Paul Newman’s daughters sue late actor’s charity foundation

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A new lawsuit has exposed a deep rift between two of Paul Newman’s daughters and the late actor’s charitable foundation, funded by profits from Newman’s Own line of food and beverage products.

The daughters, Susan Kendall Newman and Nell Newman, allege that Newman’s Own Foundation erroneously reduced its mandatory contributions to their own charities from $400,000 each to $200,000 a year.

They filed a lawsuit Tuesday in state court in Stamford, Connecticut, asking for $1.6 million in damages to be donated to their charitable foundations.

The daughters say their father, who started Newman’s Own Foundation three years before he died in 2008, allowed the foundation to use his name and likeness, but only under various conditions, including giving $400,000 a year to the foundations of the two. daughters.

Susan Kendall Newman, who lives in Oregon, and Nell Newman, from California, are concerned that the foundation is setting the stage to remove them completely from any control over how a portion of the profits from Newman’s Own products are donated to charities. . They also accused the foundation of “contradicting” their father’s wishes and intentions for years.

“No one should feel that the legacy of a deceased loved one is being dishonored in the way Newman’s Own Foundation has ignored Paul Newman’s daughters,” Andy Lee, an attorney for the daughters in New York City, said in a statement. .

“This lawsuit is not asking for personal compensation for Mr. Newman’s daughters, but is simply intended to hold (Newman’s Own Foundation) accountable for the charities they have failed to do in recent years and would cause them to fall into the get more support in the future, in line with Mr Newman’s wishes,” he said.

Newman’s Own Foundation has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit in court, but has released a statement.

“Best practices around philanthropic organizations do not allow perpetual funding allocations to be established for anyone, including Nell and Susan Newman,” the statement said. “An undeserved lawsuit based on this false wish would only divert money away from those who benefit from Paul Newman’s generosity.”

The foundation added, “While we expect to continue to solicit recommendations from the Newman family for valuable organizations, our funding decisions are made each year and will continue to reflect Paul Newman’s clear purpose and responsibility for the best practices privately held. control foundations.”

Paul Newman, who lived in Westport with his wife, actor Joanne Woodward, created the Newman’s Own brand in 1982, with all profits going to charity. Today, the product line includes frozen pizza, salsa, salad dressings and pasta sauces, as well as dog foods and pet treats.

In his will, Paul Newman left his assets to his wife and Newman’s Own Foundation.

Newman’s Own, the products company, is a subsidiary of Newman’s Own Foundation, a non-profit organization. The foundation says more than $570 million has been given to thousands of charities since 1982.

According to 2020 tax records, the foundation had more than $24 million in revenue and paid $11.5 million in contributions, gifts and grants. Operating and administrative expenses totaled nearly $4.5 million.

According to his daughters’ lawsuit, Newman’s Own Foundation wrote to them just four days after their father’s death, stating that they reserved the right to stop allocating funds to charities identified by the daughters. The lawsuit says this contradicts Paul Newman’s explicit instructions to the foundation.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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