Claus von Bülow, socialite convicted then cleared of killing wife, dead at 92
Claus von Bülow, the Danish-born British socialite convicted and then cleared of trying to kill his heiress wife in the 1980s, has died. He was 92.
The aristocrat — who was portrayed by Jeremy Irons on the silver screen — died at his home in London on Saturday, his son-in-law Riccardo Pavoncelli told The New York Times.
In a case that was splashed across the media, Von Bülow was accused of trying to kill his wealthy wife Martha “Sunny” von Bülow so he could pocket her fortune and go live with his raven-haired soap opera actress mistress, Alexandra Isles.
Authorities said he injected Sunny twice by injecting her with insulin to trigger her hypoglycemia, sending her into a coma. Von Bülow was convicted in 1982 of attempted murder at a trial in Newport, Rhode Island.
The conviction was overturned on appeal and he was acquitted at a second trial in 1985. He moved to Europe after the second trial, saying: “I want to be forgotten and live peacefully.”
Sunny von Bülow died in 2008, after being in a coma for nearly 28 years.
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz wrote a book about the case in 1985, which was later turned into the 1990 film “Reversal of Fortune,” featuring Jeremy Irons as Claus and Glenn Close as Sunny.
The scandal split Von Bülow’s family. Sunny’s two children form a first marriage to an Austrian prince accused their stepdad of attempted murder — but the couple’s daughter stood by her dad.
Von Bülow rarely spoke about the case, partly because of an eventual financial settlement with his stepkids that required him to stay mum.
“If I give an interview, it will be a $5 million interview,” he told The Associated Press in 2012, referring to a fine he said he might face if he discussed the matter with the press.
With Post wires
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