Cruise and Social History: Brooke Astor’s disgraced son is accused of hawking fake heirlooms to Titanic II partiers…
The Astors were a sailing family… Wonderful video of Brooke Astor sailing on scores of ocean liners from the 1900’s – 1950’s. She died in 2007 aged 105.
Brooke Astor’s son is allegedly trying out a new fraud as he was allegedly hawking a fake gold watch that he claimed belonged to his famous relative who died on the Titanic.
The real watch: Collector John Miottel (pictured) bought the watch that belonged to John Jacob Astor at an auction in 1997.
Anthony ‘Tony’ Marshall, who was convicted of conning his philanthropist mother Brooke Astor out of $60 million in 2009, and he and his current wife Charlene made a rare public appearance last week at a lavish party for a new cruise ship called the Titanic II.
RMS Titanic sinking…
However, his story is claimed to be the 88-year-old’s latest con, as a California collector has said that he bought the real watch in an auction over a decade ago.
‘I wasn’t surprised. I had heard about somebody who was claiming to have the Astor watch from the Titanic. He has a different watch,’ collector John Miottel told the New York Post.
(Left: Marshall and his wife Charlene at the Titanic 2 party) Marshall, 88, has been outcast by New York society since he was convicted of conning his philanthropist mother Brooke Astor out of $60 million in 2009. He and wife Charlene have kept to a frugal life of solitude ever since and are rarely seen in public as he awaits his one to three year sentence.
However the couple ventured out for the event this week at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan, thrown by Australian millionaire Clive Palmer who is behind the ambitious plans to build Titanic II.
Marshall wore the watch which he said had been given to him by his mother’s third husband, Vincent Astor.
At the party, Marshall claimed that the gold piece had been found on the body of John Jacob Astor IV who was wearing it when he died on the Titanic after it sank on April 15, 1912.
Part of the story is true- Astor’s body was found with the gold watch after he drowned in the infamous shipwreck. The tycoon was the wealthiest person on board the luxury liner when it went down and the timepiece along with his gold watch, cuff links and a ring were later recovered with his body.
The part about Marshall owning it is believed to be made up.
Vincent Astor was the one to go claim his father’s body in Nova Scotia after the wreck, and he wore the watch for years after that.
According to The Post, Dobbyn’s wife Elizabeth put the watch up for auction in 1997 and that is when Mr Miottel bought the piece of history.
Predictably, the Marshalls dispute this claim, with Charlene telling the paper: ‘I’ve heard that story (that Mr Miottel owns the original) and it’s not true.’
Charlene, 67, was seen wearing Brooke Astor’s diamond and ruby bracelet, one of the few things she inherited from her mother-in-law who referred to her as ‘that b****’.
The Marshalls were among 600 guests at the event to announce the ambitious project due for completion in 2016.
They enjoyed a dinner based on the final 11-course meal with wine pairings served aboard the Titanic.
The 88-year-old, who is in poor health following open heart surgery, is estranged from his twin sons.
They testified that their father and stepmother were abusing Astor, withholding medical treatment and leaving her to lie drenched in her own urine.
Marshall was found guilty of defrauding his mother out of millions, money she had inherited from her third husband, hotelier and realtor Vincent Astor.
(Left: Anthony Marshall and his wife Charlene after his 2009 guilty verdict for looting his mother’s estate (Getty Images). Charlene was married to an Episcopal priest while she carried on an affair with Marshall before eventually marrying him.)
Brooke Astor, who died in 2007 aged 105, had devoted her life to philanthropy, giving eye-watering sums of money to the St. Regis Hotel, the New York Public Library and the Metropolitan Art Museum.
The multimillionaire, who had Alzheimer’s, was left to spend her last days in heart-breaking conditions – her dogs messing over her Park Avenue apartment while she napped in her own urine with no one to help, the Post previously reported.
The jury convicted Marshall of 14 counts, including first-degree grand larceny and scheming to defraud.
John Jacob Astor (left) has become one of the most fabled characters to emerge from the 1,517 passengers who died when the Titanic sank on April 15, 1912.
The 47-year-old American tycoon, who built the Astoria Hotel in New York, was returning from his honeymoon on the doomed vessel with his 19-year-old pregnant wife Madeleine.
When the Titanic struck the iceberg, Astor helped his wife into a lifeboat but remained onboard. He was last seen smoking a cigarette on the top deck.
Half an hour later, the ship slipped beneath the ocean waves. His wife survived.
Astor’s was one of the 333 bodies recovered on April 22 by a cable ship. He was identified by the initials sewn into his jacket along with his engraved gold watch.
Astor’s son Vincent inherited the piece and wore it for the rest of his life before passing it on to his son, Anthony.
J.J Astor is buried in Trinity Church Cemetery in New York City. Madeleine gave birth to a son on August 14, 1912 who was named after his father.