NYC Millionaire’s Will: No $$$ to Grandchild If Gay Son Doesn’t Marry His Mom

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Tuesday August 21, 2012

A businessman from New York City stated in his will that none of his money should go to grandchildren his son might have if he "not be married to the child's mother within six months of the child's birth." The problem is, his son is gay, the New York Post reported.

Frank Mandelbaum, who founded the ID verification company Intelli-Check, died in 2007 at the age of 73, leaving behind his son Robert Mandelbaum, 47, a criminal court judge in Manhattan.

After New York State passed a law that recognized same-sex marriage last year, Robert married Jonathan O'Donnell in August 2011. Not long after they tied the knot, they had a child, thanks to a surrogate mother.

Robert is now in the midst of a court battle over his father's estate and is arguing that O'Donnell is the only "mother" their 16-month-old son Cooper knows. Robert believes his son is entitled to a share of the $180,000 trust that was put aside for Frank's three grandkids.

According to court papers, Robert says a settlement is the only way to resolve the dispute and that the will "imposes a general restraint on marriage by compelling Robert Mandelbaum to enter into a sham marriage." A law guardian appointed to watch Cooper's interests also said that there are "significant public policy reasons" for ignoring Frank's orders.

"Requiring a gay man to marry a woman to ensure his child's bequest is tantamount to expecting him either to live in celibacy, or to engage in extramarital activity with another man, and is therefore contrary to public policy," the couple's attorney, Anne Bederka wrote in court papers. "There is no doubt that what [Frank Mandelbaum] has sought to do is induce Robert to marry a woman."

Robert claimed in court papers that his father knew he was gay and pointed out that O'Donnell was included in family dinners and vacations. But Frank's wife, Ann Freeman, said in the documents that Robert "alleged that he had a son from a homosexual relationship which he believed should be a beneficiary. My husband's will specifically prohibited such a child from becoming a beneficiary."