I’m a little conflicted in how I feel reading and writing about such things as Philip Seymour Hoffman’s private legal and financial affairs, but at the same time, we seem to have this need for feasting upon details about the people who interest us. There’s the brilliant, moving, actor so many of us came to respect and respond to every time we saw him on film, there’s the broken, addicted, human we felt for, and there’s that celebrity thing we’re always curious about. As the daughter of an estranged alcoholic mother for whom I have no sympathy, how can I somehow feel so differently about a stranger? Do I transfer those feelings of understanding that I can’t extend to her…to someone else? I don’t know exactly how it works, but I do indeed feel sympathy for Hoffman, whose mark upon many of us was his realism, his pain, and (what felt like) his honesty. Underneath the actor, the public persona of Philip Seymour Hoffman, was just a man, and a father…who wanted normalcy for his kids.
As reported by the New York Post, Hoffman’s accountant had suggested the actor set aside funds for his three children (aged 5, 7 and 10) for when they came of age, but Hoffman rejected the notion, saying he didn’t want them to be “trust fund kids.” Instead, Hoffman elected to leave his entire fortune to longtime girlfriend Mimi O’Donnell — and the kids’ mother — who he trusted to take care of the children. The report also notes that due to his drug abuse, O’Donnell had kicked Hoffman out sometime before he died. Hoffman’s will preceded his daughters’ births, and only referred to his son, who Hoffman wanted raised “…near the borough of Manhattan [or] Chicago, Illinois, or San Francisco, California…The purpose of this request is so that my son will be exposed to the culture, arts and architecture that such cities offer.”
And that’s all folks…