But on Nicolas mothers side, things get more interesting. And when she left, that adverse thing ceased. I tried to see her the following week when I was in California, and there were about a dozen times since then that I called when I made trips to California, where I would simply get a response on the other end of the line that was: 'Miss Duke is doing well. I think this was the steroid thing happening. Sources at Duke's estates, however, portrayed Heffner in a different light. "Buck" Duke was obsessed with his only child. He came over here, and she died. Duke, who had managed to avoid almost all publicity since the Tirella scandal, stunned the world in November 1988 by putting up the $5 million bail for Imelda Marcos, whom the U.S. government had charged with racketeering. Another time, at a college in upstate New York, Bobby [Farrah] didn't have her dancehe had her completely veiled, and she sat on the stage and played finger cymbals. Friends of Duke have intimated that the heiress had become fearful of Heffner's behavior, and eventually locked her out of the Hawaiian estate in early 1991. Heffner also claims she saved the heiress's life on more than one occasion: once when Duke collapsed at her Newport estate in a "pool of blood," and a second time when Heffner recalls diving into the freezing Atlantic to save Duke from drowning. After a two-week rejuvenation cure in Romania with the controversial Dr. Anna Aslan, they stopped in London. ", Glenn Scott Greenhouse, the president of the Pavillion Agency, confirmed that Lafferty's drinking became an issue at the Peltzes'. At a 1990 lunch at Duke Farms for Lord Carrington, then chairman of Christie's, according to Oatsie Charles, "Chandi's attitude toward Doris was awfully offhand. She never married again, and from then on the men in her life, whether they were lovers or not, were considerably younger and came from the creative world. How do we get rid of her? "It was ironic that the man Doris loved the most was the greatest gigolo of all time," says Marina Cicogna. She was taking so many pills at the end and, knowingly or not, killed herself. ", The day after the adoption, the economist Woody Brock went to lunch at Duke Farms with Duke's New Jersey neighbor Jane Engelhard. . . She really considered herself a dancer. Moreover, Heffner's legal complaint against Duke states: Doris . The two exchanged their "vows" at Duke's Hawaiian mansion, but it was revealed the whole thing was a hoax. and as we were leaving they exchanged telephone numbers. There was a deadly side to Doris. We had a nice dinner with appropriate toasts, and Franco entertained us with anecdotes and imitations. This gives her the air of philanthropy. "We concentrated on her leg-muscle group," he said. ", After Thanksgiving, as she had for five decades, Duke left for Hawaii. Her first husband, James R. Cromwell, called Duke "my frigidheiress" and engaged in a lengthy court battle to win a financial settlement. Of course, they had a very attractive life. In 1966, a few days after Duke suddenly shut down the record company she had started for Castro, he broke her jaw, according to Mansfield, and she fled to Newport with Eduardo Tirella, a handsome young set designer. Richard Banks called Lafferty the next day. Why doesn't she help you?' Chandi Heffner and Doris Duke were having a lesbian affair. Ron Protas, the artistic director of the Martha Graham Dance Company, says, "Doris was very shy, and never thought enough of herself, because she was so beat up emotionally by her father. Incredibly, she was awarded a $65 million settlement. . The billionaire believed that Chandi was the reincarnation of her dead kid. She was even a buddy of Elvis Presley's. Chandi called Steve Levyhe did security for Doristo find out what to do. "We were sitting on the rocks, and she said, 'I will take care of you and all of your animals for the rest of your life. She took daily tap lessons from Bill "Bojangles" Robinson at the Cotton Club, and for years studied ballet under Cyd Charisse's ex-husband, Nico. . And I didn't sense any antagonism between Chandi and Bernard." Heffner spent almost six months on and off in two Honolulu hospitals, because she also developed a heart problem. (Burns dismisses reports that he was once a Chippendales dancer: "Not that I haven't been asked. She told me she was supposed to start hula dancing professionally at a hotel in Hawaii. ", Heffner was with Gary McElroy, with whom she was then living on a communal farm on the Big Island of Hawaii. Two years later, against her mother's wishes, she married James Cromwell, who was 16 years older than she, and whose family had lost its fortune in 1929, and embarked on a two-year honeymoon through the Middle East and Asia. They maintained a familial relationship until 1990 when Doris Duke disinherited Heffner. And when I smacked my lips in ecstasy, I found that three or four bottles would be left off at my house the next day as a gesture. ", In either March or April, Demopoulos said, he received a call from Irwin Bloom, who told him that he had been fired by Duke. ChatGPT who? Chandi Heffner was "planted" on Doris Duke by Imelda Marcos. Duke died last October, leaving an estate reported to be between $750 million and $1.3 billion and lengthy obituaries which focused on her husbands and lovers, her houses in New Jersey, Rhode Island, California, and Hawaii, her collections of Oriental and Islamic art, her $5 million bailout of Imelda Marcos, and her perplexing relationship with Chandi Heffner. Although she was constantly compared to Hutton from the time they both had fairy-tale coming-out parties the year after the stock market crashed, Duke always hated the comparison to the much-married Woolworth heiress, who died penniless. Let them kill each other over it.' ", Robert Farrah agrees: "Doris Duke was not this elusive reclusive. . He had also treated Chandi Heffner, and counted both women as friends. Her Newport artist pal Richard Banks said that that summer "Doris decided to do the whole social thing and she loved it. Like Heffner, Amar quickly became involved in the running of Duke's houses, business affairs, and charities. In Doris's case, she had done that. Also at Duke Farms, she constructed a series of 11 greenhouses containing elaborate recreations of English, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Persian, and other gardens, which she opened to the public. And last May, Surrogate Preminger accepted Miss Duke's. Thats not much considering what shes worth. Other people told me that Duke suspected Heffner of poisoning or drugging her, and that she credited Lafferty with saving her life. If anyone has news on Chandi from the far reaches of Hawaii, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Heffner, who lives on the Big Island of Hawaii on a ranch that Duke previously purchased for her, said in court papers that after their February 1991 breakup she learned that Duke had made changes in her will, and "the estate has not been left to Chandi as Doris had agreed." The first one, in Hawaii, didn't work out: she wanted to make a museum out of a Thai temple that she had saved from destruction on one of her many trips to Southeast Asia. He was later retried and acquitted. . In Newport, she loved going to the jazz festival, and then one would sometimes have dinner in that huge house with the ferocious dogs snarling behind the gates. Keyko said that $800,000 was paid to Heffner on Friday. A. once a week wherever we were. . We came out from opposite sides of the stage, and I got to the middle and she wasn't there. There's no question that Bernard was more than just a butler. "One hears all sorts of stories about how Rubi started in life, that he was Trujillo's sort of 'Press the doorbell, you answer the doorbell, and he went bang-bang.' Movies. . Her longest relationship was with Joey Castro, the Mexican-born jazz pianist at the Mocambo nightclub in Los Angeles, whom she met in 1950, when he was 23 and she was 38. Doris Duke dumped Chandi Heffner because Heffner wanted to marry one of their bodyguards. "Her legs were almost starting to atrophy from lack of exercise." Later on we would sleep together and Doris would come in most mornings and sit there on the bed with us and talk. "I looked upon Bernard as a member of the small Doris Duke family," says Donald Robinson. Newport police declared it an accident, and her friends still swear that it was. Connect with the definitive source for global and local news. Talent. ''Doris and I had been in the Gobi Desert together, and we found out they were becoming a threatened species." Heffner Duke, adopted in 1988 when she was 38 and the heiress was in her 70s, could not be reached for comment. I remember that the captain of the helicopter was very worried and wanted her to leave early. Phyllis Saretta says, "Chandi told me that her sister had a butler and a chauffeur and the whole thing. . We would hear it, and we would just joke about it. Heffner also said that Duke confided that she thought her mother had wanted to abort her. After giving the matter prolonged and serious consideration, I am convinced that I should not have adopted Chandi Heffner. Woody Brock, who visited her with Oatsie Charles that summer, says, "It must have been 85 degrees outside, and she had on a white sweater and a roaring fire in every room. It would be her last trip to Europe, and she also visited Poland with Brazilian grande dame Aime de Hereen. "Ferencz said, 'We had a butler who was fired. When I go I'll be eaten by the sharks.". This was the fifth time that Duke had rewritten or revised her will since Heffner's banishment 26 months earlier. ", In February, a few weeks after Protas returned to New York with Graham, he received a phone call from Duke at three in the morning. On the last day of the seminar, he spent the afternoon with Duke at Shangri La. On October 6, it was announced that Duke had made a donation of $1 million to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. In the car, Chandi was saying, 'Oh, she's such a nice lady, and the house is gorgeous!' 'I loved her so much. According to the Mansfield biography, Cromwell asked her on their sexless wedding night what his annual income from her would be. She had received another $10 million of her inheritance in 1937, and would receive at least as much in 1942. Despite the negative publicity, she fought her husband in the courts for five years, until he gave in. One repeated her response to a straight man who was reluctant to have dinner with Rock Hudson for fear that he would be molested. Two years later she bought Falcon's Lair, the Beverly Hills house where Rudolph Valentino once lived. Miss Duke, 75, adopted Chandi Hefner, who owns extensive property in Hawaii, and has been living with her for three years, attorney Donald A. Robinson said. For Industry Professionals. And he had quite a history. "He was devastated. ". Franco Rossellini assured everyone that he was all for it. Enzo Natale says, "Chandi had accused me of trying to rape her in Honolulu. Demopoulos said that Duke had mentioned her suspicions that she was being poisoned. Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. Today, Chandi lives on a palatial farm in. "Bernard got out of the hospital. Only one other trustee was named in the will, Marion Oates Charles, Duke's longtime summer neighbor in Newport, Rhode Island. Community. "It was unbelievable how hard she worked. In her will, Duke requested that no funeral or memorial service be held for her. ", Nonetheless, Duke seemed increasingly pleased with Lafferty. She told me that her parents did not approve of her lifestyle, and that they'd cut her off from everything. Now, please understand that I'm not accusing anyone of anything.". She thought it was very amusing. . (We covered the story in Fame magazine in 1990, and New York magazine did it again in 1993.). Virtually inseparable, the two women shuttled back and forth between Duke Farms, Duke's Newport estate "Rough Point" and her palatial Indo-Persian "Shangri-La" in the exclusive Diamond Head section of Oahu. "Whenever she walked into your room, she made the room," recalls Mercedes Bass. Kids get annoyed with their parents.". Doris Duke met Chandi Heffner in 1985 and felt a strong maternal connection to Her. Chandi Heffner is a small, sturdy woman with thick black shoulder-length hair and bone-white skin. She had this terrible fear of fire." Claudia Heffner's Sister Has A Weird Story. sometimes I can't believe it's real. I remember when I read his resume, I thought, This man has really been through it. Demopoulos wasn't the only one to notice a change in Duke's attitude after Heffner was out of her life. Learn how your comment data is processed. Chandi Heffner choked back tears as she talked about Doris Duke, the worldly and restless tobacco heiress who legally adopted her in 1988, when Heffner was 35 and Duke was 75, and cast her out less than three years later. One time we were performing at an Arab party at this catering hall in Brooklyn called the Venetian Manor, and Doris and I were partners. Of course, many of the sources for these allegations are people who were left out of the will, or cut out of the will, or people who hope to eventually receive grants from the Duke foundations. "When we were together," Heffner continued, "when things were really great, Doris was in wonderful shape. Mercedes Bass remembered Duke's coming for tea at the Carlyle Hotel a year or so earlier and introducing Heffner as "my niece." And let me tell you that she gave a really nice dinner party for me at the nadir of my fortunes. She was wearing a dark-blue turtleneck, old Levi's, cotton socks, and scruffy moccasins. So did Imelda. And the servants were absolutely bizarreponytailed, rings, sandals ". In a settlement signed Thursday by Manhattan Surrogate Court Judge Renee Roth, Chandi Duke Heffner, 42, dropped claims to the $1.2-billion estate and dropped a breach-of-contract suit. Musks master plan for Tesla is built around sustainable energy economy, What to expect from Elon Musks third master Tesla plan, Before and after photos from space show storms effect on California reservoirs, Yet more rain expected to hit California in March. Nanaline worshiped Society, and she disapproved of her tall, awkward, studious daughter. He was born on August 27, 1952, in Peekskill, New York, USA, as Paul Rubenfeld. Seemed. LOS ANGELES (AP) _ An ex-Marine sued the adopted daughter of late tobacco heiress Doris Duke for $33 million in palimony, claiming he gave up three years of his life to encourage her friendship with Duke. But I have no real medical knowledge of what transpired in California during the spring and summer of last year.". Heffner almost broke down again. [Chandi] is a monster. "I got a call from my sister's major-domo, Ferencz Soltesz," said Heffner, who had been living with Duke for two years at that point. There were four witnesses, including Dr. Charles Kivowitz, a fashionable Beverly Hills internist. Duke was spending the spring, as usual, at her 2,700-acre Duke Farms, in Somerville, New Jersey. Lafferty can appoint the bank that will serve as the estate's co-executor, and three of the four other trustees of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Chandi Duke Heffner is known for Oh My God (2009). I remember that most: that she seemed very happy with her life at that period. That fall, she attended a tribute to Sophia Loren at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and a fancy party afterward at Tatou, with Imelda Marcos, Rossellini, Natale, and Lafferty, who wore a ski sweater. We would go into the kitchen, just the four of us. . Guest introduced Duke to Leon Amar, a 30-year-old Moroccan decorator. Chandi said, 'But where do I find a man?' Finally, one of her new lawyers, Mr. Doyle, got it back on track. I said, 'Doris, do it, I think it's a good thing.' His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. In later years she did have problems with her hearing and with her legs, but nothing major. She was contemplating having knee replacements. Thick black eyebrows set off her striking indigo-colored eyes. . I really don't know what the hell was going on, frankly. After the war, she moved to Paris and wrote for the magazine Harper's Bazaar . He spent many weekends at a guesthouse at Duke Farms and was her escort when she went into the city for lunches and dinners with friends such as Diana Vreeland, Nan Kempner, and Kenneth Jay Lane. She was ahead of her time. Heffner told me, "Doris used to call James 'Teach.' According to Heffner, Duke suffered heart palpitations in Moscow and was afraid to be alone, so for the rest of the trip they shared hotel rooms. She told me during a break that she had studied reiki, a Japanese healing rite, and she said, 'Maybe I could help you with your knee.' Chandi got a couple of the housemen, and they brought him to the Somerville hospital." He also said he had worked on and off for Peggy Lee for 10 years. Imelda stayed for a week, I think. As the organization grew, she set up a program exclusively focused on serving people in rural communities where money, jobs, health care, and education are scarce. ", James Cromwell maintained that it was not his child, and friends assumed that it was Cunningham-Reid's. April 7, 1993 Chandi Duke Heffner, the 39-year-old former belly dancer and Hare Krishna devotee who was legally adopted by American Tobacco Co. heiress Doris Duke in 1988, now claims the. Duke was twice divorced and had no other children. The power that this will gives Bernard Lafferty is "awesome," says one attorney. Steve said, 'Your food has changed so suddenly Miss Duke thinks you must be on drugs.' Heffner paints a sedate portrait of their life together, with Doris retiring to her music room, Chandi dealing with the employees and both women sharing vegetarian dinners. "Elvis made whites interested in black music," she once told me, "which was very important, because race is the biggest problem we have in America.". Doris was into it, too. Upon her father's death in 1925, the 13-year-old Doris Duke -- known as "The Richest Girl in the World" -- inherited several hundred million dollars. Burns said that he was also training Lafferty, to help him lose his paunch. ", She had already been planning to divorce Cromwell, but he apparently demanded a $7 million settlement. . The last words were 'Stay in touch, Harry.' Both Duke and Heffner served as close advisers to Marcos during her trial for fraud and racketeering. Heffner was in New York for a week, visiting her sister Claudia, who had married Nelson Peltz in 1980. And all around him were all these liquor bottlesGrand Marnier and sherry. ", "I was not involved. So I fixed another tray and brought it upstairs. Rich L.A. homeowners are snapping them up, Column: Supreme Court conservatives may want to block student loan forgiveness. "Cromwell was quite nice," says Nelson Seabra, a rich Brazilian friend of Duke's. According to Robert Farrah, the director of the Ibrahim Farrah company, for several months in the late 60s she took private belly-dancing classes with him every morning for two hours in New York and then flew from LaGuardia to Detroit, where she had rented a motel room near the airport and installed a piano for her afternoon singing lessons with Aretha Franklin's father. ", Dr. Demopoulos told me, "I spoke to her in early January. 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