Photo: Christie's (inset); Helayne Seidman
The long-time boyfriend of a filthy rich art collector who left $100,000 to two waitresses is fighting to get himself a much larger serving of his late lover’s fortune.
Art collector Robert Ellsworth’s boyfriend is not actually disputing that over-the-top tip. But he is disputing a good portion of his late partner’s will.
When Ellsworth died after a fall in 2014, a will he created in 2013 was offered into probate. The will was most remarkable for the $100,000 he left to a pair of waitresses at his favorite bar. The will also left $10 million to Ellsworth’s boyfriend, Masahiro Hashiguchi, who also received a home, $5,000 a month and regular payments from a trust.
After Hashiguchi passes away, any assets left in the trust will be distributed to charitable organizations including Harvard University and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Despite what would seem like an extremely generous bequest to most people, Hashiguchi is challenging the 2013 will. The New York Post has the scoop in an article titled "Big-tipping bar regular's boyfriend fights for more than just $10M."
Hashiguchi claims that Ellsworth lacked the mental capacity to create the will because of dementia and alcoholism. He also claims that the lawyer who drew up the documents coerced Ellsworth into it so that the lawyer could profit from being the trust administrator.
Hashiguchi has submitted an earlier will from 2010 that leaves almost all of Ellsworth’s $200 million fortune under the control of Hashiguchi.
While it is still too soon to know what the court will decide in this case, one thing is certain. The waitresses will keep their large, final tip as both wills provide for it.
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Reference: New York Post (May 14, 2015) "Big-tipping bar regular's boyfriend fights for more than just $10M."