Rangers icon Rod Gilbert’s children fight for their stepmother’s will
This family fight is getting lively.
The two children of late New York Rangers icon Rod Gilbert are taking on their stepmother in Manhattan Surrogate Court, claiming she manipulated the hockey legend on his deathbed to alter his will and remove her from her inheritance.
Chantal Pine, 47, and Justin Gilbert, 45, claim Judith Gilbert, 76, tricked their dying father into going back on his promise to leave them his priceless hockey memorabilia and inherited a combined $1 million, according to court documents.
Gilbert, who spent his entire 18-year career in a starring role for the Blueshirts from 1960 to 1978, is the Rangers’ all-time leader in goals (406) and points (1,021) and the first NHL player to wear his jersey (No 7) retired at Madison Square Garden.
The kids will also want to own a 40″ screen-printed canvas portrait of Gilbert, created by legendary pop artist Andy Warhol.
Charismatic Gilbert, who grew up in Montreal, passed away on August 19, 2021 after battling cancer. He was 80.
Pine, of Montclair, NJ, petitioned the court to remove her stepmother as a co-executor on the grounds that she was “unfit” and engaged in “misconduct, including dishonesty.”
Gilbert’s will was admitted to probate in January. According to the files, daughter Pine and widow Gilbert were appointed executors.
Less than a month before the hockey great’s death, he “allegedly signed a letter dated July 26, 2021 (but which was not notarized until the following day)” in which he “completely reversed his … legacy and all of his hockey Gave memorabilia to his children, and then to his grandchildren,” Judith Gilbert claimed, according to the petition.
According to this letter, the ice hockey legend “all of [his] Right, title and interest in all sporting memorabilia” to his wife.
Rod and Judith Gilbert sold their Sag Harbor mansion on Aug. 10, 2021, nine days before his death, for $6.1 million, court documents say.
“Close personal friends of [Rod Gilbert] are willing to testify that the deceased has informed them of his intention to use his portion of the proceeds from the sale of this property to fund the $1 million legacy to his children,” the petition reads.
“Judith improbably claims that the assets in Rod’s estate are insufficient to satisfy any of the bequests he made to his children,” the petition reads.
Gilbert married the former Judith Christy in 1991 in a ceremony performed by then-Mayor David Dinkins. His 1974 marriage to his first wife, Judy Preston, of Tallahassee, Florida, ended in divorce but produced Chantal and Justin.
The eight-time NHL All-Star with the matinee idol look was one of 10 athletes in Warhol’s 1979 streak, including Muhammad Ali, OJ Simpson, Chris Evert, Tom Seaver and Pele.
Gilbert, who spent his entire 18-year career in a starring role for the Blueshirts from 1960 to 1978, is the Rangers’ all-time leader in goals (406) and points (1,021) and the first NHL player to wear his jersey (No 7) retired at Madison Square Garden. Madison Square Garden’s beloved ambassador, known as “Mr. Ranger” was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982.
“Based on my father’s incredible career and his standing and reputation in New York, he and Judy have built two successful businesses together,” Chantal Pine told The Post. “Father wanted to leave his memorabilia and a small percentage of his fortune and his earnings from the business to my brother and me and our children… and the rest of his fortune went to Judy. I’m sure my father would be very upset about that.”
Their attorney, Robert Piliero, added: “The last thing Chantal and Justin ever wanted was to argue with Judy. They really didn’t want to do the family laundry in public for their father’s sake. But all of our efforts to get information from Judy’s attorneys or to discuss a way to avoid litigation were ignored or denied. It’s really sad and such a disservice to Rod’s memory that Judy is treating his kids like this.”
Judith Gilbert denied the allegations in the court filing, saying they had nothing to do with an amendment her husband made to his will.
She noted that her intention was always to give all of the Gilbert memorabilia used in the game — “his jersey, his skates, his sticks” — and the Warhol piece to Chantal and Justin. “You should have it. Because Rod would want them to have it,” she said.
“This [petition] slanders Rod because he would never do anything to hurt me or his children,” said Judith Gilbert.
Judith Gilbert, who has two daughters from a previous marriage, said she was heartbroken at the estrangement from Chantal, who she considers her own daughter. “That’s a daughter I lost… I really love, love, love her.” Judith Gilbert’s daughters are not in the will of the Ranger legend.
The lawyer for the hockey great’s widow – who said he had not seen the explosive petition – delivered a smack on his client’s accusers.
“This is an attempt to deprive Rod’s wife of money from his children from another marriage, who only care about lining their own pockets and not Rod’s legacy,” said Errol Margolin.
The attorney added: “Rod has amended his will and I have the text of this notice with his attorney. He did this long before his death and before he gave his children and grandchildren substantial gifts of money before his death.”
https://nypost.com/2022/11/26/rangers-icon-rod-gilberts-kids-battle-stepmom-over-will/ Rangers icon Rod Gilbert’s children fight for their stepmother’s will