May 18, 1997 |
I must ask for patience, first from those of you who would rush right to the seance in which we speak to Bernard Lafferty, the Billion Dollar Butler, from beyond the grave. Patience, please. Two other nights with spirits come first, one at the doorstep of the great Valentino, the other with Miss Elizabeth Taylor seated in the front row. * I ask for patience, too, from those of you who would scoff at this whole seance business. I understand, I really do.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 14, 1996 |
Bernard Lafferty, the butler made wealthy by the will of his billionaire boss, Doris Duke, has left his own estate to charity "in memory of" the woman he served. In his own will filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Lafferty provided that every penny of his assets go to the Doris Duke Foundation to benefit causes favored by the tobacco heiress, including the "performing arts . . . ecological concerns [and] medical research, provided that animals are not used."
November 5, 1996 |
Three years and a week after the death of the famous woman he served--the event that thrust him into wealth, but also unrelenting controversy--Bernard Lafferty, the billion-dollar butler, died early Monday morning. "His heart just stopped," his lawyer said. Lafferty had been at the side of his boss, 80-year-old tobacco heiress Doris Duke, when she died Oct. 28, 1993, at Falcon Lair, the gated Benedict Canyon home built for Rudolph Valentino.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 25, 1996 |
Eighteen months after Doris Duke's deathbed nurse alleged that the tobacco heiress was murdered with overdoses of drugs, the criminal investigation into Duke's death has finally ended--finding "no credible evidence" she was murdered. The highly publicized allegations by nurse Tammy Payette--that Duke's former butler and doctor conspired to kill her with morphine and Demerol--threw into turmoil the heiress's $1.
May 16, 1996 |
A Surrogate's Court judge formally approved a compromise plan to send the bulk of tobacco heiress Doris Duke's $1.2-billion estate to charity. The settlement was partially paved by an agreement that Duke's former butler, Bernard Lafferty, will play no role in the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in return for a $4.5-million executor's fee and a $500,000 annual bequest. The foundation's board will be enlarged and the fees that trustees receive will be cut.
May 15, 1996 |
A Surrogate's Court judge in Manhattan said Tuesday that she will approve a plan to finally send Doris Duke's $1.2-billion estate to charity--and end one of the biggest will fights of the century. Culminating a week of behind-the-scenes negotiations, Judge Eve M.