I was sent this horrifying story under the heading of “Ethics Train Wreck,” and a better description of it there could not be. It is the tale of the twin teenaged heirs to the massive Doris Duke fortune,Patrick and Georgia Inman, their miserable upbringing and the continuing instability of their lives, soon to be dominated by lawsuits and litigation. The twins have been alternately spoiled, neglected, and abused, and are desperately seeking some direction in their lives before their mega-trust funds kick in—if they can survive that long. Moreover, their existence is almost sure to get worse before it gets better, if it ever does.
Consider, for example, this ominous passage, late in the piece, referring to the plans of their inept mother, Daisha:
The kids need to figure out what comes next for them – how they can start creating a life for themselves, and connect with others. Daisha has devised what she thinks is a terrific idea for an appropriate new set of playmates: She’s working on getting the twins together with Michael Jackson’s kids, with whom she thinks they’d have tons in common. “Wouldn’t that be historic? The Jacksons and the Dukes, two of the most famous names, together?” Daisha asks.
What a great idea! Michael Jackson’s daughter is currently being treated for depression and self-abuse, and Jackson’s children have had a romp in Neverland compared to what the Inman twins have endured.
Yet, as you will see, this is actually among the more responsible parental instincts that Patterson and Georgia have been subjected to.
The twins’ tale is suitable for a horror movie, a dark fairy tale, or perhaps a very special episode of “Law and Order, SVU.” It teaches us that indeed money doesn’t buy happiness, and in some cases cripples the ability of its possessors to achieve it. It teaches that it isn’t only those who can’t financially support children who are unethical to bring them into the world, but also those bereft of character, like Patterson and Georgia’s degenerate–but rich!—father. Sadly, it also demonstrates that some of our fellow human beings never have a chance to develop normal values and social skills, because they are permanently scarred by the self-centered, dysfunctional adults who raise them, and the chaotic environment in which they will grow to adulthood.
There is hope. They are only 15, and nobody should be pronounced hopeless so young. Maybe their story will have a happy ending yet. Experience and common sense, however, teach us that Ethics Train Wrecks leave few survivors.
I encourage you to read the whole story, from Rolling Stone,
Pointer: Alexander Cheezem
Facts and Graphic: Rolling Stone