(CN) – Pauline Phillips, better known as Dear Abby, who is suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s, claims her daughter refuses to pay the $350,000 a year she promised when she took over the column from her mom in 1995. Pauline’s son, Edward Phillips, sued Phillips-Van Buren Inc. as attorney-in-fact for his mom. Dear Abby’s daughter, Jeanne Phillips, the president of Phillips-Van Buren, has been writing the column since 1995.
Pauline Phillips, 91, started writing Dear Abby in 1956 and has owned the column since 1964, when she formed Phillips-Van Buren, her son claims in Los Angeles Superior Court.
After writing the column for 40 years, Pauline handed it off to her daughter, Jeanne, in 1995, because Pauline was developing Alzheimer’s, according to the complaint. He says Phillips-Van Buren agreed to employ Pauline for the rest of her life at $350,000 a year, unless its annual gross revenue fell below $750,000, in which case the salary would be adjusted.
“Phillips-Van Buren performed under the employment agreement for 10 years, making its annual salary payment of $350,000 to Mrs. Phillips as required,” the complaint states. “Then, on or about Dec. 15, 2008, Phillips-Van Buren suddenly and inexplicably notified Morton B. Phillips that it no longer intended to perform under the employment agreement. Mrs. Phillips’ daughter, Jeanne Phillips, is the president of Phillips-Van Buren and the current author of the ‘Dear Abby’ column.
“To date, Phillips-Van Buren has failed to make its annual salary payments to Mrs. Phillips for 2008 and 2009 and required by the employment agreement.”
Edward Phillips demands $700,000 for his mom. He is represented by John Klevens with Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs, Howard & Shapiro of Los Angeles.