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Oleg Cassini’s Wife Released From Jail, Estate Battle Continues – WWD

Oleg Cassini’s Wife Released From Jail, Estate Battle Continues – WWD

Oleg Cassini’s Wife Released From Jail, Estate Battle Continues – WWD
November 04
06:32 2018

NEW YORK — After being held for six months in a Nassau County jail for defying a judge’s order, Marianne Nestor Cassini, the wife of the late fashion designer Oleg Cassini, was freed Friday. She is expected to be back in court Nov. 30, according to her attorney Steven Gaitman. Subsequent hearings will be held regarding the legal battle over the designer’s multimillion-dollar estate.

Cassini, who died in 2006 at the age of 92, is widely known for dressing Jackie Kennedy during her White House years and for being romantically linked to Princess Grace of Monaco before she married Prince Rainier. For decades during Oleg Cassini’s lifetime and after his death, Marianne Cassini and her sister Peggy have led the company’s small in-house staff.

Many outsiders were surprised to learn after his death that Marianne was the designer’s wife. Cassini had previously been married to the Academy Award-nominated actress Gene Tierney. The couple had a severely physically challenged daughter Daria, who died in 2010. Months before Tierney and Cassini divorced in 1948, they reconciled and another daughter Christina was born. Christina Cassini, who was known as “Tina,” died in 2015.

Nestor Cassini was incarcerated in the Nassau County Correctional Center in East Meadow, N.Y., in early May after failing to adhere to a judge’s order to turn over financial statements and business records related to Oleg Cassini Inc. and Cassini Parfums Ltd., among other reasons. Gaitman declined to specify what those were Saturday, stating, “While incarcerated, she complied with the court order to the best of her ability. There is further compliance that is necessary to meet the terms of the order but she is out of custody to foster that.”

One of the requirements of her release resulted in her being placed on a no-international-fly list and surrendering her passport to the U.S. State Department. She has also surrendered the deed to an East 19th Street town house to the Nassau County Surrogate Court “simply as an assurance for her appearance in court — it’s not tied to compliance,” Gaitman said.

Nestor Cassini has faced years of legal battles with her late husband’s offspring over his estimated $50 million estate. Gaitman, who joined Cassini’s legal team five weeks ago, said it was not his role to offer estimates of anyone’s estate, “specifically Oleg’s. I couldn’t speak to that.”

According to Newsday, which first reported of Nestor Cassini’s release, another Nassau County Surrogate Judge, Margaret Reilly, deemed the designer’s estate should be divided between his children and his widow in 2015. But two years later Reilly found ample evidence that Nestor Cassini had transferred “multiple estate assets into her own name” and had been “derelict and neglectful” in acting as the estate’s executor. Reilly ordered she pay surcharges of more than $20 million to the estate, a figure estimated around $50 million, according to Newsday.

With a long-standing affiliation with David’s Bridal, wedding gowns and other bridal attire account for the bulk of the Oleg Cassini business. There are also such categories as accessories and fragrance.

A request for comment from the Cassini company and Nestor Cassini was not immediately responded to Saturday, nor was one to Alexandre Belmont Cassini, who is involved the legal proceedings, or his attorney John Barnosky.

“There’s accounting that needs to occur as well as review and retrieval of certain documents that have been requested” by a court-appointed receiver “that we’re trying to work closely with to make sure she is in compliance with the court directives,” Gaitman said. “Obviously, she’s been released with the understanding that she is going to continue to comply.”

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