Helmsley’s Millionaire Maltese, Trouble, Dies at 12By CARA BUCKLEY
Trouble, the fluffy white lap companion of the widely vilified hotel and real estate tycoon Leona Hemsley — and a dog that managed to be both the world’s richest and most hated Maltese — died in December, a vice president of the Helmsley trust has confirmed.
Trouble gained infamy after Mrs. Helmsley, who died in 2007, left the dog $12 million in her will, though a surrogate court judge later reduced the amount to $2 million. After Mrs. Helmsley’s death, the dog was cared for at the Helmsley Sandcastle hotel in Sarasota, Fla., by the hotel’s general manager, Carl Lekic, and was 12 when she died.
In August 2008, Mr. Lekic told Reuters that Trouble’s $2 million inheritance would cover yearly costs of $100,000 for a full-time security guard — the dog had received death threats — $1,200 for food and $8,000 for grooming. Mr. Lekic was also paid $60,000 for being the dog’s guardian.
Eileen Sullivan, a spokeswoman for the Helmsley Charitable Trust, said in a statement that Trouble had been cremated and that her remains were “privately retained.”
“The funds held in trust for her care have reverted to the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust for charitable purposes,” Ms. Sullivan said.
Though Mrs. Helmsley left most of her billions to her charitable trust, her bequest to Trouble made the Maltese the target of much of the contempt previously directed at Mrs. Helmsley, who had been called “the Queen of Mean.”