Jacqueline Kent Cooke, Auditing Trusts and Estates 101

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Wednesday, February 21, 2007

For the last nine years, Jacqueline Kent Cooke has maintained a very low profile -- but now the only daughter of former Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke is back in the headlines and fighting for her inheritance.

"She's very strong-willed, which is good in many ways," her mother, Suzanne Martin Cooke, told us yesterday. "Jack's theory in life was 'Never give up. No matter what, you go all the way.' Her father influenced her in that way."

Anyone living in Washington 19 years ago remembers Jacqueline's dramatic entrance into the world: Her parents' brief marriage, their legal battles, and his eventual reconciliation with the young girl.

"Jacqueline was the love of his life," said Suzanne Cooke. "He absolutely adored her."

After his death in 1997, the young heiress attended the exclusive Foxcroft and Carlbrook boarding schools in Virginia, and then headed for Southern Methodist University in Dallas last fall. Her mother, pursuing a PR career in California and Florida, moved to Texas to join her.

Last month the university said she couldn't continue her studies because she owed $23,000 in tuition; it turns out the $50,000 per year she receives from a $5 million trust doesn't cover all her expenses.

Trustees claim that's all she can collect for now; Jacqueline says her father -- worth more than $1 billion at his death -- intended the trust to provide "necessary" funds for her education, maintenance and support, and has filed a $275 million lawsuit against the estate.

The case has caused the low-key freshman some unwanted attention: Although the university gave her financial aid and allowed her to stay, fellow students have teased her about it. "She's been mistreated by the executors and trustees," fumed her mother. "The abuse she's had to put up with!"

One thing she's already inherited: She loves football and is thinking about becoming a sportscaster.

A Redskins fan? Said Mom: "Probably if her father still owned the team, she would be."

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

  • Cynthia Nixon touring the Spy Museum Sunday afternoon with her girlfriend and two young children. The erstwhile star of "Sex and the City" (she was the redhead) wore a long black coat and trekked through with an ordinary mob of tourists. Why was Nixon in D.C.? "Because," said her publicist. That's right: Just "because."
  • Ben Bernanke trailing his wife and daughter Sunday through the aisles of Whole Foods on P Street. The Fed chair, dressed down in regular-guy attire (baggy khakis, hiking boots, sweatshirt), was recognized by at least one shopper. After paying for his groceries, Bernanke got a helping hand loading them into a black SUV from his Secret Service detail. Always handy on snowy days!
  • LOVE, ETC.

    Daddy, Oh: Tom Brady broke his silence yesterday about ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan's weekend announcement that she is three months' pregnant with his child. "Tom and his family are excited about the pregnancy," his agent told the Associated Press. The couple broke up in December after a three-year relationship; the New England Patriots quarterback is now dating supermodel Gisele Bundchen.

    THIS JUST IN . . .

    Britney Spears's surprise head-shaving was apparently neither the fashion statement nor edgy punk gesture we might have hoped for -- but a genuine cry for help. The pop starlet, 25, checked into an unnamed L.A. rehab clinic yesterday, her rep told reporters. Manager Larry Rudolph would not say what the singer is being treated for. Several publications reported that she briefly checked in and out of a rehab center last week before her mysterious Friday night trip to a Los Angeles hair salon where she grabbed a pair of clippers and bared her skull.

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