Beloved filmmaker Nora Ephron, who died earlier this year, left a majority of her $15 million fortune to her husband and two sons.
Ephron, best known for her work on the films Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally…, died in late June of leukemia at the age of 71. Her estate was divided primarily between trust funds for her husband, writer Nick Pileggi, and her two sons, Jacob and Max Bernstein (from her second marriage to “Watergate” journalist Carl Bernstein) reports NY Daily.
Pileggi is to receive enough money “to enable him to maintain the standard of living” that the two enjoyed as a couple, while most of the rest of her fortune goes to her sons. Roughly 20% of what is left will go to the Nora Ephron and Nicholas Pileggi Foundation.
An interesting portion of her will left a 1938 Matisse to long-time friend and Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, but with a catch – Cohen could only collect the piece if Pileggi died before Ephron did (Pileggi is in good health as of this posting). “Nick is fine. I saw him the other night. He could use a little makeup, but he’s fine,” Cohen joked.
Ephron and Cohen have long-battled rumors that the two were ever romantically involved, with many speculating that Cohen was the basis for Billy Crystal’s character “Harry” in When Harry Met Sally…. Cohen attempted to settle the record permanently in a post written after Ephron had died, in which he called the two “intense platonic lovers in a way that Harry or Sally could never appreciate.”
“I loved her for her wit and compassion and her literary and personal courage. I loved her because she enriched my life and sat with me in the hospital while my wife was undergoing cancer surgery. I loved her because she loved my wife and son,” Cohen wrote.
Cohen also declined to comment on Ephron’s reasons for leaving him the Matisse. “It’s a private matter. I don’t want to talk about it. I’m honored and moved, though,” he added.
Also, according to Ephron’s will, her sister, Delia, will get $500,000, her two other sisters, Amy and Hallie, get $100,000 and $25,000 respectively, and each of her nieces and nephews get $10,000, while her assistant John Sacha will get $100,000.