Trouble Dies In Luxury
The richest lapdog in the world -- a little white Maltese named Trouble -- died at the age of 12 in her final days in luxury, every need tended to around the clock, in Sarasota, Fla.
Trouble owed her coddled lifestyle to her former owner, New York Hotel heiress Leona Helmsley, who died in 2007 and turned her back on relatives to bequeath the bulk of her estate, $12 million, to her dog.
Helmsley bought the beloved pet for comfort after the death of her husband, billionaire hotelier Harry Helmsley.
A judge later knocked down the dog's inheritance to $2 million. Though the pooch died in December, news of her demise was only reported this week.
The pampered pooch had led a life of luxury after her owner purchased her at a New York City pet shop and chauffeured her around in a stretch limo.
In death, Helmsley earned her nickname, the "Queen of Mean," cutting off her grandchildren and leaving a trust fund to the cherished pet.
Helmsley served 18 months in federal prison on tax evasion charges in the early 1990s.
But she did leave millions for her brother, Alvin Rosenthal. He was initially responsible for caring for Trouble. The other two grandchildren were spared her final wrath and left $5 million each, provided they visit their father's grave at least once a year.
But when her brother refused to care for the dog after Helmsley's death, Trouble was flown by private jet to Florida.
The will also stipulated that when the Maltese went to the big kennel in the sky, she would lie beside her in the 12,000-square-foot Helmsley family mausoleum in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Westchester County, N.Y.