National Enquirer founder's heirs suing each other over 'rampant-self dealing': report

Two children of Generoso Pope Jr., the founder of the infamous National Enquirer tabloid, are suing their brother, alleging "rampant self-dealing" that disgraces the name of the family patriarch, Italian-American media tycoon Generoso Pope Sr., according to The Daily Beast on Friday.

"In a 35-page civil complaint filed Friday in New York State Supreme Court, Marie-Thérèse and Ted Pope accuse David Pope, the well-connected president and CEO of the Generoso Pope Foundation, of 'looting' the nonprofit for personal gain as he iced the two of them out. David, according to the two, paid himself 'far above the value of his services,' put his wife and two sons on the foundation payroll 'for little to no work,' and managed to blow through at least $28 million of the foundation’s money in a little over a decade," reported Justin Rohrlich. "He also used foundation funds to, among other things, get acting roles for his son, finance his kids’ football teams and cheerleading squads, and get all three children into college, the lawsuit states."

In a statement to The Beast, Marie-Thérèse said that David “has destroyed the foundation and its ability to achieve my great-grandfather’s vision.”

"The wider Pope family, in the words of Marie-Thérèse and Ted’s cousin Paul David Pope, is a 'made-for-television' saga of a 'wealthy and high-profile dynasty torn apart by money and power,'" said the report. "Paul, who is Generoso Jr.’s son, says his father was written out of Generoso’s Sr.’s will, then clawed his way to riches with the Enquirer. When Generoso Jr. died in 1988, he left his own instructions to sell the tabloid rather than give it to Paul, who wanted to continue the legacy. In 2013, Paul sued his mother, Palm Beach socialite Lois Pope, over the family fortune, culminating in his arrest on stalking charges."

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This comes after the Enquirer itself featured prominently in the Trump hush-payment scandal, which is a focus of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and is expected by many legal experts to lead to charges against the former president.

In addition to the payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, the focus of that probe, David Pecker, the paper's former publisher, allegedly facilitated another payment to former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal in a "catch-and-kill" scheme to bury a story about Trump's purported affair with her.