Romanian prince enlisted in Astor case

Feb. 26, 2008 at 7:08 PM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- The son of New York socialite Brooke Astor has enlisted a pretender to the Romanian throne in an effort to reach a key witness in his will-conspiracy case.

The story came out at a hearing Monday for Anthony Marshall and his former lawyer, Francis Morrissey, the New York Post reported. The two men are charged with tricking Astor into signing amendments to her will that benefited Marshall, her son by her first marriage.

Astor inherited one of New York's legendary fortunes from her third husband, Vincent Astor.

Lia Opris, Astor's maid, witnessed the documents, and is expected to be a witness for the prosecution. At the hearing, Elizabeth Loewy, the prosecutor, said that Prince Paul Philip of Hohenzollern twice went to Opris's house in Romania to ask her to talk to a French lawyer who happens to be a friend of Morrissey's. Opris refused both times.

The prince is a grandson of King Carol II of Romania through a first marriage that was annulled. In 2000, he ran for president of Romania, receiving less than 1 percent of the vote.

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