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23 November 24th, 2013 AMC’s Francesca James At Center Of Bizarre Allegations From The Late Julie Harris’ Former Employees and Friends!

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

Daytime Emmy winner, Francesca James (Evelyn Johnson/Kitty and Kelly Shea) of All My Children, and one of the most talented people we know in front of the camera, or behind the scenes, somehow is in the middle of this controversy over the will of the late five-time Tony Award winning actress and film and television star, Julie Harris in a report from the New York Post!

Julie Harris died of congestive heart failure August 24 at age 87.  She’d suffered two strokes and was seldom seen in the last several years.  And as we know, Francesca James was extremely close and cared very much for the legendary Harris, who she has said in the past was a great influence on her life.

According to the NY Post:  “Several friends and longtime employees, who were fired by Francesca Rubino (James) including a housekeeper, a gardener and Harris’ lawyer, Herbert Nass — say she “wormed” her way into Harris’ life, took control of her medical and business affairs, and “isolated” Harris from her son, Peter Gurian.”

Rubino and Harris’ attorney dismiss these allegations as sour grapes. Reached at her home in New York, Rubino said: “There is no truth to any of these accusations. They are being made by disgruntled, fired employees.”

Isaac Peres, who replaced Herbert Nass as Harris’ attorney and is also an executor of her estate, said in a statement: “We are aware of the rumors that have been circulated by discharged employees of Miss Harris and all of the unfounded accusations circulating about Miss Harris’ will and codicil and about access to her toward the end of her life . . . We categorically deny any such rumors and accusations.”

According to the disgruntled people in Harris life, Harris named Francesca co-executor of her estate, which sources say could be worth as much as $10 million. In that capacity, she stands to earn commissions of up to $200,000. She also inherits $50,000 outright, and is permitted to select 10 items of Harris’ “tangible personal property of every kind,” including her Tonys.

The bulk of Harris’ estate was left to her son Peter. But there is an unusual codicil to the will: “In the event that . . . my son . . . physically assaults, threatens to assault, or otherwise harms, harasses, or intimidates myself or any of my friends . . . including Francesca R. Rubino . . . my trustees shall treat him as if he had predeceased me.”  Rubino took out a harassment prevention order against Gurian three years ago after he “made a threatening gesture” at her, a source says.

But at the end of all of this accusatory drama towards Francesca is that: “The new attorney, Peres, said he is aware that Nass “has filed an objection to the will” but he claims Gurian wants Nass to “withdraw” it.”  Gurian declined to comment.”

So, what do you think about these allegations brought up by the friends and former employees of Julie Harris towards Francesca?  Is this just all about the battle for the will and the money of Harris’?   It is hard for us to imagine James being painted in this light!  Comment below!

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  1. Joanne says:

    Money makes people do strange things………I don’t know Francesca personally…so I wouldn’t venture to comment either way.


  2. eileen hargis says:

    Where theres,smoke, theres fire.. Why were these employees,fired? Notice Francesca didnt deny she fired them, just called them disgruntled.


  3. Bobbi Hampel says:

    You’ve got to be kidding me! You say you don’t know Her? Wow. She has an excellent reputation and those people weren’t fired without cause. Did they challenge being fired prior to this?
    I totally and wholeheartedly support Ms James. Sometimes you have to have faith in your friends.


  4. Daisy Day says:

    This is not uncommon for acquaintances to take control of financial and medical decisions of wealthy and ill elderly people. They isolate the elderly from family and friends and long-time household help in order to gain control of them and their wealth. This is a matter for the courts to decide and hopefully get to the truth. If they find that the will and codicils were filed when the deceased was not of healthy mind ad body, it could be voided and the estate would go to the heirs from a previous will.


  5. josh says:

    I knew there was something about her.


  6. Johnny says:

    I am SO glad I live in Canada where fame and greed and lawsuits are not a way of life!


  7. Johnny says:

    How wealthy could the woman have been?


  8. Michael (not Fairman) says:

    Hard to tell much from the story; could be that it’s exactly as the lawsuit claims, or it could also be that Francesca James came in and “cleaned house” of people who themselves were not acting in Julie Harris’s best interest, and now they’re POed about it and suing her. That’s also not uncommon with elderly people–they become dependent on people who are around them and either ignorant of or are unaware of their ulterior motives, and someone stronger and more clear-sighted has to come in and do damage control. Not knowing any of the people involved personally, it’s tough to make the call, in the absence of anything more than the “he said, she said” kinds of information we get in the article. Francesca projects great warmth and likability on screen; we tend to assume that that reflects something inherent (and I think in most instances, it does), but I suppose one has to allow that it could also be nothing more than very good acting. I do *hope* it’s not true, though. I’d prefer to think of Ms. Harris’s final few years as being spent with someone who truly cared about her looking after her interests. Everybody deserves that, and I would particularly want it for someone whose performances gave so many people so much enjoyment through the years.


    Joe replied

    I live in Chatham and know the whole story. The housekeeper was a horrible woman who treated Julie very poorly – the whole Town loathed her. The attorney, Nass, protected the housekeeper and refused to do anything about her. She was his “eyes and ears” on the Cape. He overbilled Julie for his “services” many years and made a bundle of money off of her. He’s angry because Francesca James shut the money spigot off! These people cared little about Julie and Francesca did the right thing getting of these leeches. I know for a fact that Julie’s last days were spent in peace in her own home, thanks to Francesca.


    marcy mattox christmas replied

    Joe, who lives in Chatham, is correct. I was the person who Julie’s doctor called after her first stroke when Julie asked me to come to Cape Cod to be with her. ( I live in Camarillo, California. My husband, actor Eric Christmas, was a long-time friend of Julie’s.) The housekeeper, Kathy, who claimed she was Julie’s nurse, was mean to all of Julie’s long-time friends. I told Julie that Kathy was mean to me. Julie said she would tell Kathy to change. Kathy never changed. She had even gone through my luggage on the day I arrived! And the lawyer, Nass, was a real piece of work. It was obvious that he and Kathy had an agenda. They kept isolating Julie. Each trip I made to visit her the situation was worse. Her son lived in the guest house a few feet from her door but never visited her–she had to put his Christmas presents outside his door. When he did lower himself to enter his mother’s house he expected her to treat him like the Czar of Russia and make meals for him, etc. (he was 50 years old) I do not know Francesca–all I can say is that I applauded when I read what she did. When I arrived at Chatham these minor employees were circling the wagons in 2003. These people so disturbed to me that I could only fly in to visit her on week-ends when they weren’t around. If anyone can pass this along to Francesca I’d like to speak to her. My number is in the phone book. Marcy Mattox Christmas

  9. jonboy says:

    I hate anyone taking advantage of the aged.


  10. mo says:

    WOW! That is a soap opera!


  11. lisa says:

    Death makes for strange bedfellows – I’ve seen it happen too many times in my own family.


  12. jaybird369 says:

    Oh, the DRAMA!!!!!


  13. CTwildheart says:

    All I know for sure, is my experience after my father died. Those who were fair and kind before, acted in similar fashion; while those who worried only for themselves before, acted even more selfishly.
    My heart goes out to all who are grieving.


  14. Barbara from Atlanta says:

    Why can’t the current writers of the soaps give us this type of storyline? It would be far more interesting that the stuff they typically give us.

    Imagine a storyline like this on Y&R with Nikki taking on the role of meddling into an elderly, dying Kay’s affairs while Jill, Brock, Tucker, Esther, and Nina challenge the subsequent will and bequests to her. Would be far better than seeing another scene of Dylan or Cane.


  15. ts says:

    Ridiculous- complete hatchet job from the Post (shocking!). Anyone who knows Francesca knows what a kind and generous person she is, and only has the best interests of her friends and loved ones in mind. Total junk, with allegations from disgruntled former employees and unnamed “sources.” Don’t believe it.


  16. Co says:

    I worked for Julie for over 10 years, everything about Francessca James is true, and she knows it. What goes around comes around bitch


  17. Marina Francisco says:

    The thing that bothers me is the clause that states that if Julie Harris’s son threatens anybody – specifically mentioning Francesca, the will must be interpreted as if he had predeceased his mother, in other words, he would be disinherited. And then Francesca files a report that he made a “threatening gesture” toward her?

    I don’t know any elderly person in his/her right mind who would put a clause in their will like that, to jeopardize their only child’s inheritance of their estate. By all accounts Julie Harris doted on her son, she even built a house next door to her for him to live in.


  18. Paul Russell says:

    Easy enough to google the son’s name and see that he was charged with assault on an elderly person at Julie Harris’ address in Chatham. This was several years ago. I would think that is why the son will lose everything if he harms Francesa in any way.


    Diana fritz replied

    I attended Fitzgerald High School in Warren Michigan with Franceska Jaimes then known as chichi Rubino. She was the valedictorian of her class and was the most idolized student in the high school.I had a chance to know her for several years and she came from an extremely ethical and religious Catholic family. Everyone who knew her would say the same thing. Also Francesca has never mentioned Fitzgerald high school in any of her biographical information or did she lived in Warren Michigan for several years and graduated from Fitzgerald high school her reputation was above reproach. I knew her personally when we worked on the Wizard of Oz together as a touring play and I was the choreographer.chichi was known for her waist length hair, for 4.0 grade point average her dedication to both study and her s letic ability and dramatic talent.Francesca dated very little in high school and was a year behind me. She was the most famous student we ever had and no one ever dream she would have accomplished what she has in New York. She was always skeptical, polite, focused with a reputation above board. None of these allegations can possibly be true. I know that because I knew her personally many years ago


  19. Kevin M. Lycke says:

    Francesca is one of the most trustworthy people I know. She is also one of the most generous souls one can encounter. Dame Harris knew exactly what she was doing!


  20. Bo Dormey says:

    I have known Francesca since we were kids in Caseville, Mi. I worked at her parents restaurant in Caseville for several years and our families were good friends. I will always remember Mary and Joe as the people who gave me a chance when nobody else would. Francesca, like her parents, would not and could not be as ruthless as these disgruntled people have claimed. This apple didn’t fall far from the tree her parents established. Those who think otherwise are merely projecting their own selfish personalities into this situation. Francesca is a good human being, period!


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