Reclusive 104-Year-Old Heiress Has Been Living in the Hospital for Twenty Years

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That's a young Huguette, on the right.Photo: William Clark/Wiki

Hugette Clarke is not messing around about being reclusive. The 104-year-old heiress, daughter of William Clark, a former U.S. senator and once the second-richest man in the U.S, was recently reported to have abandoned her Fifth Avenue apartment and entered the hospital. Upon closer inspection, however, the eccentric centenarian is now reported to have been living in New York City hospitals for at least the past twenty years, currently residing at Beth Israel Medical Center, the Post reports.

While living out her reclusive existence, it seems her limited contact with the outside world revolved around her lawyer, Wallace Bock, who is now under investigation for mishandling Clarke's $500 million fortune. Mishandling how, exactly? By successfully encouraging her to give him and his family "a substantial donation," held in escrow, in order to build "a bomb shelter" in Israel for his daughters to live in, for just one example. Bock's spokesman, Michael McKeon, said, "Any inquiry will confirm that all matters have been handled consistent with Ms. Clark's wishes."

It is possible that Ms. Clark's wishes were just bizarre. The onetime man-eater and faded socialite owns a 42-room Fifth Avenue apartment and multiple "lavish mansions" in California and Connecticut, but has left them completely vacant for the past 50 years, costing her millions of dollars in maintenance and taxes. No one has been charged with a crime yet, but Clarke might be losing one of her last remaining friends.

104-year-old heiress gave lawyer 'millions' in gifts [NYP]
Lawyer for reclusive 104-year-old heiress Huguette Clark defends handling of her fortune [NYDN]