The rumor and gossip about billionaire widow Lily Safra's notoriously high maintenance Villa Leopolda seems never to end.
In the summer of 2008, it was widely speculated (and reported) that The Widow Safra sold her legendary Belle Epoque estate in the Cote d'Azure to Russian billionaire Mikail Prokhorov for a teeth chattering and record breaking £392,000,000. That's around $560,000,000 to all us Americanos at today's rates. However, back when the deal was alleged to have been done, it rang up to $750,000,000, a nerve-wracking amount of money, the thought of which nearly landed Your Mama right up in the hospital with a colossal case of shock and awe.
Naturally, Mister Prokhorov's people said, "Nyet!" and vehemently denied Mister Prokhorov's involvement in any rumored sale of Villa Leopolda. Then came a report in early January of 2009 in The Londoner's Diary that stated The Widow Safra's trophy estate had, in fact, not Aha! been sold. About that time, Your Mama heard from a couple our savvy sources connected to the same sorts of jet-setting circles The Widow Safra runs in and both whispered in our big ol' ear that the news of a sale was just a bunch of hooey at best and a pathetic publicity ploy at worse.
Fast forward to the middle of February when the scuttlebutt starts up again in the London papers. Earlier today, both the Times Online and the Daily Mail ran titillating articles that claim Mister Prokhorov wants out of the alleged deal and is demanding his £39,000,000 deposit be returned by The Widow Safra.
Miz Safra, a lacquer haired high society ladee who knows well how to grind the financial gears, has reportedly refused to return the massive deposit citing French law which states property buyers lose their deposit in the event they back out of a real estate deal after the sales agreement has been signed.
As the children might imagine, the Widow Safra remains mum on the matter and, as usual, Mister Prokhorov's people have once again declared, "Nyet!" Mister Prokhorov's spokesman went on to repeat the oft repeated claim that the insanely rich Russian billionaire would conduct no bizness in the country of France until French authorities apologize for arresting him for the alleged procurement of prostitutes for himself an some horny friends while they all threw it down billionaire style in the swank ski resort of Courchevel in January of 2007. Needless to say, the French authorities have not apologized, nor does it look like they're going to. All of which means, of course, that any news of an offer, sale ore request for a deposit to be returned is all just speculation and gossip.
Your Mama imagines we won't know when or if Villa Leopolda sells until a fleet of moving trucks shows up in the dead of night in an attempt to covertly squirrel out all The Widow Safra's glitzy gew-gaws and swellegant knick-knacks unnoticed by the media. We shall see, children, we shall see.
Incidently, one report went on to say that the global economic downturn has hit rich Russians halaciously hard and that even uber-flashy Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is quietly trying to dump his lavish water front spread in the Cap d'Antibes, another unconfirmed rumor that we should all savor, relish and take in with a gigantic grain of salt.