Abe Hirschfeld, the flamboyant parking lot magnate who died last year at 85, was allegedly the victim of repeated physical abuse by his son Elie, according to Hirschfeld’s longtime assistant Danny Esquilin. Esquilin says when he went to visit his ailing boss in Nov. 2004, Hirschfeld had a bloodied gash across his nose and his arm wrapped in a bandage. When Esquilin asked his boss what happened, Hirschfeld replied, “What do you think? Elie did this.”
Esquilin says Elie abused his father right up until his death in an assisted living facility. Hirschfeld had asked Esquilin to take photographs of him to document the abuse but did not want him to go to the authorities since Hirschfeld himself had past troubles with the law, most notably his 22-month jail sentence for plotting to kill his business partner.
Esquilin is releasing the photos now to help Hirschfeld’s daughter Rachel, 67, who’s accusing her brother of having ripped off a staggering $300 million worth of property from their father’s estate.
In a statement, Elie Hirschfeld, 63, strongly denied the “baseless” claims, which he called “another ploy in my sister’s regrettable, years-long campaign to extract exorbitant sums from me.”
Throughout his career,Abe Hirschfeld waged many failed campaigns for political office, including unsuccessful bids as “Honest Abe” for the U.S. Senate in 1974 (he was defeated in the Democratic primary), for the New York City Council, for Manhattan Borough President in 1997, for Lieutenant Governor of New York, for New York State Comptroller in 1998, and for Mayor of Miami Beach, Florida. He did serve as treasurer for the New York State Democratic Committee in the 1960s and was elected to the City Commission of Miami Beach in 1989. His most recent attempt at running for political office was in 2004, when he ran as a third party candidate for U.S. Senator from New York against Chuck Schumer and other challengers. Schumer won 71% of the vote; Hirschfeld garnered less than 1%.