The Shmooze

All in the Family: Perelman Edition

By Gal Beckerman

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Does Raymond Perelman, the nonagenarian businessman and big-time Jewish philanthropist have a “heart and head bursting with anger, arrogance, and rage”?

So says his son, Jeffrey, in court documents revealed this week.

Alas, there is more high-stakes Perelman family drama for those interested in gawking at that sort of thing (not us, of course).

Tabloid attention usually has focused on Ron Perelman, owner of the Revlon Company, the 23rd richest man in the country, according to Forbes, who has been divorced four times (most recently in a contentious split from the actress Ellen Barkin that also resulted in a lawsuit). But it is Ron’s brother Jeffrey who is now in the news.

According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the dispute has to do with an oral agreement that Raymond said he made with Jeffrey in 1990.

It was then that the father sold $27 million worth of his industrial and medical holdings to his son so the two could have some distance from each other. Raymond’s only condition, he says, was that 50% of the assets be placed in a trust for his granddaughter, Jeffrey’s daughter, Allison (who is now 28 and pursuing a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania). He wanted her to be set up for life.

Well, apparently, Jeffrey didn’t put this provision into the agreement and now, 20 years on, Raymond discovered the omission and started suing. As for Jeffrey, he says his father is deluded and is also accusing his brother, Ron, of “stirring the pot,” egging on their father’s anger.

The whole thing has ended up in state and federal court in a series of suits and counter-suits between father and son.

And what a Jewish reason for all of this to begin with! A grandfather only wanted his granddaughter to, according to the court documents, have “wealth sufficient to enjoy a lifestyle comparable to that he had enjoyed.”

Oh to have such grandparents…


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