Huguette Clark, a Manhattan heiress and daughter of copper tycoon William Andrew Clark who was once the richest man in the U.S, passed away on Tuesday at the Beth Israel Medical Center after residing there for almost 22 years. She was 104 years old.
The multi-million dollar heiress leaves behind a $500 million fortune that includes a 44-room Fifth Avenue apartment, a palatial property in Santa Barbara, California and a $24 million Connecticut chateau, reads the Daily News.
Huguette Clark had abandoned her friends and family to live a secluded existence at the Israel Medical Centre in midtown Manhattan where she was registered under a false name. Cared for by a small team of nurses, we are told by her lawyer's spokesperson Michael McKeon, she 'died as she wanted, with dignity and privacy.'
Family members first learned of Clark's death through media reports yesterday, but the news was later confirmed by her lawyer, Wallace Bock.
The Daily News reveals that Bock had denied the family access to Clark for years, saying she explicitly told him she "does not want visitors and she does not want anyone - including her relatives - to know where she resides."
Due to a suspicious donation of $1.5 million to build a security system at an Israeli settlement where lawyer Wallace Bock's daughter lives, an investigation is under way by the Manhattan district attorney's office, subjecting the possible mismanaging of her estate, but no criminal charges have been filed.
The wealthy and eccentric lady had an extensive collection of rare dolls - which she has reportedly once told friends that wealth was a 'menace to happiness,' and she craved nothing more than staying home to play with her dolls.
Once married and later divorced, Huguette never bore children. Her wish is to be buried near her father and sister at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, reports The Daily News.