LEFT: I wonder if she is in the hot seat? Look at that face; pure contempt.
I gave Leona Helmsley the benefit of the doubt during her trial and incarceration which I had attributed to class warfare and rich-people hatred, but now, I'm beginning to think that she is one of those mean, petty, vindictive, manipulative, condescending, imperious people who would be little less than nothing were it not for loads of money. I suspect she came from the plebe class and despised her working-class roots. They're the worst sort when endowed with unearned cash.
Ah, and after a little peak at Wikipedia, what do you know? I swear I did not look at this entry before typing the above. Of course, this doesn't make me a genius. She's pretty easy to deconstruct, I mean, even the Donald had her figured out:
She was born Leona Mindy Rosenthal in Marbletown, Ulster County, New York, to Polish Jewish immigrants, daughter of a hatmaker, and raised in Brooklyn. As an adult, she legally changed her surname to Roberts, according to an obituary in the New York Times.. Helmsley would later claim that she appeared in billboard ads for Chesterfield cigarettes, but there is no evidence of this, and her claim remains entirely unsubstantiated.So this woman pretends at wealth and fame and will do anything to get a name. Ambitious in the extreme and tyrannical to those "beneath" her, her disrespect of the help just masks her own fear of loss and self-loathing. To mask her powerlessness, she feels powerful by abusing everyone around her. Her family makes nice soft targets. Most people attempt to be nice to grandma, but she would have none of it. No doubt, kindness was viewed with suspicion. Anyone nice is just after money--just like Leona was herself. That's what people do, project their secret weaknesses on others. (Watch what the Clintons accuse others of, it's very telling.) Anyone who met her disdain with disdain was cast aside. Her child and grandchildren had no chance with her. She was only about herself.
Her only child, a son from her first (lesser) marriage died of a heart-attack. This is what Leona did:
On March 31, 1982, her only child, Jay Panzirer, died of a heart attack. Leona then sued her son's estate for money and property that she said he had borrowed, and her son's widow Mimi received an eviction notice. Mimi Panzirer - the mother of Leona's four grandchildren - later said the legal expenses wiped her out and "to this day I don't know why they did it."I know why. Her son was not of sufficiently bred stock. She hated her past and he was one big reminder of that. Once he died, she could absolve herself of bringing his wife and family to nothing.
It looks like many of us who were Leona defenders (the legal case was weak) were wrong. She might just be one of those people who deserve to spend time sleeping on bunk with a public toilet. Seems Paris Hilton learned more lessons from her bunk-time than Leona did. Justice is cruel, though. She may have stipulated a golden sarcophagus, but she's still dead. Even Leona's money and arrogance can't save her from that humble fate.