Gloria Vanderbilt and custody battle over her trust fund

Long before Gloria Vanderbilt’s name was on the back of her jeans or her son Anderson Cooper broke the news, Gloria Vanderbilt was in the middle of one of the most high-profile custody battles of the 20th century. I was a child trapped inside. Little Gloria, the heiress to a Vanderbilt fortune, said her influential aunt and her fun-loving mother were in court seeking custody of her children and control of her huge trust fund. She was only ten years old in 1934 when she appeared in court.

Reginald Vanderbilt
Cornelius Vanderbilt made a fortune during the Golden Age as king of shipping and railroads, and the Vanderbilt family built several large and imposing mansions along Fifth Avenue in New York City. Ta. After Vanderbilt’s death in 1877, Vanderbilt’s fortune was estimated at his $100 million, surpassing the assets of the U.S. Treasury at the time. Vanderbilt’s grandson Reginald received a $15.5 million trust fund for his 21st birthday and celebrated by spending $70,000 gambling that night.

In addition to his gambling addiction, Reginald was also a heavy drinker. When he was 42, doctors warned him to stop drinking, but instead married a beautiful 17-year-old socialite named Gloria Morgan. Their daughter Gloria Vanderbilt was 18 months old when her father died of cirrhosis in 1925. Her teenage widow was appalled to learn that her husband had used up all of her inheritance and left her penniless, but Little Vanderbilt had a trust fund and her family was able to live on her interest alone until the girl turned 21.
Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt
Morgan Vanderbilt spent the next few years traveling frequently and partying with royalty while her daughter was cared for by a live-in nanny. When her Ms. Vanderbilt contracted tonsillitis at the age of eight, questions arose about her mother’s health, and her aunt, Ms. Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, said that while she was recovering, , offered her a luxurious mansion in New York. Morgan Vanderbilt has returned to her European party girl life and she hasn’t seen her daughter in months. Her guarded Whitney blocked her access to the Vanderbilt Trust Fund on the grounds that it would be inappropriate for her sister-in-law to spend her money if she would not pay for her care and expenses. , urged her Morgan Vanderbilt to return to New York. to get her daughter back. But Whitney was reluctant to give herself back to a woman she believed was unsuitable to be her mother.

Vanderbilt v. Whitney
Vanderbilt v. Whitney began on October 1, 1934, when Whitney’s lawyers portrayed little Gloria as a sick, attention-starved girl whose mother drank heavily and stayed out late at night. Provided a colleague’s testimony that he had gone out and slept and had almost nothing. Communication with her daughter. Several people have also seen Morgan Vanderbilt kissing and hugging his friend Nadeida Mountbatten, strongly suggesting that the best friends were indeed in a lesbian relationship. Ms Vanderbilt herself told the judge she was scared of her mother, but claimed years later that she took advice from her aunt’s lawyer.

As evidence mounts against her, Morgan Vanderbilt is left with the claim that she is the biological mother of young Gloria. After seven weeks of testimony, the judge granted Whitney custody of Vanderbilt, but allowed her visits with her mother. Even if that arrangement wasn’t happy for young Gloria, she certainly did thrive. She eventually became an artist, author, model and designer of fashion and is said to have pioneered the fashion of her jeans.