Free Peter Max: a girl’s fight to remove her father from the clutches of “predatory” tutelage

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As Britney Spears’ nightmarish tutelage came to an end after 13 years, in part thanks to the tenacity of the “Free Britney” movement, famed pop artist Peter Max’s family and friends have been waging a legal battle since 2019 to free the man. 84 years old. Holocaust survivor of a guardianship his family and supporters describe as abusive and exploitative.

During a protest outside the law firm of Phillips Nizer LLP in Midtown Manhattan on November 4, his daughter Libra Max rallied for her father’s freedom with the support of animal rights activists and members of the family of victims of abuse of guardianship.

Peter Max, who has Alzheimer’s disease and who made a name for himself with his colorful psychedelic paintings from the 60s and 70s and whose works are on display at the Museum of Modern Art, was placed under guardianship in 2016 due to alleged mistreatment of his wife Mary, who committed suicide in 2019 at the age of 52.

Friends and animal rights activists have demonstrated alongside Libra Max, daughter of pop artist Peter Max, outside law firm Phillip Nizer to demand an end to the artist’s forced guardianship. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Libra Max said they had not encountered any issues with the first two guardians as they did not interfere with her father’s life. Former Max’s nightmare began in 2019 when his court-appointed lawyer Elizabeth Adinolfi, partner of Phillips Nizer LLP, selected lawyer Barbara Urbach Lissner of Lissner & Lissner LLP as his personal legal guardian.

Libra Max and his supporters allege that Adinolfi and Urbach Lissner and the legal guardian of Peter’s estate, Lawrence Flynn, have worked together in the past and that his estate is running out under their tutelage and they are all in control. aspects of his life.

“The problem is when someone comes into that role, a role appointed by the court, and they don’t have proper grounds, and they don’t have proper ethics, and that he is there for greed. There’s no control and you can’t get them out, ”said Peter Max’s daughter.

Friends and animal rights activists have demonstrated alongside Libra Max, daughter of pop artist Peter Max, outside law firm Phillip Nizer to demand an end to the artist’s forced guardianship. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Speaking to 30 or so supporters holding up signs reading “#FreePeterMax” and depicting some of her most iconic paintings, Libra Max explained that she could only see her father three times a week for an hour under strict surveillance – on a public park bench in Riverside Park. He is prohibited from entering his childhood home in the Upper Westside, where his father lives in complete isolation. She claims her father needs to ask permission to call family and friends – something four longtime friends of Peter Max have attested to in a affidavit to the Supreme Court of the State of New York– and the keepers even got rid of her five beloved rescue cats.

Libra Max said her father, who she said weighs barely 100 pounds, begged to be returned to family care.

“This is what was in [Peter Max] estate planning documents, all of which were overruled by the trusteeship system, ”explained Libra Max. “When you are placed under guardianship, all your estate planning is canceled. All your documents are canceled. Your human rights are void. Your constitutional rights are canceled. You have fewer rights than a convicted criminal!

Libra Max, daughter of pop artist Peter Max, friends and animal rights activists have demonstrated in front of Phillips Nizer LLP to demand an end to the artist’s forced guardianship. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Libra Max pointed out that about 1.3 million Americans are under trusteeship and trusteeship in the United States. While some guardians certainly represent the interests of their wards, many could have more sinister motives since $ 50 billion is in the hands of the Conservatives.

“It’s a lucrative industry. It’s not about protection, ”Libra Max, who recently submitted a written statement to the US Senate Judicial Subcommittee on the Constitution Regarding Toxic Conservatories: The Need for Reform, said.

“My father escaped the Holocaust,” said Max. “He came to this country as a teenage immigrant with nothing. He started from nothing. He believed in the American dream. And because he made the American dream come true, that now makes him a target.

Friends and animal rights activists have demonstrated alongside Libra Max, daughter of pop artist Peter Max, outside Phillips Nizer LLP to demand an end to the artist’s forced guardianship. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Everyone who has met Peter Max has described him as a deeply caring and warm man with an abundant love for animals.

Animal rights activist Donny Moss joined the rally to help free vegan Peter Max from his alleged predatory tutelage and support Libra Max in her quest to get her father back.

“Peter Max, as far back as I can remember, opened his legendary art studio to the animal rights community,” Moss said. “And now he’s being mistreated the same way he was fighting. He is deprived of his freedom, of his family, of his dignity.

Friends and animal rights activists demonstrated alongside Libra Max, daughter of pop artist Peter Max, outside Phillips Nizer LLP to demand an end to the artist’s forced guardianship. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Edita Birnkrant, Executive Director of NYCLASS, a non-profit animal rights organization, has known Peter Max for many years and is grateful for his support of NYCLASS and his efforts to ban the horse-drawn carriage industry.

“It’s so bad what’s going on,” Birnkrant said of Max’s situation. “Someone who fought against injustice, cruelty and the exploitation of people and animals is now suffering and does not even have his freedom. It’s like he’s in jail.

Birnkrant vowed to fight for Peter Max’s freedom as vigorously as he fought to free the abused and exploited animals.

“We are so heartbroken that his own freedom and dignity are stripped from him,” Birnkrant said.

Friends and animal rights activists demonstrated alongside Libra Max, daughter of pop artist Peter Max, outside Phillips Nizer LLP to demand an end to the artist’s forced guardianship. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Animal rights activist Rachel Levy Ejsmont worked with Peter Max on Missing Persons’ video “Surrender Your Heart” in 1983 and described him as “a lovable and sweet and gentle being.”

“There is absolutely no reason for him to be held captive,” said Levy Ejsmont and stressed that, like animals, humans do not thrive in isolation. “Animals are driven mad, and they are driven mad when they are isolated and held captive by their loved ones.”

In a statement, which the law firm handed to protesters and signed by Marc A. Landis, Managing Partner, Phillips Nizer LLP wrote that the firm supported the First Amendment right to peaceful protest and referred to the long history of the cabinet on First Amendment advocacy. He rejected the claims of Libra Max and his supporters.

Friends and animal rights activists demonstrated alongside Libra Max, daughter of pop artist Peter Max, outside Phillips Nizer LLP to demand an end to the artist’s forced guardianship. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

“Phillips Nizer provides legal services to a client as ordered and approved by the New York State Supreme Court. We serve this client, as we do all of our clients, in accordance with our professional and ethical responsibilities as lawyers.

The claims of Libra Max and its allies are patently false and defamatory of our firm and our lawyers. We will address this issue at the appropriate time and in the appropriate forum.

Due to the sensitive nature of guardianship proceedings and in accordance with the duty of privilege we owe our clients, we will not comment further at this time. “

Friends and animal rights activists demonstrated alongside Libra Max, daughter of pop artist Peter Max, outside Phillips Nizer LLP to demand an end to the artist’s forced guardianship. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)
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