Tobacco heiress and horticulturist Doris Duke hires Bernard Lafferty, an Irish butler (and former household staff to Liz Taylor and to Peggy Lee) to manage her New Jersey home. As time passes they grow close and he begins to travel with her. His role in her life expands and their relationship becomes emotionally close if somewhat dysfunctional. Her lawyers question his motives, but he is loyal and refuses their payoff. In her long absences he is given control over her estates. His alcoholism returns, hindering his performance and she sends him to rehab at her own expense. Alone, she has a stroke and he returns to nurse her. She dies and names him executor of her personal estate; he is subject to many accusations. He dies three years later, leaving all he has to the Doris Duke foundation.