Landscape architect Andrew Gordon has been cleared by a judge to collect on the vast majority of the $260 million estate of his late boyfriend, investment baron Christopher Browne, after a bitter lawsuit brought by Browne’s friends and family against Gordon was dropped, the New York Daily News reported. The holdings include a $25 million, 7,000-square-foot penthouse at 515 Park Avenue and a $75 million 18-acre estate on Further Lane in East Hampton.
Relatives and friends of Browne—who died in a Florida bar in 2009 at the age of 62—said that Gordon had exploited Browne’s alcoholism and “diminished mental state” to further increase his share of the estate and cut out other potential beneficiaries. In December, Gordon reached a confidential settlement with the plaintiffs, and a Manhattan Surrogate Court Judge ruled that the will was “validly executed” and Browne was “competent” to sign it.
Browne, a former managing director at the investment firm Tweedy, Browne Company, purchased the East Hampton oceanfront estate in 1996 for $13 million. His one-bedroom duplex penthouse with an immense entertaining space at 515 Park Avenue was listed in 2009 for $32.5 million.
Joseph Ouellette, Browne’s erstwhile personal chef, is the only remaining challenger to Gordon’s claim on the estate, alleging that Gordon cut him out of a $4 million inheritance. [NYDN] –Hiten Samtani