New York Butler's $8.4 Million Inheritance Includes 2 Dakota Apartments


Last week, a butler wrestled a rooftop farm in Queens for media dominance and won. That butler was Indra Tamang, the Nepalese man who served actress Ruth Ford for 30 years, and who upon Ford's death inherited approximately $8.4 million worth of her estate: including a collection of Russian surrealist art.and two cushy apartments at The Dakota -- the landmark co-op building on west 72nd Street (left).

NBC New York and Gothamist both quoted the The Wall Street Journal, which broke the rags-to-riches story and revealed more layers than Del Posto's lasagna. Key plotlines, by way of the Journal:

  • Tamang, who left a mud house in Nepal at 22 years old to work in America, received his U.S.citizenship last year -- 20 years after first applying.
  • Ford snubbed her estranged daughter, Shelley Scott, and two grandkids, in favor of Tamang.
  • Scott contested the will, received a "modest settlement," and now has nothing but nice things to say about the butler.
  • Still, some brokers say that Tamang may be not allowed to live in the three-bedroom apartment or studio he inherited at The Dakota as the co-op board may not give approval for a former worker to reside in the building.

Opting for a media rivalry spin (and referencing the most recent tension between the Journal and The New York Times), The Village Voice chose to highlight the former Times reporter who broke the story for the Journal. Says the Voice, "Josh Barbanel put in some 30 years laboring in The Times' salt mines before being cast off last December. He was recruited by the Journal for the new section and we can only hope that his story this morning is making a few Times editors lose their appetite over their Grape-Nuts."

Days later, the Journal reported that the co-op board at The Dakota would indeed consider Tamang's application for residence if he applied. But as CBS pointed out, with such a sizable inheritance comes hefty tax liabilities. In the end, Tamang decided to put the larger unit on the market for $4.5 million.

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