Liberace Niece, 3 Nephews Barred From Estate Share

Associated Press

A niece and three nephews of entertainer Liberace failed today to gain a share of his multimillion-dollar estate, with an attorney calling the four an embarrassment to the famed pianist.

Liberace died at his Palm Springs, Calif., home Feb. 4 of a disease that authorities said was caused by AIDS.

A will signed by Liberace 11 days before his death left the bulk of his estate to the Liberace Foundation for the Performing Arts, which provides scholarships in the arts at 22 colleges and universities across the country. Some of the estate also went to his sister, Angie; a sister-in-law, Dora; a housekeeper and some friends.


Not mentioned in the will were four children of Rudy Liberace, a brother of the pianist who died 20 years ago. The four, Ina, Lester, Harry and Rudy Liberace, all of Los Angeles, appeared in probate court in Las Vegas today to contest the will.

A lawyer representing the Liberace estate, George Rudiak, told Judge Thomas Foley that the entertainer had “good reasons” for excluding the four.

Mother’s Funeral Cited

Rudiak said that he had seen other wills drawn by Liberace dating back to 1982 and that each one excluded the niece and three nephews.

“I understand they embarrassed him at his mother’s funeral in 1980,” Rudiak said of the family split. “I think he wrote them off at that time.”

Foley rejected the claims of the four, saying he was “disappointed these people have received poor advice.” When Ina Liberace tried to address the court, Foley told her, “You need and you need desperately for someone to give you some sound advice.”

Foley approved the will as filed last month.

“Liberace didn’t like these kids,” Rudiak said after the hearing. “They were continually humiliating him. He was embarrassed by them.”


Mother Given Home

The mother of the four, Isabel Liberace, was given the deed to a North Hollywood, Calif., home that the entertainer owned. But a provision in the will said that gift could be revoked if she played any role in challenging the will.

“They didn’t even give us a chance to talk” Ina Liberace said after the hearing. “We were very close to Uncle Lee.”

She said attorneys for the estate refused to show her previous wills made by the entertainer.