NEW YORK — After being held for six months in a Nassau County jail for defying a judge’s order, Marianne Nestor Cassini, the wife of the late fashion designer Oleg Cassini, said she feels the incident was “an abuse of power.”
Reached Sunday, Cassini said she preferred not to comment further. However, she allowed that legal action is being considered.
She is expected to be back in court Nov. 30, according to her attorney Steven Gaitman. Subsequent hearings will be held regarding the legal battle over the designer’s multimillion-dollar estate.
Cassini, who died in 2006 at the age of 92, is widely known for dressing Jackie Kennedy during her White House years and for being romantically linked to Princess Grace of Monaco before she married Prince Rainier. For decades during Oleg Cassini’s lifetime and after his death, Marianne Cassini and her sister Peggy have led the New York-based Oleg Cassini Inc. The fragrance business is Oleg Cassini Parfums. Marianne Cassini alleges the jidge breached her own severed order.
Some were unaware until the designer’s death that he and Marianne were married. Cassini had previously been married to the Academy Award-nominated actress Gene Tierney. The couple had a severely physically challenged daughter Daria, who died in 2010. Months before Tierney and Cassini divorced in 1948, they reconciled briefly and another daughter Christina was born. Christina Cassini, who was known as “Tina,” died in 2015. Four of her children have taken legal action to try to claim half of the estate.
Nestor Cassini was incarcerated in the Nassau County Correctional Center in East Meadow, N.Y., in early May after failing to adhere to a judge’s order to turn over financial statements and business records among other reasons. Gaitman declined to specify what those were Saturday, stating, “While incarcerated, she complied with the court order to the best of her ability. There is further compliance that is necessary to meet the terms of the order but she is out of custody to foster that.”
One of the requirements of her release resulted in her being placed on a no-international-fly list and has surrendered the deed to an East 19th Street town house to the Nassau County Surrogate Court “simply as an assurance for her appearance in court — it’s not tied to compliance,” Gaitman said.
Nestor Cassini has faced years of legal battles with her late husband’s offspring over his multimillion dollar estate. Gaitman, who joined Cassini’s legal team five weeks ago, said it was not his role to offer estimates of anyone’s estate, “specifically Oleg’s. I couldn’t speak to that.”
The attorney for the four children of Tina Cassini, John Barnosky, said Sunday, “I’m hopeful that this recent development will cause the matter to be finalized after 13 years and carry out the judgment on behalf of the court.”
Gaitman said, “There’s accounting that needs to occur as well as review and retrieval of certain documents that have been requested” by a court-appointed receiver “that we’re trying to work closely with to make sure she is in compliance with the court directives. Obviously, she’s been released with the understanding that she is going to continue to comply.”