One of the richest women in the world, the recently widowed 81-year-old granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst is one of the heirs to the Hearst media fortune.
George Hearst Jr., Phoebe’s twin brother, is chairman of Hearst Corp. and president of the Hearst Foundation, according to the company’s Web site. He is among the family members trying to gain conservatorship over her assets.
Some of Cooke’s other family members, including her daughter, Phoebe “Misty” Lipari, who lives in Cambria, are pressing the court to put Cooke’s estate under the permanent control of George Hearst Jr.. They claim she is paranoid, irrational and incapable of handling her finances, which makes her prey to elder abuse, according to petitions filed by their attorney, John Ronca, in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.
But Cooke is fighting their actions, saying they do not have sufficient facts to prove she is mismanaging her assets or that she is being financially abused by others. She claims that the attempt to put her estate into conservatorship is causing her great and irreparable harm, according to court documents.
Her filing states.: “Further compounding this potential for great harm is the magnitude of the property at stake, approximately two billion dollars.”
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Hearst media empire: Heiress fights for $2 billion fortune