But it is her suffering that Philip Marshall describes in the court papers quoted by The News. There are allegations that her son vetoed purchases of a new outfit when she turned 104, of cosmetics, of hats and socks. There are allegations that he had curbed her physical therapy sessions and stopped her injections for anemia.
Included with Philip Marshall’s allegations were affidavits from David Rockefeller, who planned her 100th birthday party, and former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger.
Philip Marshall could not be reached yesterday, despite many attempts. His lawyer, Ira Salzman, said the fight was being waged over concern for Mrs. Astor’s care. He said others might suggest it is a dispute over who would be Mrs. Astor’s heir. “The short answer,” Mr. Salzman said, “is it’s not.”
Anthony Marshall, reached last night by telephone, said he would not comment.
David Richenthal, who produced three Broadway plays with Anthony Marshall, defended him and disputed the allegations as “the most fabricated bunch of nonsense I’ve ever read.”
Mr. Richenthal said that he had worked in an office in Mrs. Astor’s duplex apartment for the last couple of years — an apartment he said was as beautiful as when Mrs. Astor was still regularly in the spotlight. He said that her doctors had diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease several years ago and that Mr. Marshall “spends a good deal of his energy taking beautiful care of his mother.”
Mr. Richenthal said that Mrs. Astor’s health had declined in the last 18 months or so, and that she was in an all but vegetative state. “She has no idea where she is,” he said, adding that when Mr. Marshall and his wife, Charlene, visit her, “she doesn’t know they’re in the room.”
He called Anthony Marshall “a completely dutiful son.”
“One can only guess that his own son has his own emotional agenda,” Mr. Richenthal said. “I’ve never seen him there.”