This concern instigated a quarrel that is referred to in court papers. Lisa Webster refused to let it be rented because her year-old grandson sometimes stayed there. She refused to discuss it, and a quarrel ensued. Disagreements over other expenses, bequests, and trusts are detailed in court papers. Lisa Webster, Elizabeth Edmond said in a deposition, felt her son was controlling. Granny advised us at that time that she wanted to remove Curtis as her power of attorney, wanted to know what was going on with her money and wanted all of her children to have access to her financials.
Granny subsequently became very concerned that Curtis was going to do something to her in an effort to stop from making these changes. She first directed that all of the drapes in the house remain closed. Pruss, attorney for Lisa Webster in Idaho court.
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Several people say, in court papers, that Lisa Webster is averse to any conflict, but her family has had plenty of it. She was also known to be easily influenced, even as a younger woman. For instance, the divorce that left her husband with less than 10 percent of the estate was based, in part, on allegations that she was malleable. She has close and warm ties to both. She came into her inheritance at age 28 when her father died unexpectedly. Her grandfather, James H. McGraw, co-founder in with John Hill of the publishing house McGraw-Hill, had established an irrevocable trust for his four sons.
He co-founded what is now known as the Princeton Healthcare Center, and his name is on the laboratory door. She began to figure skate when she was six years old. As an adult, one of her chief pleasures would be to financially assist promising young skaters, attend their competitions, and have world-famous skaters visit with her in her ring-side box.
They had two daughters, Lisette in and Marian in Stoltzfus died in at the age of With relatives and professionals helping her manage her money, she bought a acre estate. This estate was sold last year but she retains her ranch-style home on Mountain View Road in Blawenburg. She divorced her first husband in and married George Webster, a chemical engineer who also had two daughters.
Their son, Curtis, was born in He spent his senior year at an American school in Switzerland. After a stint as a ski instructor, he continued his education. At the University of Miami he met a woman who became pregnant with Theo shortly after they met. She divorced her husband to marry Curtis.
Two years later he filed for divorce and after a long trial he won custody of Theo and raised her as a single parent. In he married Jennifer Ortega, a New York-based theater artist. Theo grew up extremely attached to her grandmother. She went to a private school in New York and visited Princeton on weekends. He also studied music and trained himself as a programmer, production sound mixer, and audio archivist with a specialty in ambient electronic music. From his studio in New York he worked on corporate jingles and rap music.
Later he produced a touring band, rapper Princess Superstar, and had success touring in Europe and the UK.
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Curtis was the youngest child, six years younger than the oldest, Lisette. He had numerous hobbies, sat on various boards, and set up the Curtis W. McGraw Foundation. The marriage deteriorated. In with the encouragement of all three of her children, Lisa Webster filed for divorce. George Webster never spoke to his son again and died in After the divorce, Lisa began to spend — to build what she wanted, decorate how she wanted, and go where she wanted in a private plane.
She pursued her passion for ice dancing and began to support Olympic skaters, not only with money, but with personal energy — staging seminars, holding parties, and attending competitions. When she grew older, her son would begin to accompany her to major skating events. The atmosphere was magical. In court documents, former star and current sports commentator Dick Button attests to the value of this support, both to the skaters themselves and to the well-being of the donor.
It was evident to me that Lisa loved socializing with all her many friends in the skating community; it was also evident how much the skaters themselves loved Lisa, her energy, passion, and warmth. After the divorce, the children and grandchildren continued to receive the annual gift from their mother. Lisette and her husband engaged in various real estate development projects in California.
But Lisa always rejected the idea because it did not fit her self image. She was just too attached to Princeton. Her nostalgia and closeness to the area made it difficult to change. She is being kept isolated in Sun Valley where friends cannot reach her or see her.
Is Lisa Webster a Victim of Granny Snatching?
Ensconced in Ketchum, part of Sun Valley, Idaho, she gets her hair and nails done, receives some visitors, occasionally eats out, and watches television. She was visited by Molly Sword McDonough, the daughter of William Sword, a long-time family friend who founded the well-known Princeton wealth management firm.
Webster that I saw on October 17, , was not the engaged and vigorous woman that I have known, but a diminished version of the woman that I have known for my entire life. It appeared that she was being isolated by her granddaughter. According to court documents, if Lisa Webster comes to Princeton, she has armed bodyguards to protect her from her son. She did travel last year. Whether she will have enough funds to make those trips in is under discussion. All the difficulties would supposedly be resolved if Curtis Webster and his daughter Theo would accede to the foundation-changing demands.
But Curtis Webster is proud of what the foundation accomplishes; it seems to play a major role in his self image. He speaks of monies given to a charity, Assisting Children in Need, to work with stigmatized children, such as group homes in Romania for children with HIV and albinos in Africa. I believe that cutting Theo off in this fashion is not only hurtful to Theo but also cruel to Lisa.
I am providing this affidavit in the hopes that the voice of a friend who truly cares for Lisa and wants what is best for her may help put an end to the alarming situation in which she is now being maintained. Lisa has never had a substantial conversation with him to explain how she felt, and why. She was, it seems, too afraid to do so, and, out of concern her daughters have adopted a defensive posture towards him. This is an unfortunate problem that is not likely to resolve quickly or easily.
Should she go to a nursing home or have at-home care. Should she stay in her home town, or move to another town to be closer to grandchildren. Who decides? In the best case scenario, someone thinks to ask Granny these questions before the need arises, and her preferences get written down and then followed. All too often, only after Granny has a stroke or descends into dementia , are these questions addressed. Emotional dramas get played out between the stakeholders.
When old rivalries emerge, escalating into animosity, the controversy could end up in court. Especially when Grandma is quite wealthy. Especially when one sibling whisks Grandma away so that she has little or no contact with the wider family.
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Dealing with 'Granny snatching'
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