Cathy Schottenstein Blog
Bette Davis famously said, “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” In fact, she had that phrase embroidered on a pillow. And the actress knew what she was talking about. After a celebrated career and multiple Academy Awards, her later years were marred by illness: recurrent breast cancer and then a stroke that distorted her face. She died, alone and far from home at age 81, alienated from her eldest child.
Compared to the famous actress, my grandmother led a charmed life. Beverley Schottenstein and her husband Alvin raised their four children in the quiet tree-lined suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. Though part of a wealthy and influential family, Beverley always kept a low profile. She never took her good fortune for-granted and worked hard to set an example for others. She was a philanthropist who generously contributed to numerous causes and doted on members of her close-knit family. Read more
When activist Tarana Burke started the “Me Too” movement in 2006, her goal was to raise awareness of the full extent of sexual abuse, assault, and harassment in society. She wanted to tell survivors, “You are heard. You are understood. You are not alone.”
In 2017 after The New York Times published its exposé detailing sexual abuse allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein, many high-profile celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Lawrence, and Uma Thurman came forward with their own harrowing tales of sexual harassment. Their courage—and the resulting widespread media coverage—helped make the “Me Too” movement a topic of conversation across America. The phrase #MeToo went viral and became synonymous with female empowerment. Over time, #MeToo developed into an even broader movement. While sexual abuse and harassment are the most prevalent grievous acts associated with the movement, at its heart, #MeToo is about women standing in solidarity, telling their truths, and refusing to be victimized. Read more
My cousins Evan and Avi Schottenstein are not the Menendez brothers. They did not kill our nonagenarian grandmother. Yet, in misappropriating her fortune for years as they worked as her “financial advisors” at J.P. Morgan, and in using her advanced age against her in a shameful attempt to influence people into thinking she had dementia, they did kill something inside her: they killed her trust.
Not every case of elder abuse is financial—but far too many are, and the abuse rarely occurs in a vacuum. For my grandmother, her situation was a combination of psychological and financial abuse perpetrated by family members who were aided and abetted by the biggest bank in the world, J.P. Morgan. Read more