Rich bitch dies

New York – Trouble, the poodle who inherited $12 million (about R72 million) from hotel mogul Leona Helmsley, has died, heading to the hunting grounds in the sky and leaving a trail of money and legal disputes behind.

The pampered Maltese bitch with a curly off-white coat died December 13, spokesperson Eileen Sullivan said, but news only emerged yesterday.She was 12 in human years, or 84 in doggie years, just shy of the 87 years at which her eccentric mistress and benefactor Helmsley died in 2007.

“She was cremated, and her remains are being privately retained,” Sullivan said.

The remaining funds held in trust for Trouble have gone to The Leona M and Harry B Helmsley Charitable Trust.

When Helmsley died she left her adored companion $12m, but a New York judge ruled her to have been mentally incompetent and knocked down that fortune to a mere $2m (about R12 million) , giving the rest of the inheritance to two of Helmsley’s grandchildren and to charity.

Trouble retired to Florida, living and finally dying in luxury at the Helmsley Sandcastle hotel in Sarasota.

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