Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lawyer Appears to Contradict

A prosecutor went after her own witness by asking Brooke Astor's longtime lawyer if he served the socialite - or her son.

An outraged Henry Christensen, who spent seven days on the stand describing how Astor's son bullied his senile mother into handing over her fortune, was indignant.

Christensen: "I gave 15 years of devoted and undivided attention to Mrs. Astor, and I was fired. I resent the suggestion that I was doing anything other than what she requested."

Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Loewy went after Christensen a day after he appeared to contradict his earlier testimony by giving a qualified "yes" to the key question of whether Astor was competent when she changed her wills to benefit Marshall.

Earlier, Christensen said Astor was able to "tinker around the edges" of her will but was not "competent to sign an entirely new will."

Zeroing in on Christensen's testimony that Marshall pressured his mom into giving him her Maine estate, Loewy asked the lawyer if he drafted the change that Astor wanted to her will that would have given her grandson the $5.5 million property upon her son's death.

Christensen admitted he didn't do that because Marshall "didn't want her to do that." He insisted he was not serving two masters.

Full Article and Source:
Prosecutor comes down hard on Henry Christensen during Astor trial

See also:
Brooke Astor - Anthony Marshall Trial


Anonymous said...

Here's what interesting to me on the Brooke Astor case:

Everything's about whether or not Brooke Astor was competent when she changed her will. The articles about the case are mostly sensational stories.

The idea here, of course, is to barbeque Anthony Marshall.

But, if a "normal" person complained of the same offenses as the Astor case, they'd be told "there's nothing we can do -- this is a matter for the court" and they'd continue to go in circles.

The Astor case proves there's plenty that can be done, if they want to.

Anonymous said...

Henry Christensen is not capable of stating whether Brooke Astor was competent when she changed her wills to benefit Marshall.

Many people change their mind -- or get mad at a child and cut him/her out of the will. Does that mean they're incompetent? Or competent?

No one really knows.

Anonymous said...

I imagine Brooke Astor would be horrified to find all her life so publically on display.