A wealthy heiress in the United States has sparked a bitter legal row after leaving £8million of her estate to her beloved pet dogs. When Gail Posner died aged 67 she had already made arrangements to give her Chihuahua and two other dogs a £2million trust fund and a £6million beach-front mansion in Miami.
The dogs were not the only winners in the will - a string of bodyguards and housekeepers were awarded £17million and the right to live rent-free in the property while they cared for the animals, according to legal papers.
Now Posner's son has launched a legal bid to have her last wishes annulled. Bret Carr claims his mother was drugged with painkillers and 'brainwashed' into spending lavish sums on her pets including Conchita, the Chihuahua, which took regular spas, had a full-time staff, its own wardrobe and was showered with diamonds.
He alleges aides persuaded his mother to change her will in 2008 and used their influence to leave him with just £650,000.Carr, a director, claims his mother was 'deeply disturbed' and was persuaded to hire a publicist to promote Conchita as 'one of the world's most spoiled dogs'.
His lawyer, Bruce Katzen, said he believes the publicity campaign was part of a 'ruse' to explain why a large trust fund was needed to care for the dogs. While Miss Posner was alive, her excesses towards her animals became the stuff of legend.
In an interview in 2007 she said Conchita's most prized possession was a £10,000 Cartier necklace, however the dog refused to wear it after choking on it.'Conchita is the only girl I know who doesn't consider diamonds her best friend,' she said.
The dog would typically accompany Miss Posner on lunch dates and she once considered buying her her own Range Rover to take the animal for its weekly spa appointments for pedicures and manicures. In the end she decided to give the dog her gold Cadillac and bought a new car for herself.
Posner, who died in March, was born into wealth - her father was Victor Posner, an American businessman and philanthropist. The bodyguards and housekeepers declined to comment.