February 15, 2018

Lord and Lady Lucan

Lord and Lady Lucan

Source: Wikimedia Commons

That night Lucky asked for 7,000 pounds, and I gave him 3,000—he needed cash—and guaranteed another four borrowed from my friend John Zographos. He hinted that he was going to kidnap the kids and take them to France. Veronica has a lot to say about the so-called “Aspinall set.” Most of what I read at the time and from the utter crap depicted in the various documentaries and films made of the tragedy proves that hell hath no fury like an excluded press. Veronica never got along with any of Lucan’s friends. She was mousy and unpleasant, and people put up with her solely because they liked Lucky. She writes that she had a crush on Greville Howard, now Lord Howard, a cousin of the Earl of Suffolk, a fact that Veronica mentions ad nauseam. This must be news to Greville, who I think did a dry run with Lucky the night before the murder under the impression that Lucan would take the children to France.

Speaking with friends, I surmise that Lucan got very drunk that fateful night, because only he knew what he was about to do. He felt let down by the courts and by the doctors who refused to commit her. Was she a danger to the children? I don’t think so. Was she a pain? Definitely. Was she jealous of her sister? One hundred percent. Was she a terrible mother? Yes. Had Lucky lied to her that he was a professional gambler before she married him? NO. She whinged, bad-mouthed his friends, and complained nonstop, and does so in her book. All three of her children have grown up not only to be useful citizens but very nice people, although I know none of them. Did the Aspinall group plot to save Lucan if he ever showed up? A thousand times no, in fact Aspers and Jimmy Goldsmith rang me in Athens and told me that if he appeared, to make sure I told him to “fall on his sword.”

I liked the pictures that came with the book, but the whole thing made me sad—too many memories of very good times with Lucky and Aspinall, and Jimmy Goldsmith and Greville Howard. The author proved that her husband and the rest of us who thought she was a nutcase were right. She killed herself soon after she finished writing it because she thought she had Parkinson’s disease. She did not.


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