HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) — The daughter of billionaire Revlon Chairman Ronald Perelman took the stand Tuesday during a trial over her share of an inheritance from her grandfather's estate.
Samantha Perelman testified for a second day in New Jersey, where her grandfather Robert Cohen lived, that she believed he had been manipulated by her uncle before his death last year.
Under cross-examination, the 23-year-old said she believed her uncle, James Cohen, took advantage of her grandfather's vulnerable state to make him change his will, reducing her inheritance.
James Cohen's attorneys have argued that Samantha's father has been trying to get his hands on Hudson News, the company his father founded. The company sold for more than $800 million in 2008. James Cohen has headed the airport and train station newsstand company since the mid-1990s.
Ronald Perelman was married to Robert Cohen's daughter, gossip columnist Claudia Cohen. Samantha was their only child. The couple divorced and Claudia Cohen later died of cancer.
A separate lawsuit by Ronald Perelman against the family of his late ex-wife was deemed frivolous by a New Jersey state appeals court last month, but the panel ruled that the legal fees awarded in the case needed to be recalculated. Ronald Perelman had claimed in his lawsuit that Robert Cohen had promised Claudia half his estate.
Benjamin Clarke, one of James Cohen's attorneys, pressed Samantha Perelman on the extent of her father's influence and involvement in her lawsuit, noting that Ronald Perelman was paying her legal bills.
"This witness is entirely beholden to Ronald Perelman for distribution from her mother's estate, and that renders her subject to influence by her father, and control by her father," Clarke said.
Samantha Perelman insisted that she had brought the suit of her own accord.
"I think that you are bringing my father into this to make an example out of my father, and not taking into account that he was my mother's best friend, she was the love of his life — he filed that suit to tried to protect her," she said, referring to Ronald Perelman's prior suit.
Samantha Perelman's case is being heard in State Superior Court in Hackensack.