NEW YORK – The widow of the late Greek shipping heir Michael Kulukundis refuses to give up her apartment in the Pierre Hotel which the executors of her husband’s estate have been trying to sell since 2016 when a deal was signed with a buyer for $9.8 million, the New York Post reported.
Tara Kulukundis claims she never consented to the deal for the apartment in the renowned Fifth Avenue landmark, the Post reported, adding that the widow “once locked herself inside her husband Michael’s $25 million Southampton manse to keep it from being sold,” in 2013.
Albert Sigal and Barbara de Mare are the executors of the deceased estate, worth $62 million, and, according to the Post, they “have accused Kulukundis of skipping town for months in a bid to scuttle the sale” and “asked a judge in December to give her the boot so they could unload the property and collect the $9.8 million purchase price before the buyer walks, but Kulukundis calls it a contrived ‘emergency.’”
Papers filed last month in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court by Kulukundis’ lawyers claim that the executors and the buyer of the apartment have not yet obtained “all required approvals” needed to force Mrs. Kulukundis out of the apartment, the Post reported, adding that allegations she has been “draining dry her husband’s estate” are “simply false.”
The lawyers asserted in the court papers that the “executors are far from proving any such thing,” the Post reported, noting that “At $12,815 a month, the Pierre Hotel apartment is ‘a small fraction of the estate’s expenses’ of $130,000 a month.”
The widow is has also requested “an official accounting of the estate’s assets,” the Post reported, quoting her question to the executors, “How is this estate generating legitimate expenses of $1.5 million per year?”
As TNH reported in 2016, her own son, Manuel Kulukundis, named after his grandfather who made his fortune in the shipping business in the 1950s, sued his mother over the family’s art collection, previously owned by his grandfather. The collection includes two Henri Matisse line drawings, a painting by French artist Camille Pissarro, a 1600 painting entitled “Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple” by El Greco, an Edgar Degas sketch and various Chinese and Greek sculptures. Manuel said the pieces are part of the family’s trust, of which he is a trustee, and therefore untouchable by his mother. The suit alleged that “She has undertaken discussions, through her counsel, with Sotheby’s to sell the… artwork and will most likely do so and keep the proceeds.”
Mrs. Kulukundis filed a countersuit alleging that the artwork was a gift from her late husband.