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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Billionaire Abe Hirschfeld abused by his own son Elie till death

Parking lot magnate Abe Hirschfeld was repeatedly physically abused by his son Elie in the years before his death — including while he was bedridden in an assisted living facility — his longtime assistant told the Daily News.

The assistant, Dany Esquilin, said when he went to visit his ailing boss in Nov. 2004, the octogenarian had a bloodied gash across his nose and his arm wrapped in a bandage.

Esquilin asked Hirschfeld — who died a year later at age 85 — what had happened. “He said, ‘What do you think? Elie did this,’ ” Esquilin said.

“He said Elie had been beating him for a while, and he was too weak to fight back,” said Esquilin, 60. He said Abe — who was suffering from pneumonia and cancer — asked him get a camera to record his injuries, but not to go to the police.

“Abe had his own problems with law enforcement,” he said, referring to the real estate tycoon’s 22-month prison stint for plotting to kill a business partner.

Esquilin is releasing the pictures to help Abe’s daughter Rachel Hirschfeld, who’s accusing her brother of having ripped off an amazing $300 million worth of property from their father’s estate.

Abe’s real estate empire — once valued at $1 billion — was in the red at the time of his death.

Rachel, 67, shuddered as she looked at the pictures of the allegedly battered patriarch, who famously incited a staff rebellion when he took over the New York Post for two weeks, and ran seven failed political campaigns using the nickname “Honest Abe.”

“My father didn’t deserve this,” she said.

In a statement, Elie, 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.”

He added, “I loved my father.”

Esquilin said the alleged abuse was apparently fueled by Elie’s plans to take over the company.

In one incident in May 2004, Esquilin said Elie tried to take a swing at Abe in his Hirschfeld Properties office after Abe accused him of stealing properties.

Esquilin said he did once manage to lay a punch on the surly scion.

“The next day, Abe said, ‘I want to take you to lunch!’ ” Esquilin said.

By Dareh Gregorian / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

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