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Streisand Kin Accused by Kennedys

November 17, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ John and Caroline Kennedy have accused the brother of singer-actress Barbra Streisand of cheating them out of half their interest in a 20-year-old real estate trust established by their mother.

The allegations against Sheldon J. Streisand came to light in court papers Streisand filed to block arbitration the Kennedys requested concerning his handling of the trust’s money.

The trust was established in June 1978 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and owns 99 percent of a real estate investment partnership called Western Properties Associates Three. Streisand and his firm, Sheldon J. Streisand Inc., are general partners in Western, each owning .5 percent.

The Kennedys’ demand for arbitration, attached as an exhibit to papers Streisand filed Friday in Manhattan’s State Supreme Court, does not disclose the total value of the trust, but it appears to be worth at least $1 million.

The Kennedys complained that Streisand sold 50 percent of Western to his wife for the ``bargain price″ of $500,000, ``diluting (the Kennedys’) 20-year-long interest in the partnership from 99 percent to 49 percent.″

The sale was ``deceitful″ and ``the rankest form of self-dealing,″ the Kennedys’ papers say. ``This clandestine dilution in favor of the individual general partner’s wife occurred without the consent of the (Kennedys).″

The Kennedys asked that Streisand and his company be ousted as general partners and replaced with partners’ chosen by them.

Streisand, 64, says in court papers that because the Kennedys are not trustees, they have no legal standing to seek arbitration to try to have him removed. ``Such action is prohibited by the governing law,″ his papers say.

Streisand’s lawyer, Iris S. Richman, said ``We’re confident that we will prevail at the conclusion of this matter. We have denied all charges contained in the arbitration demand.″

Streisand, a real estate investor who grew up in Brooklyn with his younger sister Barbra, lives on Long Island.