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Paul Newman’s Daughter Exposes His Tarnished Legacy

When actor and philanthropist Paul Newman passed away in 2008, he left his Newman’s Own brand and the charitable organization that it supports in the hands of his trusted adviser and friend Robert Forrester. But Newman’s eldest daughter claims that her father’s guiding principles and values aren’t upheld in the way that he would have wanted. In fact, several of his surviving family members firmly believe that his memory and legacy are actively being betrayed.

Not long after Paul’s passing in 2008, it became clear that something was wrong. And the first clue pointing to that fact was a change in one of the brand’s labels. While the offshoot brand, Newman’s Own Organic’s packaging was still friendly and cheery, expressing a message of wholesomeness and charity, something had obviously changed.

The old labeling included a picture of the film star Paul Newman posed in an American Gothic-inspired posture. While standing beside his beautiful daughter Nell who in fact co-founded and ran the Newman’s Own Organics line alongside her dad’s larger company. She was blonde, attractive, and sported her father’s same strikingly blue eyes. Nell, like her father, shared his love for quality food, charity work, and the great outdoors.

It was particularly peculiar when her image scrubbed from the label in early 2015. And it was even more surprising to learn that Nell had pretty much vanished from the very company that she had helped start. 

Newman’s Own Organics founded in her hometown of Santa Cruz, California in 1993 after convincing her dad that organic foods were the ‘wave of the future’.

Back in the mid-90s, Nell was a fierce crusader for the organic movement. The company’s first organic product, pretzels, meant to be the first step forward in taking organic foods into the mainstream. For the next several years, Nell made her dream a reality as she and her father brought more and more organic products to supermarkets and specialty stores across the country.

First, it was Newman’s Own Organics pretzels which actually became the number 1 organic snack food in America within their first year on the shelves. Up next the company unveiled their organic Fig Newtons which also took the consumer world by storm. Join Facts Verse to learn about Paul Newman’s Daughter Exposes His Tarnished Legacy.

Nell, who’s now 56, teamed up with her business partner, Peter Meehan, to create an impressive and constantly expanding line of products that filled the shelves of both exclusively organic food stores as well as traditional supermarkets throughout North America. In time, the organic line started to rival the popularity of the non-organic OG Newman’s Own Brand which her father founded in 1982 with the help of his writer friend A.E. Hotchner.

So what caused Nell to mysteriously vanish out of the spotlight? And is Newman’s Own still the same company that Paul Newman Founded some four decades ago? Stay tuned to find out.

From Movie Star To Food Entrepreneur 

Paul Newman enjoyed a particularly fruitful career in the limelight from the 1950s through the 1980s. Not only was he a hit with the ladies with those chiseled features and striking blue eyes. But he was also a very talented and accomplished actor.

Alongside names like Montgomery Clift, James Dean, and Marlon Brando, Newman got his start at Lee Strasberg’s now-legendary Actors Studio. And just like those other actors we just listed, he too often played rough around the edges, yet charismatic outsiders.

Newman honed his craft starring in popular films like 1961s The Hustler, 1963s Hud, 1969s Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, and 1973s The Sting.

Newman’s hyper-masculine on-screen persona reinforced by his secretive personal life. He was never the type to pine for the spotlight nor did he live it up in glitz and glamour like many of his Hollywood contemporaries.

Newman instead preferred to spend most of his time in his spacious yet relatively modest 12-room Colonial home in Westport, Connecticut. He lived there with his second wife, Joanne Woodward, and their kids. In his free time, he loved racing sports cars, but he could hardly called a novice at the sport. He ended up winning four national amateur titles, two pro victories, and a second-place finish at the 24 Hours Le Mans. Join Facts Verse to learn about Paul Newman’s Daughter Exposes His Tarnished Legacy.

As he advanced in years, Newman became very involved in his charitable work. The Newman’s Own Foundation, which is supported by the proceeds of the Newman’s Own brand has contributed more than $570 million to worthy causes since its inception. The organization has four main focus areas; helping children in need suffering from life-limiting conditions, empowerment, nutrition, and encouraging philanthropy.

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And don’t you dare think about sneaking off so soon. Stick around to see what Paul Newman’s daughters have to say about the people currently running their father’s business. They seem to think that their dad would appalled by how the company is operated these days, but the jury’s still out. Hear what they have to say and then maybe you can be the judge. 

What About Robert Forrester? 

Before being enlisted by Newman in 1993, Bob H. Forrester was a veteran consultant to various nonprofits. Bob hired him on to help straighten out some issues that he was having in opening his first international Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. It named after Butch Cassidy’s hideout in the Wyoming mountains. The camp intended to assist seriously ill children in need.

Forrester and Newman quickly became very close friends and Robert went on to work for The Newman’s Own Foundation pro bono for 13 years. In 2005, Forrester appointed C.O.O of the foundation and later named C.E.O. Of Newman’s Own Incorporated as well as co-executer of Paul’s will. In the six years after Newman’s death, Forrester claimed that the company’s top-line revenue had grown by over 7 percent. And that the Foundation had donated more than $170 million.

Mike McGrath of Wolfgang Puck Soup succeeded Forrester as C.E.O. Of Newman’s Own Inc. in 2014 while Dave Best formerly of General Mills and Unilever took over as C.O.O. of the company not long after.

With all of those new faces arriving on the scene complete with new ideas and leadership styles. It begs the question however whether Paul Newman’s wishes and vision are still fulfilled today. It is in the way that he would have desired for them to be. Join Facts Verse to learn about Paul Newman’s Daughter Exposes His Tarnished Legacy.

Paul’s daughters and his widowed wife Joanne Woodward have especially outspoken about their doubts on this subject. When the details of the disposition of Paul’s $600 million estate first reported, they left in a state of shock. And according to them, there isn’t a single member of the Newman family that still has respect or holds faith in Robert Forrest. And his control of the company and the preservation of the legacy that Paul worked so hard to leave behind.

Paul’s oldest daughter, Susan Kendall Newman, a former actress and television producer who now produces media for nonprofit organizations. It says that her father’s memory and vision are essentially being ran through the mud at this point.

She feels as if her family has ‘taken hostage’ by Bob Forrester. Instead of respecting her father’s vision and carrying out his wishes. Susan claims that Bob is more interested in self-exaltation and stuffing his pockets. She insists that her father would never endorse how his business is being conducted today. Forrester has of course rejected these claims labeling them as ‘totally untrue’.

Newman’s Death And The Resulting Fallout 

When Newman was 75, he penned a letter to his family, friends, and attorney where he discussed his plans for his personal estate and for the Newman’s Own brand. In the letter, he discussed handing over major decision-making powers over to his daughters. He planned on accomplishing this by setting up individual organizations for each of his daughters that would collectively make all the major business judgments. 

In 2007, he had almost completely withdrawn from the business and instead brought in a board of directors to make all of the important business determinations. Robert Forrester made chairman of this board. But even though he was putting a lot of power into the hands of the board. He insisted that his daughters would still have the final say on things through their foundations. But that’s when things started getting pretty sticky.

Newman diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007. And just weeks after learning of his condition Paul made sweeping changes to his will. It almost completely rewritten in the spring of 2008 just months before his death. While Forrester insists that he was lucid at the time, Paul’s doctors had noticed that his memory and cognitive abilities were beginning to suffer. His daughters also have their doubts about his mental state at the time of the revisions. Join Facts Verse to learn about Paul Newman’s Daughter Exposes His Tarnished Legacy.

When his will finally read after his passing, provisions that would have ensured that his daughter’s retained positions on the Newman’s Own board were gone. Just two months before he died, Paul had elevated Robert Forrester and Brian Murphy to positions that made them his company equals. In doing so, he essentially gave them total control over the corporation.

Each of his daughter’s organizations thus were now under the control of Forrester and the board of directors. In 2015, they came forward and confirmed that they had essentially ‘handcuffed’ by the new policies. No longer did they have control over anything and their voices actively silenced. 

When the Scott Newman Center, which set up to honor Newman’s deceased son. And the Newman/Haas Racing team defunded. His daughters further insisted that those were changes that their father never would have made.

And then when Nell’s image was removed from the Newman’s Own Organics label. It explained that the change was made for brand cohesiveness purposes. Apparently, the bigwigs sitting on the companies board figured that nobody really knew who she was. But Paul obviously would have never taken his own daughter off the label of the brand that she essentially founded.

So, is Newman’s Own still upholding the vision that Paul Newman had for his company and foundation? Well, I suppose that really comes down to who you ask. If you ask his family, they will tell you that their father’s legacy is trampled on. But on the other hand, it could argued that those sentiments are just his daughter’s ‘sour grapes’ for written out of his will.

Newman’s Own is still a non-profit company that donates 100% of its proceeds to charitable causes. So at least that part is still what Paul had intended.

But what do you think? Do you think that Newman’s Own has drifted away from the core values that Paul founded the company on. Or do you think that it still operates in a way that he would be proud of? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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