Sunday, 13 March 2016

Rich and Famous in Marbella....

Marbella has a reputation of been the playground of the rich and famous and I’m often asked by visitors how many really rich people have I met over the years who enjoy the Marbella life style. In fact Piers Morgan did one of his life style programs on this very subject about Marbella but I felt that he unfairly leant too much on what once called (no longer thankfully) the Costa del Crime. Since the extradition agreements between Spain and many European countries came into a power, many of the ex criminals who resided here during the early ‘80s fled to countries like South America. Sure we have criminals still residing here, which country that boasts a playground as stunning as Marbella doesn’t, but thankfully they don’t carry out their dirty business here, most of them hoping that they will be forgotten about by the countries they’re most wanted in.

The first really famous person I bumped into when I initially was investigating Marbella as a possible place for myself and my young family to set up home, was the then ex Formula 1 world champion James Hunt whom I eventually did business with by taking over his fashionable discotheque Oscars.

This photo was taken in Oscar's of James with Princess Gunilla Von Bismarck and the late Dai Llewellyn.
NOTE: You can read about this period of my time with Oscars by copy and pasting this chapter from My Story.

Now to richest. I suppose I could kick this category off by naming Sheik Ashmawi , a billionaire who made most of his fortune in aviation oil . Lives in Marbella in a stunning palace. It is said he owns 600 luxury cars. I went into business with the Sheik when I opened the Costa del Sols first Auction Rooms named a properly Marbella Auctions which ran successfully for a couple of years until I was doubled crossed by my partner something that seemed to happen a lot to me!!!

Here is a video in french so i haven't a clue what they are saying but it shows my friend who called me his 'little Jew' which shows part of his super rich life style (hope it's complimentary)

Click on this link if you want to read the part in My Story

Wealthy money men came and went (most without the fortune they arrived with) . Their was a famous saying: To make a small fortune in Marbella you need to start with a large one! No truer a word was said than in the case of Yugoslavian Bob Petrovic (Pictured with me, Peter Stringfellow and a bevy of beauties aboard his multi million yacht the Blue Crystal ). Read this extraordinary story from My Story by copy and pasting this link

Bob was spending hois fortune at such a rate most of us knew that at sometime or other he must run out. Notably when i bought the Marbella Football team and flew over the famous English Manger Peter Read. He bought one of his top players a brand new Ferrari and open a Discotheque in Puerto Banus. One day he asked my to book Kool and The Gang to play there. I tried to explain that Kool and the Gang would cost a small fortune and no way could he recoup the cost in a 300 seater club , but as is his way he insisted. He also made the appearance by this hit making band into a TV show which I hosted and here it is...

Bob sponsored my first radio show The Late Late Breakfast Show on Onda Cero Radio.

I couldn't talk about the rich and famous without mentioning Irish paper and cardboard Billionaire Michael Smurfit who's home in Marbella is on the market for 65 billion Euro! and here,s a look around his super yacht the Lady Ann Magee which is often moored in Marbella's Puerto Banus I have been aboard and had dinner on this floating palace and been entertained is his palatial home..

This brings mt onto to the richest of them all Marc Rich whom I met about ten years ago and became as close a friend as one can with a multi Billionaire with somewhat of a checkered past. Marc was was an international commodities trader, hedge fund manager, financier and businessman. He was best known for founding the commodities company Glencore and for being indicted in the United States on federal charges of tax evasion and illegally making oil deals with Iran during the Iran hostage crisis. He was in Switzerland at the time of the indictment and never returned to the United States. He received a controversial presidential pardon from U.S. President Bill Clinton on January 20, 2001, Clinton's last day in office. Here I am with Mark enjoying many of are fun nights out.

Marc was a very private person and hugely charitable in fact I know of 85 million dollars he's donated to many charities. The Marc Rich foundations has funded many medical and scientific life saving discoveries only a few years ago he has seen his funding develop a device that is an aerobic attachment allowing wheel chair bound people to walk some for the first time in their life.

Marc's ex wife Denise Rich's was quite the oppeset to him out going and exciting I always enjoyed her company.....
Here she is at home in New York...

and aboard her super yacht.

Marc sadly past away two years ago.

So there you have it. Some of the super rich I have known over the years.

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