She stopped paying years ago and refused to leave. Her family doesn’t want her estate – worth more than $2 million – to pay because the property should have “resolved [this] while Cole was alive.”
Lobby of the waldorf Astoria, credit: Hilton
Rosalind “Roz” Cole was an agent who represented several celebrities including Andy Warhol, Errol Flynn, and Olivia de Havilland.
Rosalind Cole with her dog
Her mother was a literary agent as well, and in her 20s she was under contact as a singer with MGM records. She married her manager, who was 25 years older than she was. He died in his mid-50s in 1959, and two years later she moved into the Waldorf Astoria. She lived there for 53 years — longer than anyone else.
She produced a magazine, Cookbook Digest, that at one point had 400,000 subscribers. She wrote The Waldorf Astoria Cookbook and also The Dog That Lived at the Waldorf. She worked often from the hotel’s Bull & Bear Bar.
Waldorf Astoria Pet Registration Card, 1966
Cole died in 2014. It turns out though that she didn’t pay her rent — $12,110 per month — for the last 5 years of her life there. She owed restaurant charges as well. At one point she apparently had agreed to give up the place in exchange for forgiving her then-$650,000 debt. But she didn’t leave.
And it’s not easy, in New York, to force someone to. Even someone that doesn’t pay.
Ms. Cole owned a beach house in Bridgehampton valued at $2 million. She died without a will or direct heirs. Ten cousins are fighting to keep the proceeds of the estate, preventing collection of back rent.
“We’re very distant family members,” acknowledged one Florida cousin, Eric Polsky, 60. Polsky had no idea why Cole stopped paying the $12,110-a-month rent during the last five years of her life.
“I hadn’t spoken to her other than when I was probably a young child,” he said.
Another relative, New Jersey resident Joan Borowsky, 79, told The Post, “I haven’t seen her since I was a teenager.”
Quite reasonably, the property owner’s attorney insists “The estate would be unjustly enriched at the expense of [the Waldorf] if it were permitted to avoid paying several years’ worth of rent.”
(HT: Alan H.)