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Marilyn Monroe money goes to psychiatric center

By
BARBARA GOLDBERG

NEW YORK -- A judge has ruled that one-fourth of the earnings of Marilyn Monroe's multimillion-dollar estate belongs to a British psychiatric center for children, court papers revealed Monday.

The money, which was tied up in a court battle launched by the widow of Monroe's acting coach, will go to the Anna Freud Centre for the Psychoanalytic Study and Treatment of Children in England, according to the ruling by Judge Marie Lambert in Manhattan Surrogate's Court.

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The estate of Marilyn Monroe, the blonde sex symbol who died in 1962 from an overdose of drugs and alcohol, grosses more than $1 million a year in royalties and other proceeds.

In her simple three-page will, Monroe gave 75 percent of the proceeds to her acting coach, Lee Strasberg. His widow, Anna Strasberg, was subsequently named administrator of Monroe's estate after her husband's death.

Monroe willed the remaining 25 percent to her psychiatrist, Dr. Marilyn Kris, to be used 'for the furtherance of the work of such psychiatric institution or group as she shall elect.'

Kris died in 1980 and in her own will left her share of Monroe estate proceeds to the Hampstead Child-Therapy Clinic, precursor of the Freud Centre.

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But the money was tied up in a court battle after Strasberg's widow contended the bequests were limited to Kris's lifetime. She claimed that the instruction that Kris 'use' the funds required that she personally supervise any use of them.

Lambert ruled, however, that the doctor could pass her interest in the estate to a third party because 'there are no express provisions directing that Kris had to supervise or monitor the activities of any entity elected to receive estate funds.'

She also ruled that the Hampstead Child-Therapy and the Anna Freud Centre were the same entity.

An attorney for Strasberg, Irving Seidman, said that if his client had been awarded the 25 percent, she would have given it to a charity.

'Mrs. Strasberg's position all the time was that the money would go to a charity consistent with the desires of Miss Monroe's will,' Seidman said.

He declined further comment.

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