The Storied Life (and $300 Million) of Heiress Huguette Clark

Hosted by

tp131231empty-mansions.jpgWe recorded a story in September about extraordinary wealth that's led to a courtroom fight over one of America's great, but often forgotten, fortunes. Bill Dedman is a reporter who was looking for a house outside New York City. He and his wife were amusing themselves with real estate listings so big they boggled the mind. Then they discovered a place in New Canaan, Connecticut — reduced from $35 to just $24 million. This was in 2009 — but, when they visited, they discovered the house had not been occupied since the owner bought it in 1951. Dedman has captured the mystery of it all in Empty Mansions.

Since that interview aired in September, a tentative settlement was reached in the matter of Huguette Clark's will. Under the deal, her family gets $34.5 million; her lawyer and accountant get nothing; and her nurse will keep more than $30 million. The mansion in Santa Barbara would become a foundation to support the arts.