The charitable legacy of the late movie star Paul Newman is now under fire.

Newman’s daughters, Elinor “Nell” Newman and Susan Newman, filed a lawsuit against the nonprofit Newman’s Own Foundation, alleging that their father’s wishes were “attacked” by “the organization he founded to preserve and expand that legacy.” ‘ as reported by The Independent.

Newman established the Newman’s Own Foundation in 2005, three years before he died of lung cancer in 2008. The legendary “Cool Hand Luke” actor founded the private nonprofit that controls the eponymous food company and donates 100 percent of its successor tax profits to charity. A clause in the foundation said that Newman’s children would receive money to also give to charities of their choice.

Now Elinor and Susan claim the board of Newman’s Own has cut the funds available to charity. According to the lawsuit, Newman requested that $400,000 be delivered to his “daughter’s” foundations as an essential “test of the capabilities of Newman’s own foundation.”

“Mr. Newman granted the Newman’s Own Foundation the rights in his name, likeness and likeness, and other publicity and intellectual property rights, but not unconditionally,” the lawsuit, which was filed in Connecticut courts, reads. “Instead, granted Mr. Newman accepted this grant on the condition that Newman’s own foundation allocate US$400,000 each year to each of his ‘daughter’ foundations so that they can donate to charities designated by his daughters under rules he established. “

In recent years, Newman’s Own has “lost its way and strayed from its mission to preserve and honor Paul Newman’s legacy,” according to the lawsuit. The $400,000 has shrunk to $200,000. Elinor and Susan are seeking $1.6 million in damages, which their father has asked to be donated to charities of their choice.

The allegation reads: “The years since Mr. Newman’s death consist of a long and consistent pattern of disregard by those in authority for Mr. Newman’s specific intentions and directions, coupled with mismanagement, scandals and questionable practices.”

In addition to claims for damages, the lawsuit also seeks a judgment requiring Newman’s Own Foundation to “follow Paul Newman’s instructions now and in the future.”

“No one should feel that the legacy of a deceased loved one is dishonored in the way that Newman’s Own Foundation has disregarded Paul Newman’s daughters, who are the plaintiffs in this case,” attorney Andy Lee said in a statement on on behalf of its customers.

A spokesman for Newman’s Own Foundation called the lawsuit “baseless” but noted that board decisions “can vary from year to year,” particularly when it comes to “making the best use of our finite resources.”

“Best practices regarding philanthropic organizations do not permit the establishment of perpetual funding quotas for anyone, including Nell and Susan Newman,” the spokesperson said. “An unfounded lawsuit based on this erroneous wish would only siphon money from those who benefit from Paul Newman’s generosity. While we expect to continue to seek recommendations from the Newman family for worthy organizations, our funding decisions are made each year and will continue to reflect Paul Newman’s clear purpose and our responsibility for best practice in the management of private foundations.”

According to the Newman’s Own Foundation website, the nonprofit has given more than $500 million in combined donations to “thousands of charities around the world” over the years.

Newman’s legacy and his marriage to Joanne Woodward were recently the subject of Ethan Hawke’s HBO documentaries The Last Movie Stars.

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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/08/paul-newman-daughters-sue-newmans-own-foundation-1234755230/ Paul Newman’s daughters are suing Newman’s own foundation

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