Aide to Liberace’s Executor Testifies
The former secretary to the executor of Liberace’s estate testified Tuesday that the executor overbilled the estate, had her fill out blank quitclaim deeds signed by the entertainer and tore up a receipt closing out his Swiss bank account.
Helaine Golding said she copied some Liberace estate transactions while working in the office of Beverly Hills attorney Joel Strote because she felt that some of Strote’s actions were illegal.
She admitted under cross-examination that she was angry with Strote when she left his employment, and threatened to sell her story on Liberace to the National Enquirer for $50,000 or $100,000.
“I said everyone should know what this man’s done,” she said. “I said I will go to the Enquirer so everyone knows.”
The former secretary claimed that Strote billed the estate of the famous pianist for time he actually spent with other clients.
Strote drew up Liberace’s will and had it signed 13 days before the entertainer’s death on Feb. 4, 1987. The new will made Strote executor of the estate and head of two Liberace trusts.
Five Liberace associates have filed a civil lawsuit seeking to have Strote removed as executor and trustee, claiming that Liberace was too ill to know what he was doing when he signed the documents Jan. 22, 1987.