She died at a nursing home in New York, her children said in a statement issued by family spokeswoman Maureen Connelly.

Martha von Bulow was a personification of romantic notions about high societya stunning heiress who brought her American millions to marriages to men who gave her honored old European names.

But she ended her days in a coma, giving no sign of awareness as she was visited by her children and tended around the clock by nurses.

She was the offstage presence that haunted the two sensational trials of her husband, Claus von Bulow, in Providence, R.I.

At the first trial, in 1982, Claus von Bulow was convicted of trying twice to kill her by injecting her with insulin at their estate in Newport, R.I. That verdict was thrown out on appeal and he was acquitted at a second trial in 1985.

The murder case split Newport society, produced lurid headlines and was later made into a film, "Reversal of Fortune," starring Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons.

Claus von Bulow is living in London, "mostly taking care of his grandchildren," said Alan Dershowitz, the defense lawyer who won his acquittal at the second trial.

"It's a sad ending to a sad tragedy that some people tried to turn into a crime," Dershowitz said. "I hope this finally will put to an end to this terrible tragedy."

"There are no winners in a case like this. I'm happy to have played a role in getting the criminal conviction reversed, because it was an unjust conviction, but there were no victory parties or celebrations afterwards because there was a woman in a coma," Dershowitz said.

Claus von Bulow's main accusers were his wife's children by a previous marriage, Princess Annie Laurie von Auersperg Kniessl and Prince Alexander von Auersperg. They renewed the charges against their stepfather in a civil lawsuit a month after his acquittal.

Two years later, Claus von Bulow agreed to give up any claims to his wife's estimated $25 million-to-$40 million fortune and to the $120,000-a-year income of a trust she set up for him. He also agreed to divorce her, leave the country and never profit from their story.

As you can see, things got terribly ugly between Claus von Bulow and Sunny's family.  Ironically, the only player who remained serene and unaffected throughout their legal wars was Sunny, who now takes the real story, whatever it is, to her grave.

May she finally rest in peace.