Another week, another socialite parental-abuse saga! Today’s Post cover blares “DAUGHTER DEAREST,” and plugs a story within about Emily “Pemmy” du Pont Frick, an heiress who is accused by relatives of letting her mother live out her old age under poor care. Sound familiar? Didn’t we just go through this with Brooke Astor? The Post is clearly trying to gin up another newsstand seller – but is this one really as good? After the jump, our analysis.
The Names: Astor, as far as old-money New York families, go, is pretty hard to beat. But Emily, by marrying both a Frick heir (you know, the museum?) and a Du Pont heir (you know, the second-largest chemical company in the world?) has pretty much scored a debutante double play. More scandalous: Pemmy.
The Drama: Brooke Astor’s son Anthony was allegedly using his mother’s money to live it up, while Brooke was neglected. In this case, Emily’s money comes directly from her late husbands. Her ailing mother, 91-year-old Anne Waterman Troth, had her own unrelated trust fund, but it’s apparently run out. More scandalous: Anthony.
The Accommodations: Astor was allegedly confined to her couch, sleeping in a “ratty nightgown.” Emily’s mother is in a nursing home “not being showered regularly.” More scandalous: It’s a tie.
The Summer Homes: Both Emily du Pont Frick and Anthony Marshall summered in exclusive Northeast Harbor, where presumably the Rockefellers, Carnegies, and MoMA’s also have vacation homes. More scandalous: It’s a tie.
The Dialogue: Anthony Marshall denied the allegations, repeating “I love my mother.” When caught by Post reporters, Du Pont Frick said “This is what happens when you get old and run out of money.” Yikes. More scandalous: Pemmy.
So all tallied up, it looks like the saga of Pemmy and her mother is slightly more salacious than the tale of Brooke Astor and her son. But while Astor was a huge figure in New York, Pemmy’s mother, Anne, isn’t as recognizable of a name, so we’re betting the Post won’t get as many pages out of this one. Or, you know, as many headlines with dollar signs instead of “S”s in them.