Von Bulow Admits Using His Wife’s Money Under False Pretenses
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Socialite Claus von Bulow says he charged some expenses to his comatose wife, heiress Martha ″Sunny″ von Bulow, while living in her Fifth Avenue apartment with his lover.
In sworn testimony last week in New York City, von Bulow also said he charged his wife for limousine trips taken by a man investigating alleged drug use by his stepson, Alexander Auersperg, The Providence Journal reported Friday.
Von Bulow has accused Auersperg and Annie Laurie Auersperg Kniessel, his wife’s children by an earlier marriage, of trying to frame him for twice attempting to murder their mother.
Von Bulow admitted sending a false claim to his wife’s New York banker for $1,200, saying it was for weekend trips taken by their only daughter, Cosima.
In fact, the limousine trips were taken by David Marriott, Von Bulow said. Marriott claimed to have supplied Auersperg with drugs, Von Bulow said, and was hired by Von Bulow to link his stepson with illicit drugs.
Marriott has admitted in an affidavit that he unwittingly delivered injectable drugs to Mrs. von Bulow in Newport that were meant for Auersperg. He said the deliveries were in 1977 and 1978, more than two years before Mrs. von Bulow’s first coma.
Mrs. von Bulow fell into a coma during a Christmas visit to her Newport mansion in 1979 but recovered. The following December, however, she went into a coma that doctors say is irreversible, and she remains at a New York City hospital.
Von Bulow was found guilty in 1982 of injecting his wife with insulin, causing the comas, but the verdict was thrown out on appeal. He was retried and acquitted last year.
The revelations about the expense claims came in pre-trial testimony given by von Bulow for a $56 million lawsuit his estranged stepchildren have filed against him. Auersperg, 27, and his 28-year-old sister claim their stepfather sought to gain their mother’s $75 million utilities fortune by engineering her death.
Marriott was hired to investigate drug links between Rhode Island, Florida, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and Montreal, von Bulow said. But Marriott failed to turn up anything of value to support Marriott’s claims that he supplied Auersperg and Mrs. von Bulow with drugs, von Bulow said.
The $1,200 limousine bill was for trips Marriott made from his Wakefield, Mass., home to Watch Hill, Westerly, to meet with von Bulow and his lover, Andrea Reynolds, von Bulow said in the deposition.
When he submitted the bills for reimbursement, however, von Bulow said he told his wife’s New York banker in a letter the expenses were incurred by Cosima, a sophmore at Brown University.
″Since Cosima’s return from Switzerland, she has spent weekends in Nantucket, Watch Hill, Easthampton and Bar Harbor. Hence, some hefty limousine charges,″ the letter said.
However, von Bulow said in his testimony that those claims were ″a mistake.″
Von Bulow also said he has used his wife’s money to entertain parents of Cosima’s friends and for food expenses he and his lover incurred while living at Mrs. von Bulow’s Manhattan apartment.
Mrs. Reynolds was ″looking after Cosima in many ways, I mean in every way, as loco parentis,″ von Bulow said in the testimony. The meals and theater for parents of Cosima’s friends were to repay them for their hospitality to his daughter, he said.