today in astor-ia

Annette de la Renta Felt Very Comfortable Accepting Jewels From Brooke Astor

Much the way we record actual conversations in our Real Housewives of New York City episode recaps because they break our minds, Daily News columnist Joanna Molloy has taken to transcribing moments from the trial of Anthony Marshall, Brooke Astor’s son. It appears to be crushing her soul, and in this conversation about Brooke’s mental state (even shortly after 9/11, Annette de la Renta testified, Brooke couldn’t remember the attacks) you can see why:

Yet at Christmas 2001, Brooke gave her a necklace, which she accepted. “You felt completely comfortable accepting that piece of jewelry from Brooke?” questioned Warner. “Yes I did,” de la Renta, in a neutral cocoa-powder coat, answered.

On Tuesday, she described it as “a gold chain sprinkled with diamonds.” It had matching earrings, she added. Curious, [Marshall’s lawyer Ken] Warner subpoenaed the set, and de la Renta had to bring it all to court with her in a Ziploc bag so Warner could show it to the jury. If those diamonds were “sprinkles,” I’d love to see hailstones. Jurors feasted their eyes on 14 inches of concentric raindrop links embedded with faceted diamonds - 528 of them.

You’re aware, aren’t you, Mrs. de la Renta, that there are 33 carats of diamonds?” Warner asked. “And that [the] insured worth is approximately $100,000?” Warner stopped short of asking de la Renta if she’d paid a gift tax. “And on Nov. 11, 2002, you accepted a lariat seed-pearl necklace, set with rubies and diamonds and one large ruby?”

Now, we haven’t seen the necklace in question, but when you’re talking about a necklace that has pearls, diamonds, and rubies on it, it seems silly to distinguish about sizes. God, defense lawyers are so pedantic.

Plot thickens after Brooke Astor pal reveals bauble bath of gifts [NYDN]

Annette de la Renta Felt Very Comfortable Accepting Jewels From Brooke Astor