Maureen O’Hara’s PA Carolyn Murphy hits back at O’Hara family over accusations
‘They have annihilated my name...I would never harm Maureen’ she angrily claims
"When I had the restaurant, she would come two or three times a week. I was really, really busy those years. But we still managed to get time together. She spent a lot of time in the house with us. We've been very, very close friends since then."
It wasn’t until 2004 that O’Hara initially turned to Murphy for help in handling the actress’s business affairs, a duty which Murphy claims to have never accepted wages for, but only an occasional €500 to help cover expenses.
Murphy remembers O’Hara asking for her help in 2004: "She [O’Hara] said, can we have a sandwich or something here, Carolyn. I need help and I don't know who to turn to. We sat down and she said: 'I have signed some papers. I've changed my will and I've changed my trust'."
Murphy said that O’Hara indicated she wasn’t happy with the changes made. Murphy agreed to help O’Hara, and the two flew together to the US were they had O’Hara’s original will and trust reinstated.
Two years later in 2006, O’Hara asked Murphy to accept power of attorney over the actress’s complex business and financial affairs in the wake of her ailing health and doctor’s orders against foreign travel. Bound by confidentiality, Murphy is barred from speaking about the details of O’Hara’s affairs.
"We talked about what needed to be done. I never did anything without asking Maureen first. I never spent a penny without asking her," said Murphy, who was only paid €500 "every now and again" to cover her expenses, but wouldn't take a regular payment.
"I really have to say on behalf of Maureen, at least three times a year for the last eight years she has offered me wages, which I continually turned down," she said.
Murphy explained how her position as power of attorney for Maureen O’Hara incited some friction between her and the rest of O’Hara’s family. However, she noted that due to legal reasons, she couldn’t elaborate much further than that.
"I am in a strange position,” said Murphy. “My hands are tied because of the confidentiality of my position."
In April of this year, O’Hara’s nephew Charlie Fitzsimons lodged a complaint with local authorities claiming elder abuse and that his aunt was being overworked. A social worker followed up with the complaint, which resulted in O’Hara dismissing the claims and signing a statement indicating that she was happy to do public appearances with Murphy as her attorney.
"There is nothing scandalous about us or our behaviour, or what we are trying to do,” said O’Hara in the wake of the accusations and following investigation.
In late May of this year, which was around the last time that Murphy spoke with O’Hara, O’Hara’s longtime family accountant Pablo O’Neill and American lawyer came to Glengarriff to check into O’Hara’s affairs.
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