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June 09, 2011

Queen of Mean's Pampered Pooch dies

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Leona Helmsley's pampered Maltese 'Trouble,' one of the world's richest dogs, dies at age 12

BY Joanna Molloy
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Thursday, June 9th 2011, 4:00 AM

Trouble, a Maltese who received part of Leona Helmsley's riches, joins her owner in the afterlife.
Ted Mase
Trouble, a Maltese who received part of Leona Helmsley's riches, joins her owner in the afterlife.
Jennifer Graylock/AP
Leona Helmsley's pampered pooch "Trouble," who inherited $12 million from the real estate mogul, has died at the age of 12.

That's 84 in dog years.

Like many Americans, the pampered Maltese retired to Florida in 2007, shortly after Helmsley died.

Carl Lekic, the general manager of the Helmsley Sandcastle hotel in Sarasota, cared for her.

"Trouble was cremated, and her remains are being privately retained," spokeswoman Eileen Sullivan said.

"The funds held in trust for her care have reverted to The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust for charitable purposes."

Trouble, one of the world's richest dogs, died in December, following a series of health setbacks that left her blind and infirm, sources said.

While Helmsley left the dog $12 million, a judge later knocked it down to $2 million.

Lekic said he could manage on $100,000 a year: $8,000 for grooming, $1,200 for food and the rest for his fee and a full-time security guard.

The security was necessary after John Codie, a trustee of the $8 billion charitable trust, reported that Trouble had received 20 to 30 death and kidnapping threats.

The high-maintenance pooch had a life of luxury from the git-go. She was bought at a Kennel Club pet shop on Lexington Ave. and traveled home in a Mercedes-Benz stretch limo, a source said. "Codie bought her to help Leona get over her grief over Harry's death," the source told the Daily News.

The luxe life continued, as Trouble accompanied Helmsley via private jet to her homes in Arizona and Florida, her 21-room Connecticut mansion Dunnellen Hall, and Helmsley's duplex penthouse with swimming pool at the Park Lane Hotel on Central Park South.

Helmsley, who cut two grandchildren out of her will and evicted her son's widow after his death, was often seen cuddling the canine, which was always impeccably dressed.

Helmsley, who did 18 months in federal prison on tax evasion charges in the early 1990s, wanted Trouble interred with her in the 12,000-square-foot family mausoleum in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Westchester County.

That was not to be.

"You cannot bury pets in a cemetery," said Stephen Byelick, a member of the cemetery's board. "The same rules apply to mausoleums."

Well, maybe they're together in the afterlife.

jmolloy@nydailynews.com

With Barbara Ross



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/06/09/2011-06-09_leona_helmsleys_pampered_maltese_trouble_one_of_the_worlds_richest_dogs_dies_at_.html#ixzz1On7vZKp8

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