Dog left $12 million by U.S. hotelier dies

Thu Jun 9, 2011 6:34pm EDT
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (Reuters Life!) - A very rich dog, which inherited $12 million from U.S. hotelier Leona Helmsley, has died, a spokeswoman for the deceased hotel mogul's trust said on Thursday.

Helmsley, who owned the Helmsley hotel chain, left $12 million in her will to care for her beloved Maltese named Trouble when she died in 2007. A judge reduced the amount to $2 million.

Though Trouble's death is just now being reported, the dog actually died in December at the age of 12, said Eileen Sullivan, spokeswoman for the Helmsley Charitable Trust.

"She was cremated and her remains are being privately retained. The funds held in trust for her care have reverted to the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust for charitable purposes," Sullivan said in a statement.

Harry Helmsley was Leona's late husband.

Sullivan refused to give any other details about Trouble. The New York Daily News newspaper said the dog had been cared for by the manager of the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel in Sarasota, Florida.

Leona Helmsley was known as "the queen of mean" for the way she treated hotel employees. She served 18 months in prison for tax evasion in the 1990s.

(Reporting by Robert Green; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Greg McCune)