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October 01, 2008



Very sad, particularly when a apple (indeed in this case the one and only apple) falls this far from the tree. Although banished, we should ask St. Edmund Campion to intercede for him, in consideration of the fine play about St. Edmund which Chris Buckley wrote before he wigged out.

Mrs. Peperium

Crackie, it appears Christopher went off the reservation (sort of) a while ago - and boy is PP ever on top with breaking news...:

A Child Vs. William F. Buckley Jr.'s Family Fortune


October 1, 2008

As William F. Buckley Jr.'s only child, satirist and former White House aide Christopher Buckley is poised to inherit a fortune worth tens of millions of dollars.

But as Buckley waits for the estate of his late father to go through probate court in Stamford, a former Random House publicist is fighting in a Miami courtroom to increase the $3,000 a month in child support he pays for the special-needs son he fathered with her.

Irina Woelfle's lawsuit blames 7-year-old Jonathan's learning problems, in part, on Christopher Buckley's refusal to have anything to do with the boy.

"The father is notably absent from the minor child's life," her lawsuit states.

The legal proceedings involving Christopher Buckley's relationship with his third child — he has two older children with his wife — have received little attention. Details of the initial case that set the child-support parameters for Jonathan were sealed by Connecticut judicial authorities, who for years hid from the public such lawsuits involving prominent people.

It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that the Buckley family's efforts to keep Jonathan at arm's length don't end with Christopher Buckley. In his will, William F. Buckley Jr. leaves the contents of his estate to Christopher and the two children he fathered with his wife — and leaves no doubt that Jonathan will get none of the money.

"I intentionally make no provision herein for said Jonathan, who for all purposes ... shall be deemed to have predeceased me," wrote William Buckley, who died in February.

Attorneys who handle probate matters said William Buckley's intent was to make it clear Jonathan had no claim to his estate. Not mentioning the boy at all could have opened up the estate to a challenge.

"The language seems a little over the top; almost mean-spirited," said Greenwich lawyer Patrick R. Gil, who has handled several high-profile probate cases, including the estate of murdered Greenwich swindler Andrew Kissel.

"By deeming him pre-deceased, he was making sure no one would let [Jonathan] put his nose under the tent," Gil said.

It is a tent worth millions of dollars. William Buckley's landholdings alone make it likely that the $10 million estimate his son made as part of the paternity case is highly conservative.

The family's home on Wallacks Drive in Stamford was assessed at slightly more than $5 million in 2007, according to land records.

In addition, William Buckley owned a 5,000-square-foot ground-floor maisonette apartment on Park Avenue in one of the most exclusive co-ops on the East Side of New York City. Others who lived in the building include socialite Brooke Astor and designer Vera Wang, whose slightly bigger apartment sold for $33.6 million last year.

Realtors expect Buckley's apartment to sell for $23 million to $35 million.

In the Florida court filing, Woelfle indicates that Jonathan is having difficulties in school because he has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Woelfle asserts that the boy needs to attend a private school with a "small, nurturing classroom setting so that Jonathan can thrive and reach his academic potential."

The lawsuit makes clear that she wants Christopher Buckley to use his large inheritance to foot the bill, noting that "there has been a substantial change in the Father's income" since the child support agreement was reached.

In addition to more money, Woelfle is asking the court to order that Buckley have some contact with his son. In the initial agreement in Superior Court in Stamford, finalized in May of 2003, Christopher Buckley agreed to pay $3,000 a month in child support to Woelfle.

The agreement also stated that Christopher Buckley did not want visitation rights. The agreement prohibited Woelfle from contacting Buckley directly about Jonathan; all communication goes through their attorneys.

In the new court filing, Woelfle said the boy has reached the age at which he needs a father figure.

"As Jonathan gets older, he requires love, attention and a notable involvement in his life from his father," the lawsuit said. "It is in Jonathan's best interest and welfare for this court to impose a contact and access schedule on the Father, so that Jonathan can establish a relationship with his Father and extended paternal family."

Woelfle now works for a public relations company in Coral Gables, Fla. She met Christopher Buckley when she did public relations for Random House, which published "Thank You for Smoking," one of his five novels. She was living in Newtown when Jonathan was born in March 2000.

Woelfle declined to comment. Buckley, who was once a speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush, could not be reached for comment. He now lives in the Washington, D.C., area with his wife and two children.

Buckley apparently has put his political leanings aside to fight the Florida case. He has hired attorney Bruce Christensen, of the Miami law firm Richman Greer, the firm that represented members of the Democratic canvassing boards that were sued during the recount scandal in the 2000 presidential election.

Although he wouldn't comment on the specifics of the lawsuit, Christensen has filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that Florida courts have no jurisdiction, even though Woelfle and her son now live there.

Christensen also said that lawyers for the two parties are "working toward a solution to this matter."

Buckley filed the lawsuit in Stamford court, seeking to establish parameters for child support in 2003. He originally wanted the case filed under "John Doe vs Jane Doe" to conceal his identity. It eventually was filed as a "Level 2" case, meaning the identities of the two parties were public, but the contents of the file were not.

For years, Connecticut judges quietly sealed cases from the public's view. In some cases identified as "Level 1," the entire files — including the identities of the parties — were kept secret. There were more than 6,300 Level 2 cases like Buckley's.

The Courant and Connecticut Law Tribune sued the state judicial branch to get the files unsealed.

After more than four years of litigation, the docket sheets were made public in 2007, identifying the parties in 40 Level 1 cases and the complete files in many of the Level 2 cases, including the Buckley case.


Very sad reading, all of this. I must admit that I have never heard of a court ordering a parent to have contact with a child. It seems strange since the court could not order the content of the communication between the parent and child. I wonder if the mother's lawyers just dreamed this up to see if Florida courts want to boldly go where no man has gone before. Of course, if Buckley's favored presidential candidate wins, I understand that he will bring all of us together--rendering the whole case moot.

Old Dominion Tory

What an intensely sad situation for all parties concerned. I feel especially sorry for Mr. Buckley's wife who apparently feels compelled to stand by her cad of a husband.

Mrs. Peperium

Crackie and ODt, I understand why you say it is sad for all involved. But in reality it is not sad for all. It is not sad for Christopher Buckley.

Going totally anecdotal here...about 5 years ago, at our little posh market I ran into an aged genealogical friend of mine. Naturally, I asked how she was. She told me of her recent and distressing discovery of the will of one of her Southern grandfathers (from back before the Civil War) stated he had fathered more than one child with one of his slaves. And he made provided financial security for his slave and their children in his will alongside of his own wife and their children. She expected my reaction to be one of what? Horror. My reaction was simple..your grandfather was a weak man but a good man. He took care of his responsibilites which in those days and with slaves he never had too. He knew what people were going to think about him after his death but he did the right thing anyway.

Yeah, sounds smug but you forget, I am an abandoned child of a rich man...
She said she hadn't thought of it that way.

Christopher Buckley messed up big time. And yes, now a spurned woman is setting the dogs on him (lawyers) in the name of her ADHD son. Couldn't just about everyone have predicted that outcome? Isn't that outcome in reality as obvious as a stone rolling down a hill?

Couldn't the Buckley father and son risen to the occasion and their obligations?

The truth is there's a 7 year old boy who has Buckley blood in his veins that has 'issues', an angry mother and an incredibly rich father who wants nothing to do with him. That's a great way to start out life.

The father will now spend several hundred thousands of dollars to lawyers rather than give his son one more penny. The child get $3000 per month to which most say, hey that's plenty. But in the Buckley world is it? Decent private school for kids with 'issues' can run 20 grand. And that's just a starter, doesn't he want his son to play sports? Take sailing lessons and play an instrument? Plus the mother works. What, does he want a public school latchkey programs for his son?

He's handicapped the kid enough. Make his life a bit easier and having a relationship would also aid in making the boy's life easier. A financial remembrance in WFB's will that the boy is a Buckley would also have helped.

My guess is the kid is intelligent and probably has inherited the gift of writing. When he is old enough, he will become WFB's and Christopher's worst nightmares and the Left will only be too happy to give him all the book deals he wants...And the boy will believe he is right in defending his mother's honour by exposing the Buckleys.

There is of course irony worthy of the best political satirists as this is happening in the late WFB's family. WFB made a decent amount of money writing about what ails America culturally and boys abandoned by their fathers did come up more than once in his writings.

Mrs. Peperium

Oh, ODT, Christopher Buckley has left his wife ( and children -a daughter and son). They are separated. He's dating and has been dating for a few years another publicist , Jolie Hunt. They are a very popular power couple on the NYC publishing cocktail party circuit.

And this from the LATimes this morning :

"Christopher Buckley Is Psychic

"The day after I hit the ‘’send’’ button on my Los Angeles Times book review of Christopher Buckley’s latest novel of political satire, John McCain put Sarah Palin on his ticket. How was I to know? How did Buckley know? The main character in ``Supreme Courtship’’ is Pepper Cartwright, a hottie in judicial robes, a glasses-wearing, gun-slinging TV judge -- a Maxim magazine version of Judge Judy. A sullen president who hates his job and just wants to go home to bowl sees her one night on TV, and nominates her to the Supreme Court.

"Pepper doesn’t know squat about Constitutional law, but she’s sassy and spunky and down home [from Texas, like Alaska another big state with oil], and that’s all it takes to win the Senate’s votes. Remember, it’s satire I’m still talking here. I think.

"Pepper Cartwright’s fictional confirmation hearing is worth noting as we approach the Joe Biden-Sarah Palin debate. In Buckley’s book, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee is a character unmistakably Biden. At Cartwright’s confirmation hearing, he gets completely blindsided and steamrollered and flummoxed by her folksiness. She doesn’t address case law and precedent but she does talk about her granddaddy and the back-to-school sale at Wal-Mart and throwing out Texanisms like "It’s your rodeo." She gets confirmed.

"I talked to Buckley a couple of weeks ago on my radio program on KPCC, and he was stupefied by the parallels -- 'I hereby announce my resignation from satire.' His Pepper Cartwright is ‘’exactly like Sarah Palin,’’ he said, except Cartwright knows more.

"Including what she doesn't know. She is alarmed by her own nomination and its implications for the country –- aware, as Buckley says, that she is ‘’the least qualified’’ candidate ever nominated for the job.

"I guess that’s what makes it fiction."

Mrs. Peperium

Awesome. PP is currently No. 5 on google for

christopher buckley paternity

Yup, we're fielding hits...

Old Dominion Tory

I see your points, Mrs. Peperium, and I agree with you entirely. Please do not equate my expressed sadness with the situation with my somehow feeling sorry for young Mr. Buckley. He is reaping what he sowed and is compounding his errors by behaving like a character out of one of his (quite entertaining) novels, demonstrating that as soon as sex and money are intertwined, reason and decency are rent asunder. It is sad to see that a man with so much going for him--talent, a family, an established reputation--hazarded his marriage and his relationship with his children for, well, we know what for. It is sad to see him holding his son at arm's length--apparently, for money.
Mr. Buckley's new-found status as a cad-about-town is a new one on me. I do not wish him well on his current career. I hope he smartens up before he makes any more grave errors.

Robbo the Llama Butcher

Oh, dear. This might explain why the very liberal 'Palie - the one who invited Mrs. R and myself to see Jerry Springer: The Musical recently - was so enthusiastic when he spotted the collection of Chris Buckley novels on my shelf the other evening.

Andrew Cusack

Very sad.

Also, the word on the street is that the mother of the child of less-than-legitimate birth was looking to have a child by an author -- any author -- and Buckley fils stepped up to the plate; I would say "unwittingly" except that it should be obvious to anyone over, say, 18 how babies are made.

Still, the whole thing is disappointing all around.

Mrs. Peperium

Ah...this is the word on the street as it were? Then I go back to my original assessment of Christopher Buckley espoused over at Robbo's place and to a friend when I read (parts of) Boomsday : The man is lousy in bed. No wonder he has taken to dressing like a member of the mob and dating a woman with enhanced breasts : Gotta really prove his manhood now!

A real man and not a pansy can tell when a woman is faking it. And throw her off. Mr. Buckley knows all too late she was now faking it so this is why he will not let his father and mother's money fall into his son's hands...

A word to the wise, passing around the nuts and sluts excuse on Mr. Buckley's behalf will only generate more books put forth by his son... Tell him to cool it and act like a man. It will be hard but in the long run it will cost him less.

Dan Patterson

I once wrote to WF that a comment he made regarding his upbringing, and specifically his mother's influence, opened a great chasm of saddness in me as his words relfected the loss of my mother and all that might have been for her, but was not. His response was in his unfailingly gentlemanly style and was accomponied by a privately published book that more completely revealed his mother's character and style.

Nothing good will come of this, I think, unless the child rises above the antics of the adults.

Dan Patterson

mario mandingo

This saddens me very much. WFB's magazine was my first exposure to conservative ideas when I was a teenager, now I am confused why he and his son would not support this child. I we are all human but...does this mean the WFB was a cad and a fake all along?

Mrs. Peperium

mandingo, we need to recall that technically speaking Christopher Buckley is financially supporting his 'son' to the tune of 36 grand per year. It's just unthinkable that Christopher Buckley has never (according to new reports) set eyes on this kid. All his dealings have been thoroughly old school rogues-through the lawyers.

Of course, if those lawyers hadn't been so greedy themselves, they could have advised Christopher Buckley to get to know the child as that was in CB"S best long term financial interest. Everyone, but especially the mother of his natural son, knew CB was going to become a very wealthy man when his parents passed away You see, if CB actually was acquainted his son, he would be able to contest the notion his son is ADHD...the kid is a Buckley, not ADHD...and then CB would not be shelling out the all $$$$$$$ he will soon be shelling out...

He will lose this courtroom battle.

Now, did WFB have to acknowledge CB"s natural son? The financial responsibility rests with CB. However an acknowledgment by WFB would have, (public relations-wise) made CB look better.

To use the 18th century invectives WFB was so marvelous at, it is obvious that CB views his natural son as the bastard of the Buckley family.
Thankfully, this isn't the 18th century and we all know who the real bastard in the Buckley family is.

Mrs. Peperium

Out of the closet - along with Kathleen Parker and David Brooks -the new conservative MSM darlings :

"Sorry, Dad, I'm Voting for Obama

"by Christopher Buckley

"The son of William F. Buckley has decided—shock!—to vote for a Democrat.

"Let me be the latest conservative/libertarian/whatever to leap onto the Barack Obama bandwagon. It’s a good thing my dear old mum and pup are no longer alive. They’d cut off my allowance.

"Or would they? But let’s get that part out of the way. The only reason my vote would be of any interest to anyone is that my last name happens to be Buckley—a name I inherited. So in the event anyone notices or cares, the headline will be: “William F. Buckley’s Son Says He Is Pro-Obama.” I know, I know: It lacks the throw-weight of “Ron Reagan Jr. to Address Democratic Convention,” but it’ll have to do.

"Dear Pup once said to me, “You know, I’ve spent my entire life time separating the Right from the kooks.”

"I am—drum roll, please, cue trumpets—making this announcement in the cyberpages of The Daily Beast (what joy to be writing for a publication so named!) rather than in the pages of National Review, where I write the back-page column. For a reason: My colleague, the superb and very dishy Kathleen Parker, recently wrote in National Review Online a column stating what John Cleese as Basil Fawlty would call “the bleeding obvious”: namely, that Sarah Palin is an embarrassment, and a dangerous one at that. She’s not exactly alone. New York Times columnist David Brooks, who began his career at NR, just called Governor Palin “a cancer on the Republican Party.”

"As for Kathleen, she has to date received 12,000 (quite literally) foam-at-the-mouth hate-emails. One correspondent, if that’s quite the right word, suggested that Kathleen’s mother should have aborted her and tossed the fetus into a Dumpster. There’s Socratic dialogue for you. Dear Pup once said to me sighfully after a right-winger who fancied himself a WFB protégé had said something transcendently and provocatively cretinous, “You know, I’ve spent my entire life time separating the Right from the kooks.” Well, the dear man did his best. At any rate, I don’t have the kidney at the moment for 12,000 emails saying how good it is he’s no longer alive to see his Judas of a son endorse for the presidency a covert Muslim who pals around with the Weather Underground. So, you’re reading it here first.

"As to the particulars, assuming anyone gives a fig, here goes...."

The rest is here:


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