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Schmidt is a self-described maverick WASP attorney who now heads a foundation established by his magnanimous billionaire Jewish Egyptian friend, Mike Mansour. At 78, Schmidt is widowed, vigorous, shrewd yet romantic, with a gargantuan capacity for alcohol, sex, and transatlantic flights. His one sorrow is his contentious relationship with his difficult daughter, Charlotte, whose horrid husband and in-laws are hell-bent on vacuuming up Schmidt's fortune. His ardor is Alice, the enigmatic French widow of a lawyer Schmidt affectionately mentored, who harbored his own explosive secrets.