Legal Woes

Jackie's Legal Woes

Dent Place House Lease (1953): Jackie violated terms of the six-month lease by doing some unapproved redecorating that included painting a bed.

Glen Ora Estate Lease (1961-63): Jackie again violated terms of the lease by doing major redecorating (the lease stipulated the house be returned to the original decor).

Atoka/Wexford Secret Land Purchase (1962): JFK and Jackie quietly purchased the Virginia property through a secret intermediary - their friends Paul and Eve Fout.

JFK's Estate (1964): JFK made a specific bequest of $25k to his wife, Jackie, the rest to be split in equal shares between a trust set up for Jackie, and trusts set up for his children; Any distribution to other heirs under the age of 21 will be in trust; Jackie, Robert Kennedy, and Edward Kennedy were named Executors, to act jointly by majority vote.

Manchester Suit (1967): The feud would become a public relations nightmare, with Jackie ultimately deciding to settle the lawsuit out of court just hours before the trial was set to begin. (Many speculate that she did so to avoid causing Bobby Kennedy bad press.) Manchester agreed to cut 1600 words from the serialization and 7 pages from the book, and the project moved forward.

Ron Galella Suits (1970s): Jackie sued photographer Ron Galella twice, (he sued her once) and her second attempt, after Galella violated an injunction to stay at least 25 feet away from her, effectively ended her time as his favorite subject. As well, Ari Onassis was threatened with a suit by Jackie's lawyers for nonpayment of  her legal fees. Ari was outraged by the costs. Jackie ended up paying for the fees out of one of her own accounts.

Onassis Estate (1975): According to the book, "Jackie, Ethel, Joan," by author J. Randy Taraborelli, Jackie and Ari had a prenuptial agreement. The agreement was initially worked out by Ted Kennedy and then it was revised by Jackie's financial adviser, Andre Meyer. Onassis agreed to pay three million dollars to marry her as a kind of dowry. She would then receive $200,000 a year for life in the event of his death. Each child would also receive one million dollars each and the interest on that money would go to Jackie. Interestingly, the book goes on to state that had there been no prenuptial agreement, under the laws of Greece, Jackie would have been entitled to 1.5 percent of Onassis' $500 million estate in the event of his death, roughly $62.5 million. She reportedly received between $10 to $20 million from Onassis' estate after negotiations with Christina.

Dior "Look Alike" Ad Suit (1983): Jackie successfully sued fashion house Dior over use of a "Jackie look alike" in an ad campaign.

Wampanoag Suit (1990): Jackie Agreed to give a group of Wampanoag Indians a plot of land and $100,000 in exchange for a small piece of beachfront property on Martha's Vineyard. The agreement, which was ratified by Judge John S. Macdougall Jr. in Dukes County Probate Court, ended a 10-year dispute over the property. The case put Jackie's desire for privacy against the Indians' belief that they should retain tribal lands on the island. At issue was a 1 1/2-acre section of land surrounded by Jackie's estate but owned mainly by the Wampanoags. The agreement called for the Wampanoags to surrender title and access to the 1 1/2-acre site in exchange for $100,000 and a larger section of beachfront.

Staff Confidentiality Agreements: Over the years, Jackie required staff (White House/1040 Fifth Ave., etc.) to sign confidentiality agreements to help protect her privacy. A few staff members who did not sign such a document - including her personal secretary Mary Gallagher, her nanny Maude Shaw, and White House Chief Usher JB West did write personal accounts of their lives with Jackie - much to her displeasure. She fired several staffers for violating these agreements - including 1040 chef Annemarie Huste.

Copyright Steven L. Brawley, 2002-2015. All Rights Reserved.