Thursday, 09 October 2014 01:35

Leona Helmsley tales for Pippa, Carole and the George Clooney’s

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helmsleyAfter their big, fat Venetian wedding, newlyweds George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin are reported to have honeymooned at home.

But “home” is reportedly a humongous mansion in Berkshire.

And we all know who’s living in Berkshire!

Will Carole Middleton pop ‘round the Clooney’s mansion with a casserole from Pippa’s hideous cookbook?  Will Pippa pop in wearing a sweater like an overly-appliqueed tea cosey?  Will bearded brother James pop over with marshmellows that have photos of George and Amal plastered on them?  Will Uncle Gary pop up with even more interesting offerings?

Maybe Amal and George will pretend they aren’t at home.

That’s what they’ve reportedly been doing all week, only leaving the house to take their dogs walkies.

Which is news!  Wow!  Amal and George have dog children!  We thought that George’s former galpal, Italian “boomboom!” Elisabetta Canalis, was the only Clooney heartthrob who had dog children.  So devoted and concerned for dog children everywhere is sexy Elisabetta that she even filmed a PETA commercial pretending to be a dog trapped in a sweltering car.  Just watch it!  You’ll never roll your car windows up again!

And if a famous power couple like the Clooneys have dog children, can human children be far behind?

It all reminds me of the infamous power couple of New York City, hoteliers Leona and Harry Helmsley, who had the mansion and the jewelry and the dog children.  In fact, Leona had human children first and then human grandchildren, but disinherited them and left everything to her dog children.  Or, dog child-- a Maltese named “Trouble” who bit a maid.  It caused quite a lot of social commentary at the time.

At the time, it was all too much for a Manhattan judge to stomach, and little Trouble’s trust fund was reduced to a mere $2 million.   Legal issues regarding Trouble’s inheritance were rumored to be featured questions on the New York Bar Exam for decades after Leona’s death.

You may not remember Leona, mother of “Trouble,” but several decades back, New York tabloids dubbed her “The Queen of Mean” as a pun on her and her husband’s hotel advertising campaign featuring her pretending to be a queen claiming that her husband’s “Helmsley Palace” was up to Royal standards.  “It’s the only palace where the Queen stands guard!” was its advertising slogan.  Doggie child “Trouble” was even featured in the ads!  

After being convicted of cheating on her taxes, the Helmsley Palace’s “Queen Leona” did a small amount of prison time, which provoked a storm of bad publicity and very, very interesting books.

Bad publicity tends to do that!

So mean was mean, mean Leona that her own lawyer defended her at her criminal trial by saying, “I don’t believe Mrs. Helmsley is charged in the indictment with being a bitch.”


The jury found her guilty anyway after one of Helmsley’s housekeepers testified that Leona had told her that she and Mr. Helmsely didn’t pay taxes– “Only the little people pay taxes.”  And indeed, another investigation showed that Queen Leona had purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars in Royal jewels from America’s crown jeweler, Van Cleef & Arpels, but had illegally evaded paying the sales taxes.  Queen Leona cleverly obtained immunity in return for testifying against two Van Cleef & Arpels officials, who, like loyal Romans, both fell upon the swords and pled guilty. Her purchase of two pieces of jewelry for $485,000.00 seemed breathtaking at the time.,,20095362,00.html.  

But these days, George Clooney easily paid twice that (retail, anyway) for Amal’s diamond engagement ring.

And that’s just for one measly seven-point-five carat diamond!  With two–TWO!-- puny, minuscule, barely-visible baguettes.

But still!  Hopefully George paid the sales tax so he won’t go the way of Queen Leona, and nobody at the top-secret diamond ring place where he bought Amal’s honking big stone will have to be good Romans and fall upon their swords and plead guilty to enabling customers to avoid paying sales taxes.

Just like real royalty, and just like George and Amal, the faux royal Helmsley power couple bought themselves a private palace, “Dunellen Hall,” that was NOT a hotel.  It was a 28-room Jacobean-style mansion with a marble ballroom, a red-carpeted divergent staircase, and a gigantic swimming pool, sitting on 26 acres with breathtaking views of Long Island.  Their butler described a sad state of affairs where the house was so enormous that the Helmsleys used to singly wander through it, wraithlike, each separately calling out the name of the other and, like the love-besotted nymph, Echo, beseeching the vapid Narcissus to answer back– but to no reply.  The butler testified that he would see Mr. Helmsely wander through the living room, asking, “Have you seen Mrs. Helmsley?”  And Queen Leon would, about half an hour later, drift in from the opposite direction asking, “Have you seen my Harry?”


Billionaires have very special problems!

Or maybe they watch too many Marx Brothers movies.

Anyway, George and Amal’s new digs reportedly cost something like more than $8 million dollars, and include a “panic room” and a living quarters for George’s security team.

Leona and Harry Helmsley’s Dunellen Hall didn’t have a “panic room,” unlike George and Amal’s mansion, but it did have a pretty authentic-looking royal dungeon in the basement that doubled as a wine cellar.  

And unlike Leona and Harry, who had lots of kitchen help, apparently George and Amal haven’t had time to interview chefs yet, because the newlyweds are having all their food brought to their door by “a posh, private catering company.”

Other well-heeled honeymooners have to settle for room service!  But George and Amal are probably used to lots of room service, so it isn’t so special for them.

Anyway, George is said to have gifted the mansion to Amal as a wedding present.

It was probably all set out in their prenuptial agreement, which we won’t likely see unless there is ever a contested divorce, as was the case with George and Amal’s Hollywood Star wedding guest, Bill Murray.

Meanwhile, Amal’s good friend supposedly blabbered at their wedding that Amal was a smoker who quit “cold turkey” when she met George.


Guess Carole and Pippa better not be popping ‘round the Clooney mansion if they run out of fags!

But anyway, Amal might have a secret cigarette supply stashed somewhere, as anyone who has married a smoker and given them a similar, non-negotiable prenuptial ultimatum knows from experience. 

Good luck with that, George and Amal!

Maybe that’s the reason the Clooneys’ mansion has a panic room.


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