Leona Helmsley's Brother Won't Follow Her Wishes to Take Care of Beloved Dog

It seems trouble is following Trouble, Leona Helmsley's beloved pooch.

The late hotelier left the eight-year-old Maltese $12 million and asked her brother to see to it that her pampered canine live out her life in the lap of luxury.

But apparently that brother, Alvin Rosenthal, to whom Helmsley left $15 million and a percentage of her charitable trust, is not interested.

The New York Post, citing an unidentified source, reported Tuesday that Rosenthal, 80, expressed no interest in caring for Trouble. Whether her grandson David Panzirer, Helmsley's second choice, would step in was not known.

A message left Tuesday for an A. Rosenthal in Manhattan was not immediately returned. Someone answering the phone at Panzirer's home in Westchester said he was not home.

The dog is currently living at the Helmsley's Connecticut estate, being cared for by staffers at the 28-room mansion.

It was also Helmsley's wish that Trouble someday be interred with her at the Helmsley mausoleum at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

But that isn't to be either. The cemetery says state law forbids animal remains to be buried in human graveyards. Helmsley died last month at age 87.

An even bigger legal headache could turn out to be Trouble's huge $12 million inheritance.

Helmsley's former housekeeper claims the dog bit her numerous times during her three-month job with the hotel queen, and now she wants a bite of that money.

The housekeeper, Zamfira Sfara, 48, had sued her employer in 2004 over one of those bites, but lost the case when a judge ruled Helmsley was protected from liability under the Workers Compensation Law.

Sfara's son, Remus Pop, told The New York Times this week that his mother was asking lawyers to look at going after Trouble's inheritance.

"That is the next step," Pop told the Times. "That dog got money. That money is going to be taken away from that dog."