Thursday, May 30, 2024

No one can disgrace us but ourselves


Anthony Marshall’s disgrace is complete


Anthony Marshall, heir to the fortune of Brooke Astor, finally faced justice yesterday in Manhattan. He did so wearing sweat pants, a cardigan and a pair of Toms slippers. Delivered to the court by his third wife in a wheelchair, the octogenarian declined to speak during the proceedings. Shamefully, he did not even offer an apology as he was wheeled away to jail.


Today, Mr Marshall, 89, a wealthy man even prior to the crimes he committed, finds himself the fourth oldest inmate in a New York State prison behind John Bunz, 93.5, who pleaded guilty to killing his wife in 2010. Marshall, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, depends on a wheelchair, needs oxygen from a tank at night and who can’t shave, bathe or dress himself (yet was able to attend a black tie party to announce a new version of the Titanic in February), will no doubt not be too happy about his new found conditions.


Charlene Marshall wheels her husband Anthony Marshall into court on Friday 21st July 2013 accompanied by laywers Kenneth Warner (left) and David Zauderer (right)
Charlene Marshall wheels her husband Anthony Marshall into court on Friday 21st July 2013 accompanied by laywers Kenneth Warner (left) and David Zauderer (right)

Anthony Marshall, a resident of New York’s Upper East Side and Northeast Harbor, Maine was found guilty of stealing tens of millions of dollars from his mother in 2009. In the time since he has repeatedly evaded justice, but finally with his appeals exhausted yesterday, the time came for him to face jail.


As he handed himself in, Marshall’s tearful wife Charlene whispered to him:


“We will always have each other, always”.


“Always”, he replied.


Crocodile tears: Charlene Marshall cries in a Manhattan court room on Friday 21st July 2013
Crocodile tears: Charlene Marshall cries in a Manhattan court room on Friday 21st July 2013

Prior to sending him down, Justice Bartley read aloud a section of a letter from one of Anthony Marshall’s sons, Alec Marshall, who had previously taken the witness stand against his father. In it, he stated:


“I am very concerned about his future… My father once said, about the events that happened before the case, that ‘you can’t change the past’”.


Marshall’s other son, Philip, whose accusations that his father let Brooke Astor live in squalor whilst helping himself to to her fortune, resulted in a civil case and him stepping aside as his mother’s guardian in 2006, was not in court though. Of Philip Marshall’s allegations, The New York Times reported:


“The allegations of neglect were never proved, but the money aspect was pursued by the Manhattan district attorney, leading to the stunning charges and one of the more unlikely appearances in criminal court. In walked Mr. Marshall, clutching a wooden cane with a gold-colored handle, seemingly offended at what had brought him there: an 18-count indictment charging him with stealing millions from his famous, beloved mother”.


Yesterday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. suggested that Marshall’s imprisonment, three and a half years after his conviction, has finally resulted in justice having finally been done:


“I believe that the legacy of this prosecution will be that it raised public awareness of the silent epidemic of elder abuse. This week, two defendants convicted of multiple felonies against an elderly victim [Marshall’s co-defendant, lawyer Francis X. Morrissey Jr. was jailed on Thursday] have surrendered and will finally begin serving their sentences”.


Marshall plainly still believes otherwise. In a statement his attorneys, Kenneth Warner and John Cuti, said:


“Incarceration will simply make his final days more tortured and undoubtedly fewer in number. There is truly no just purpose for this punishment”.


Equally, as she left court, Charlene Marshall showed no remorse for what her husband had been jailed for. Instead, this woman who was “portrayed as a greedy social climber during the trial” just sobbed and told the press: “My heart has been ripped out of my body”.


Perhaps, after a period of reflection, Mrs Marshall might come to realise the truth of this conviction. What this privileged owman needs to understand is that if her husband hadn’t abused his position of care and if he’d admitted his guilt earlier, this expensive “ordeal” would have been over by now and he’d be back in her “loving” arms. Plainly, though, self-entitled Charlene Marshall and her criminal husband don’t think like that.


Despite his wealth Anthony Marshall may now find himself thinking about the words of Charles Bukowski who once said: “If you want to know who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence”. His visitor roster will indeed be quite fascinating.


Brooke Astor (1902 - 2007)
Brooke Astor (1902 – 2007)

We’ll leave the final word with Brooke Astor, the mother who Anthony Marshall so callously abused. She once told a friend: “I wish Tony had made something of himself instead of waiting for the money”.



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The Steeple Times
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  1. This is so very sad. I met Brooke Astor in Palm Beach when I was running a very grand house there.She was a regular guest and a great lady. Her son has soiled the greatest name in American social history.Shame on him.😢


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