, no matter what . . . I don't want her hurt. I don't understand anybody who would hurt their own flesh and blood."

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