March 30, 2007 Brooke turns 105. Her grandsons and their families, David Rockefeller, Annette de la Renta, and her staff attend her small birthday party. Anthony and Charlene do not.
Aug. 13, 2007 Brooke Astor dies, leaving an estate worth an estimated $132 million and a trust valued at more than $60 million.
Aug. 14, 2007 Before funeral arrangements are made, lawyers representing Annette de la Renta and Chase bank file papers urging the court to reject Astor’s final will because she was not competent when it was signed and had been under “undue influence and duress.”
Nov. 26, 2007 Prosecutors tell attorneys for Anthony Marshall and Morrissey that their clients have been indicted and are required to turn themselves in the next day.
Nov. 27, 2007 Anthony Marshall, 83, turns himself over to the Manhattan district attorney’s office and is charged with 16 counts, including grand larceny, fraud and conspiracy. The former Marine, diplomat, CIA officer and Tony Award-winning producer is handcuffed and escorted for a mug shot and fingerprinting. He pleads not guilty.
Nov. 30, 2007 Francis X. Morrissey Jr., 66, surrenders to authorities and is charged with forgery and conspiring with Anthony Marshall to induce Brooke Astor to change her will.
September 2008 Anthony Marshall undergoes open heart surgery.
April 16, 2009 Jury selection is concluded. Opening arguments are delayed for at least a week.
We offer special thanks to Meryl Gordon for writing Mrs. Astor Regrets: The Hidden Betrayals of a Family Beyond Reproach and gaining access to nearly everyone involved in the saga.
Carol Kaufmann is a contributing editor at the AARP Bulletin.