Heiress Rachel 'Bunny' Mellon dies at 103

Bunny Mellon, an arts patron and friend of Jacqueline Kennedy who was snared in the John Edwards campaign scandal in 2012, has died at 103.
By Gabrielle Levy  |  March 18, 2014 at 12:30 PM
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Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, the heiress and arts patron who became embroiled in the John Edwards campaign corruption scandal after his 2008 election, has died.

Mellon, granddaughter of the inventor of Listerine and wife of philanthropist Paul Mellon, died Monday at her home in Upperville, Va., at the age of 103.

She was a friend and confidante of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and redesigned the White House Rose Garden, and with her husband donated more than 1,000 items to the National Gallery of Art. The Mellons, along with Mellon's sister and a family foundation, funded the construction of the gallery's East Building in the 1970s.

Mellon maintained a low profile, despite her high-powered connections, until she was drawn into the Edwards trial in 2012. Prosecutors said Mellon gave more than $700,000 to Edwards' 2008 bid for the presidency, as part of more than $1 million in illegal contributions Edwards was accused of accepting to support his mistress, Rielle Hunter.

Mellon was not accused of breaking any laws, and Edwards was acquitted on one charge and a mistrial declared on the other five charges at trial in May 2012.

She is survived by her son from her first marriage, Stacy B. Lloyd III, two stepchildren, Timothy Mellon and Catherine Mellon Conover, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

[Washington Post]

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