Scholastic late owner leaves $1.2BILLION Harry Potter publishing company to his lover
The late owner of Scholastic left the $1.2 billion publisher to his lover, cutting out his children and ex-wife.
- Scholastic’s late owner Richard Robinson Jr. left his $1.2B fortune to a past flame.
- Robinson’s ex-wife and his two sons were left out of his will.
- The publishing company’s owner passed away suddenly on June 5 at the age of 84.
Richard Robinson Jr., who passed away at the age of 84, left the $1.2 billion Scholastic Corp. to a past lover – Iole Lucchese, who works at the company as Chief Strategy Officer. His decision shocked his family, as he excluded his sons, Maurice ‘Reece’ Robinson, 25, and John Benham ‘Ben’ Robinson, 34, and his ex-wife, Helen Benham, from his billion-dollar fortune.
As Daily Mail reports, Robinson died suddenly on June 5, during a walk in Martha’s Vineyard. Following his death, Lucchese, 54, inherited all his personal possessions, as well as his company that publishes books from the “Harry Potter” novels to the “Magic School Bus” series, The Wall Street Journal reveals.
According to family members and former colleagues, the romantic affair between Robinson and Luccesse was an open secret. However, they had broken up years ago.
In Robinson’s 2018 will, he referred to Luccesse as “my partner and closest friend.”
Today, the 54-year-old Chief Strategy Officer is also Chair of the Board, Executive Vice President, and President of Scholastic Entertainment.
Shortly after Robinson’s sudden death, the company issued a statement, saying:
“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Dick Robinson. Dick was a true visionary in the world of children’s books and an unrelenting advocate for children’s literacy and education with a remarkable passion his entire life.
The Company’s directors and employees, as well as the many educators, parents and students whose lives he touched, mourn his loss.”
Scholastic's late CEO Dick Robinson, who passed away in June, left his controlling shares in the company to its new chair Iole Lucchese, it has emerged, who Robinson described in his will as his "partner and closest friend": https://t.co/zwxY79xBRe pic.twitter.com/rKijXXDDMA
— The Bookseller (@thebookseller) August 3, 2021
Scholastic’s former owner’s outraged family is currently looking through their legal options to claim his will. Robinson’s older son, Ben, who operates a sawmill and workshop that produces lumber, flooring, and furniture from trees in Martha’s Vineyard, said:
“What I want most is an amicable outcome. We expect to have a collaborative approach with the estate”
Robinson and his ex-wife Benham rekindled their friendship over the pandemic.
Richard and Helen met at the publishing company after she started working in the art department in 1974. They started dating in the 80s and got married in 1986. The couple had their two sons together but split in 2003 after nearly 20 years of marriage.
Following their divorce, Benham left the publisher. However, before withdrawing from Scholastic, she was devoted to her work at the company.
“[I] lived and breathed Scholastic while also raising our two children. Dick told me on more than one occasion, ‘You care more about Scholastic than I do.'”
According to Robinson’s obituary, during the pandemic, he spent much of his time reconnecting with his family.
“While he had no plans to leave Scholastic, he expressed a strong desire to work less and spend more time with his family on the Vineyard, where he was most at ease and happiest.”
Robinson’s family’s “first goal is the continuation of the mission and legacy of Scholastic.”
Mary Sue Robinson Morrill, one of Richard’s sisters, stated:
“We are confident that the new management of the company is fully committed to this goal.”
William Robinson, his younger brother, added:
“Our family value was we’d rather not have the financial benefit that we might get from a sale if it means the company won’t be in the future what it was. Everybody knows Scholastic and has a good feeling about it and it does good things for teachers. It’s more than just a business for us.”