Claus von Bulow (1926-2019)
Claus Cecil Borberg (changed name to von Bülow), of London
He was born "Claus Borberg" in Copenhagen the son of a Danish playwright disgraced for collaborating with the Nazis during the Second World War. Claus took his mother's name "Bulow" and then added the noble connotation of "von" himself when he came to America, finding work as the personal assistant to Jean Paul Getty (1892-1976). In 1982, he was convicted for attempting to murder his wife, Sunny, who was left in a coma for the rest of her life after an insulin overdose, but he was acquitted in 1985. In 1987, Claus formally divorced his comatose wife and relinquished all rights to any of her fortune. He also agreed to leave the country (leaving for London) and never to profit from the story, when his stepchildren finally dropped their $56 million law suit case against him. The deal also saw his daughter, Cosima (who had insisted on his innocence), reinstated back into her maternal grandmother's will. His lawyer, however, further cashed in by writing a book that was made into the film, Reversal of Fortune. His lawyer had wanted to dislike him, but admitted he fell for his beguiling charm and warmth and in turn he became a popular society figure in London.
Image Courtesy of Open Media Ltd., shown on "After Dark" September 13, 1997.