ABC’s Good Morning America tells the story of 9/11 widow and mother of three Kathy Trant, who got $4.2 million in compensation after losing her bond-trader husband in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers and has already blown through nearly all of it in a series of shopping sprees.
The story is as sad as it it funny. ABC News reports on how Trant went through the money from the Federal Victim Compensation Fund and private donors that was supposed to support herself and her family and pay for college for the kids:
“Trant began lavishing gifts on friends and family. She gave her former housekeeper $15,000 to buy a home in El Salvador, she spent $70,000 to take six friends to the Super Bowl and another $30,000 for a trip for 20 to the Bahamas.
“She said [her late husband] Dan would have wanted to help others, and he would have also liked to improve their home as well. So Trant spent $1.5 million to nearly triple the size of her suburban New York home. She spent $350,000 on the back yard, installing a full basketball court also equipped for volleyball, tennis and Rollerblading, a heated pool and a hot tub.
“Trant designed a shrine of her husband’s mementos, and put it on display in her new red-white-and-blue den. She added sports memorabilia to her walls, including a Boston Celtics ball autographed by players. Dan was drafted last by the Celtics in 1984t, and though he never played for them, he played professionally in Ireland.
“Trant also blew millions on frivolous items for herself. Her walk-in closet houses a $500,000 shoe collection, gowns by Versace and Capelli that go for $5,000 each and Fendi and Judith Leiber handbags, also $5,000 per bag.”
Fortunately the poor lady still has $500,000 left, which she’s using to start a hair-removal and cosmetic tattoo business near her home. I dunno–although I hope that Trant, who has been a stay-at-home mother for 20 years, is getting some good financial advice on this.
I feel genuinely sorry for Kathy Trant, who says that the loss of her husband propelled her not only into compulsive, out-of-control shopping but also alcohol abuse and violent gains and losses of weight.
“It’s blood money that I don’t want,” Trant told ABC. “I want my husband back.”
As National Review’s Warren Bell puts it:
“Hopefully the Federal Victim Compensation Fund will realize she is once again a victim, this time of a nutty government program that stuffs an absurd amount of money into grieving widows’ pockets when the real help they need can’t be measured in dollars.”