A Grand, Astorian Finale?

Is there a settlement afoot in the convoluted real-life telenovela starring Brooke Astor, her son, his son, Annette de la Renta, Henry Kissinger, J.P. Morgan Chase, a laid-off butler in Maine, and a chorus of lawyers? Perhaps yes.

There's a hearing this afternoon, and the parties are expected to submit a settlement agreement, eliminating the need for a trial, which was set to start next week, according to the Times. Astor's son, Anthony Marshall, will step down from running her business and personal affairs, and two guardians will take over, according to the report. (This is, keep in mind, exactly what her grandson, Philip Marshall, had requested when he started the whole messiness.) And why is Anthony suddenly agreeing to this? Because Chase will agree not to sue him for the millions of dollars he may (or may not!) have skimmed from his mom.

And everyone will live happily ever after — not least the rest of us, who got to learn all about Maine estates, Childe Hassam paintings, and urine-soaked couches. Yay, voyeuristic thrills!

Settlement Expected In Dispute Over Astor Matriarch [NYT]
The Family Astor [NYM]