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Arms, harems and a Trump-owned yacht: How a Khashoggi family member helped mold the U.S.-Saudi relationship

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In the mid-1980s, Jill Dodd was a 20-year-old model working in Paris when she got an unexpected offer from her agent: She was invited to a gala pirate-themed party on the beach in Monte Carlo being thrown by the billionaire Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi .

Dodd had no idea who Khashoggi was or why she was invited. But, she says, being “naive and gullible,” she jumped at the chance and soon found herself on the beach dancing with the short, pudgy Saudi mogul. He ended up writing “I love you” in blood on her arm, she says.

It was the start of a wild 18-month relationship during which Dodd agreed to serve as Khashoggi’s “pleasure wife." She partied it up on his legendary yacht, the Nabila, and flew around the world on his private jet, having sex, doing cocaine, sitting by his side at high-stakes gambling binges in Las Vegas.

Today, Dodd — having gone on to have a successful career in the fashion business — looks back on her time globe-trotting with Khashoggi with no small degree of horror. “I really realized I was part of a harem,” she says. “It took a long time to come to the realization and be able to accept the fact that I had been sold without my knowledge. So I was sold like a prostitute would be sold.”

The flamboyant life and checkered legacy of Adnan Khashoggi are the subject of Episode 2 in the new season of the Yahoo News podcast "Conspiracyland : The Secret Lives and Brutal Death of Jamal Khashoggi ."

Adnan Khashoggi, who died in 2017, was Jamal Khashoggi’s cousin; their grandfathers were brothers in the holy city of Medina. Jamal Khashoggi knew his older cousin from family gatherings over the years and showed up for his burial in Medina four years ago, even while expressing nothing but disdain for his grotesque sybaritic lifestyle.

And yet, as "Conspiracyland" shows, Adnan Khashoggi played a crucial role in the evolution of the U.S.-Saudi alliance. Over the course of two decades, between the late 1960s and the mid-1980s, he brokered billions of dollars in arms sales from U.S. defense contractors to the Saudi military — deals that became the heart of a core arms-for-oil bargain that has sustained Washington’s relationship with Riyadh ever since.

Adnan Khashoggi “pioneered this relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia,” says Ron Kessler, a former investigative reporter for the Washington Post, who wrote a biography of the arms dealer called “The World’s Richest Man.”

“Khashoggi was the emissary of the king,” Kessler says in "Conspiracyland." “And so he would kick back some of the commissions from the American companies directly to the king, as well as to the Saudi defense minister and princes. And everyone was happy. The king was happy, he got his money, Khashoggi got his cut. … The spectacular wealth, the display, the parties, all attracted business. And it was like bees around honey. It was really an incredible episode in history.”

The fear of disrupting that arms-for-oil money flow was ultimately a major factor in persuading the Trump White House not to impose any price on the Saudis for the gruesome murder of Adnan’s cousin Jamal, who at the time of his death was a columnist for the Global Opinions section of the Washington Post.

Trump himself made that painfully clear when he cited giant Saudi arms purchases as his chief reason for not imposing any sanctions on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman even after the CIA concluded he had authorized the operation that killed the journalist inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018.

“If we abandon Saudi Arabia, it will be a terrible mistake,” Trump said at the time. “They're buying hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of things from this country. If I say 'We don’t want to take your business,' if I say 'We're going to cut it off,' they will get their equipment, military equipment, from Russia and China. I’m not going to tell a country spending hundreds of billions of dollars — and helping me out do one thing very importantly, keep oil prices down so they're not going to 100, 150 dollars a barrel — I'm not going to destroy the economy for our country by being foolish with Saudi Arabia.”

As with much else with Trump, such positions were taken against the backdrop of business deals between him and various Saudi moguls that began with Adnan Khashoggi. In 1991, Trump — envious of the Saudi mogul’s lifestyle — arranged to buy his yacht, the Nabila, for $29 million, touting it on the David Letterman show as “probably the greatest yacht ever built. It's really been kind of a great investment.” (Trump renamed it the Princess, apparently after his daughter Ivanka.)

But not that great an investment. Three years later, when Trump was facing bankruptcy over his floundering Atlantic City casinos, he was bailed out by yet another Saudi mogul — Prince Alwaleed bin Talal — who bought the yacht from him for $20 million. Although he may have taken a bath on the boat, the sale was the start of a gushing Saudi spigot to the Trump Organization that continued for years.

Wealthy Saudis pumped millions into his company coffers, buying up apartments in Trump buildings, at least as much as, if not more than, Russian oligarchs did. In 2001, three months before the 9/11 attacks, in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals, the Saudi government plunked down $4.5 million to purchase the entire 45th floor of Trump Tower in Manhattan, eventually turning it into the offices of the country’s United Nations mission.

"Saudi Arabia, and I get along great with all of them, they buy apartments from me, they spend $40 million, $50 million,” Trump declared at a 2015 campaign rally in Mobile, Ala. “They spend so much money. Am I going to dislike them? I love them.”

It was an affection that continued right into his presidency, when Trump made placating the Saudis a centerpiece of his Middle East strategy — and ultimately persuaded him to impose no price on the country’s leaders for the state-sponsored assassination of Adnan Khashoggi’s cousin Jamal.

Next on "Conspiracyland": Episode 3, "Jamal and Osama"

Adnan’s younger cousin Jamal pursues a very different path that leads him to the caves of Afghanistan, where, as a young reporter for the Arab News, he champions the fight against the Soviet occupation being waged by a fellow Muslim Brother who was then his good friend: Osama bin Laden. It is the start of a long and complicated relationship between Khashoggi and bin Laden that years later leads to a fateful series of meetings in Khartoum, Sudan, in which the Saudi journalist is recruited to try and persuade the terrorist leader to return to the kingdom.

In case you missed it:

Episode 1 — Exclusive: Saudi assassins picked up illicit drugs in Cairo to kill Khashoggi

Cover thumbnail photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images, Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Read more from Yahoo News:

Exclusive: Saudi assassins picked up illicit drugs in Cairo to kill Khashoggi

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From the archives: Inside Donald Trump’s lavish 86m superyacht Trump Princess

BOAT dives into the archives to tell the full story of how Donald Trump bought the 85.9-metre (282 foot) Benetti superyacht Nabila (now Kingdom 5KR ) for close to $30 million and transformed her into Trump Princess ...

“A certain level of quality.” That is the phrase that Donald Trump returns to again and again to explain just why he bought Adnan Khashoggi’s 86 metre yacht Nabila . And an explanation is needed.

After all, Trump doesn’t water-ski or go in for swimming in a big way, and he’s always tried to avoid the sun. As a matter of fact, he has never owned a big boat before. He doesn’t even particularly like boats. “I’m not into them,” he says with a shrug, “I’ve been on friends’ boats before and couldn’t get off fast enough.”

So why spend close to $30 million on a yacht? Trump will admit that she is an “incredible toy”, even “the ultimate toy”. But words like that make the whole venture seem frivolous, so he prefers to refer to the boat which he has re-named Trump Princess , as “a work of art.” And what makes her a work of art is, of course, the “level of quality”.

To really appreciate the level of quality, Trump says you have to see the interior. That is where Khashoggi lavished money with utter abandon. Trump points out, for example, the walls of the cabins covered in chamois leather and bird’s eye maple.

Bathrooms are done not in marble but in onyx – and not just any onyx either, but onyx hand-carved by the finest craftsmen in Italy. Donald Trump bought Trump Princess , he says, “because I was buying a great piece of art at a ridiculously low price”.

Unlike Trump, Adnan Khashoggi has always had a thing about boats. The arms dealer, who took advantage of connections with the Saudi royal family to amass a fortune worth around $3 billion at its peak, acquired his first yacht when he was 18 and traded up as his wealth increased.

In the 1970s Khashoggi owned two yachts and while these were impressive, neither made quite the naked assertion of fantastic wealth he required, so he commissioned the British designer Jon Bannenberg to design the most sumptuous, the most incredible yacht the world has seen.

“He wanted the best yacht in the world,” says Bannenberg, “and we achieved that at the time.” The vessel Bannenberg created cost $35 million to build, but Khashoggi also commissioned Italian designer Luigi Sturchio to produce the interior and that is believed to have cost more than the yacht itself.

“No-one really knows what she originally cost,” says Jonathan Beckett , CEO of Burgess , the broker that arranged the sale to Trump. Named Nabila , after Khashoggi’s only daughter, the vessel was launched in 1980. Insisting that she be totally self-contained, Khashoggi had included in the specification everything from a patisserie and three-chair hair salon to a screening room with an 800-film library and a hospital with an operating theatre.

There is accommodation for a crew of 52 people. To get to and from shore, there is a helicopter landing pad and a pair of nine metre tenders. Fuel tanks holding 618,256 litres of diesel give a maximum range of 8,500 nautical miles at the cruising speed of 17.5 knots. Three water-makers produce 45,000 litres of fresh water a day from the ocean and six mammoth refrigerators carry a three-month supply of food for 100 people.

Many of Khashoggi’s most lavish parties took place aboard Nabila , but the yacht was also an invaluable business instrument. Not only movie stars but also political leaders and diplomats were invited aboard. On one occasion five heads of state – including three kings – were entertained simultaneously.

Often, Nabila ’s guests were Arab princes as well as European and American businessmen of all descriptions. Ensconced in the various suites, they used the 150 telephones and the satellite communications system to arrange arms sales and commodities trades. When contracts were ready to be signed, the yacht could quickly slip into international waters, where sovereign restrictions on business transactions do not apply. On many occasions, several deals were conducted simultaneously, in different suites.

A tour of the entire yacht, which has five decks and some 100 separate areas, would take too long, but a description just of the owner’s suite  should be sufficient to give an idea of the exquisite luxury on board Trump Princess .

The bedroom occupies the full beam of the hull. It has a tortoiseshell ceiling, a three-metre-wide bed, and bedside remote controls for the entertainment centre, for room service, even for the curtains. It also has a secret exit.

From the bedroom, we head down a corridor past a mirrored dressing room and into Trump's bathroom, where the onyx floor tiles are carved in a sunburst pattern. To one side is a room with the owner’s barber chair. Next to that is the shower and sauna. The shower has 13 nozzles and is carved in the shape of a scallop shell from a single piece of onyx — a task that took a team of workers a year to complete.

From the bathroom we proceed into Trump’s television area, then into his large sitting area, panelled in the inevitable chamois leather. From there we take the owner’s private elevator (there is another one for guests and a third for crew) to his private sundeck .

An enclosed section houses the bar, pantry, video games, and another sauna and shower. Outside, behind bullet-proof glass, sits a circular swimming pool that measures 2.4 metres in diameter.

That may seem a bit small, but there is a water jet so you can swim all day against the current and never reach the other side. A hydraulic lift raises the sunbed high above anyone else on the boat, enabling the sunbather to bask in total privacy.

When Khashoggi’s empire began to crumble during the mid-1980s, he procured a loan for $50 million, putting up Nabila as collateral. When Khashoggi defaulted on his loan in 1987, a Swiss holding company took possession of the yacht. She was therefore placed in the hands of Burgess with instructions to dispose of the yacht quickly at an asking price of $50million.

In September 1987, almost as soon as he learned that Nabila was for sale, Donald Trump made a cash bid for the yacht. Burgess had already received two other offers, one of which was equal to that made by Trump, but subject to several conditions. Jonathan Beckett flew to New York and countered Trump’s offer with a proposal of $32million. Trump responded with $28million, and half an hour later he had agreed to pay $30million — for a yacht he had never boarded.

As soon as the news was broken, Beckett was suddenly deluged with higher offers from potential buyers who had been sitting on the fence. Meanwhile, Trump was arranging to pay less. He was contacted on behalf of Khashoggi, who was said to be upset that his daughter’s name would now be on a yacht belonging to someone else. Negotiations ensued and Trump agreed to rename the boat Trump Princess if the cost were reduced by about $1million. “He got an unbelievable deal, in retrospect,” says Beckett.

Trump then spent $8.5 million having the yacht refitted in the Netherlands by Amels who repainted the hull, rebuilt the main engines and replaced 320 metres of chamois leather. One of the more garish cabins became the children’s room and the hair salon a cloakroom.

Renamed Trump Princess , the yacht, which Trump says will cost about $2.5 million a year to operate, set sail from the Azores in June 1988 and arrived in New York on July 4 in time for the huge party the Trumps threw on it that night.

In addition to private cruising with his family, Trump, like Khashoggi, uses Trump Princess as a business instrument — though in a somewhat different fashion. Trump Princess spends the summer months cruising the East Coast from her base in Atlantic City, where she docks at the marina in full view of Trump’s Castle Hotel. Trump makes the boat available for selected charities and “very high rollers who spend millions of dollars a year in the casinos”.

“There is a whole market there,” Trump explains. “While I was building Farley Marina, I was trying to get the boat, because I knew that she would blow everybody’s mind. She would become a spectacle.”

But that is what Trump Princess has been all along — a spectacular statement of astronomic wealth, a massive piece of equipment designed to arouse envy in those who behold it. Khashoggi had stipulated that the boat be huge enough to intimidate even the owners of the big yachts — and it does.

A few years ago, a friend of Trump’s was at the helm of his own very large yacht in the Mediterranean — and feeling quite proud — when Nabila roared by, practically swamping him. “He said it gave him a total inferiority complex,” Trump says. And that, no doubt, is another reason Trump bought her.

First published in 1989 as part of The Superyachts Vol. 2

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Nabila Yacht

The Legendary Nabila   Yacht

The Nabila yacht was built at Benetti's shipyards in Viareggio and delivered in 1980. Measuring 281 feet and featuring 11 suites, a cinema and helipad, she was one of the world's largest yachts at the time and without doubt the most opulent. In 1983 the Nabila played an important role in the James Bond movie Never Say Never Again ; a few years later she was seized by the Sultan of Brunei and sold to Donald Trump.

She was bought by her current owner, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, in 1991. The photo below shows her berthed at Antibes, France.

Nabila Yacht

Adnan Khashoggi

The Nabila was commissioned in 1978 by billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. Named after Khashoggi's daughter, she was built at Benetti's shipyards in Viareggio and delivered in July 1980. Interior design was managed by Luigi Sturchio; the exterior was designed by English-Australian yacht designer Jon Bannenberg . The yacht was powered by twin Nohap Polar engines, giving her a cruising speed of 17 knots and a top speed of 20 knots.

The Nabila soon became known the world over for her sumptuous interiors, opulent suites and ostentatious luxury. The yacht spanned 5 five decks and featured every conceivable amenity. The 11 suites were paneled with chamois leather and bird's-eye maple; bathrooms were decked out in gold and onyx. Khashoggi's suite not only had its own saloon, office and sauna, it also had an elevator that went up to a private sun lounge.

The main saloon featured a waterfall, bronze bar, and grand piano gifted to Khashoggi's wife by Liberace. Other amenities included a 12-seat cinema, a disco, and a medical clinic with its own operating theatre. No one really knows how much the yacht cost to build, though some estimates give $35 million for the exterior and $50 million for the interiors.

It's a spectacle, a statement of astronomic wealth, a massive piece of equipment designed to arouse envy in those who behold it.

New York Magazine, 1988

The Nabila had a major impact on the global yachting scene and changed the industry in two significant ways. First, her flamboyant Saudi Arabian owner inspired other Middle Eastern businessmen to commission luxury yachts of their own. The trend began in the early 1980s and continues to this day. Second, her innovative design and extravagant interiors opened eyes to what could truly be achieved if money were no object.

The Nabila yacht had 11 suites, all named after precious stones or metals. The bedroom shown here is the Ruby Suite. The other photo shows part of the main saloon, with the bronze bar visible on the left.

Nabila Yacht Interior

Khashoggi and Benetti: Financial Ruin

Adnan Khashoggi often claimed to be the world's richest man and at times spent up to $250,000 a day to support his lifestyle. He started experiencing cash flow problems in the early 1980s, however, and towards the end of the decade the debt bubble burst. First to go was his private DC-8. The jet was grounded in 1986 when he defaulted on a $15 million loan. Following that, he defaulted on a $50 million loan issued by a Swiss bank and guaranteed by the Sultan of Brunei. The loan had been used to finance the construction of the Nabila .

The Sultan settled the loan himself, seized control of the Nabila and promptly put the yacht on the market. A handful of potential buyers took interest – one of whom was a New York real estate developer named Donald Trump.

The Nabila also took its toll on Benetti. The shipyard had seriously undervalued the costs of constructing the yacht and was hit hard by a series of penalty clauses added to the contract by Khashoggi's negotiators. The contract was overtly biased in Khashoggi's favor, and even allowed him to request changes during the final construction stages. Ultimately the yacht was built at a loss, and by 1985 Benetti was teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.

A young Italian named Paolo Vitelli stepped in. Sixteen years earlier Paolo had founded Azimut Yachts and built the company into a global brand. In a bid to rescue Benetti and take control of their Viagreggio shipyards, he invested every cent he had to bail out the ailing giant. It was a huge risk, but one that paid off. The new company became known as the Azimut Benetti Group and the rest, as they say, is history.

On the subject of history, remember Sean Connery's role in the James Bond movie, Never Say Never again ? The Nabila yacht is shown at bottom right.

Nabila Donald Trump Yacht

The Trump Princess

The Sultan of Brunei's broker put the Nabila up for sale in 1987 with an asking price of $50 million. Donald Trump offered $15 million, the broker dropped to 32, Trump countered with 28, they settled on 30. A further million was taken off when Trump agreed not to keep the name Nabila and rename the yacht as he saw fit. Until this deal took place, the highest price paid for a secondhand yacht was $16 million.

Trump had actually had his eyes on the Nabila for quite a while. He'd been expanding his casino empire in Atlantic City and realized the Nabila could function both as a business tool and tourist attraction.

While I was building Farley Marina I was trying to get the boat because I knew she would blow everybody's mind.

Donald Trump

Trump renamed the yacht Trump Princess and spent $8.5 million having her refitted. The hull was repainted, the engines rebuilt and more than 3500 yards of chamois leather stripped out and replaced. As a finishing touch, the letter H on the helipad was swapped for a T. When done, the yacht set sail for America and cruised into New York on July 4 1988.

In April 1990 Trump opened his third gambling resort in Atlantic City, the $1 billion Taj Mahal. It was New Jersey's tallest building and the world's largest casino. But to survive it needed to take more than $1 million per day just to service its loans, and the market simply wasn't there. Trump's lenders intervened. They insisted he restructure his organization and sell the Trump Princess . Once again, Adnan Khashoggi's superyacht was up for sale.

Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal

Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bought the yacht in 1991 for $19 million. One of the world's richest men, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal is founder, CEO and majority stock owner of the Kingdom Holding Company, a company with global interests that include financial services, media, agriculture and real estate. After taking possession of the Trump Princess , Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal renamed the yacht Kingdom 5KR , where 5 represents his lucky number and the letters K and R are the initials of his children. Since the acquisition, Kingdom 5KR is almost permanently berthed at Antibes in the south of France, though from time to time she ventures out to nearby Cannes and Monte Carlo.

The Kingdom 5KR is shown below. The exhaust funnels have been a distinctive feature of this yacht ever since she was launched. They are angled outwards to accommodate the helicopter.

Kingdom 5KR

Pinnacle Marine New Zealand

Pinnacle Marine has years of practical experience dealing with luxury yachts and is supported by a network of contacts throughout the industry. If you would like more information about the Azimut Benetti Group, or anything else connected with luxury yachts, please get in touch.

Buettner, Russ; Bagli, Charles V. (2016), How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos, but Still Earned Millions , New York Times

Kessler, Ronald (1986), The Richest Man in the World: The Story of Adnan Khashoggi , Hachette Book Group , ISBN: 978-1-5387-6254-7

Rempel, William C. (1987), Latest Financial Setback for Billionaire Saudi Arms Dealer: Sultan of Brunei Seizes Khashoggi Yacht , LA Times

Taylor, John (1988), Trump's Newest Toy , New York Magazine , 20-26, ISSN: 0028-7369

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Businessman Adnan Khashoggi’s High-Flying Realm

H igh above the clouds, at 35,000 ft., Adnan Khashoggi’s DC-8 is cruising noiselessly toward his estate in Marbella, Spain. His guests, sipping 1961 Chateau Margaux from crystal goblets with triangular silver bases, lounge on the jet’s cream-colored chamois-and-silk banquettes. His masseur, his valet, his barber and his chiropractor — they accompany him everywhere — are relaxing as well because “A.K.,” as he is known to his employees, is fast asleep on the $200,000 Russian sable spread covering his 10-ft.-wide bed in one of the plane’s three bedrooms.

In the plane’s fully equipped kitchen, Khashoggi’s chef is preparing hors d’oeuvres. They will be served on white triangular china, embossed in gold with the letters AK, designed, along with the crystal and flatware, at a cost of $750,000. The plane, which Khashoggi bought in 1982 for $31 million and had reconfigured for an additional $9 million, has the streamlined and futuristic feel of a flying 21st century Las Vegas disco. In the sumptuous lounges, digital panels indicate the time and altitude, and electronic maps chart the jet’s current position. Inside a coffee table, a color monitor shows a view of the ground. Built into the ceiling is an elaborate electronic map of the cosmos, a 50th-birthday gift to Khashoggi, who is fascinated by astronomy. One by one, against a dark background, the outline of the constellations lights up, the tiny stars winking against the blankness. Aquarius . . . Cancer . . . Gemini . . . Then there is Leo, Khashoggi’s birth sign, and as the constellation brightens, a small image of the round-faced, mustachioed Saudi Arabian arms merchant and businessman flashes on and off, on and off.

To those who work for him, Adnan Khashoggi is not a constellation but the very center of a mysterious and splendiferous universe. His is a dazzling and ostentatious realm of luxury beyond the dreams of Croesus, a shadowy sphere of deals, arms brokering and billion-dollar investments. But with Khashoggi’s well-publicized role as the middleman in America’s arms-for-hostages deals with Iran, light has been cast on the sometimes shaky financial state of his private and public dealings. Like the arms sales to Iran, several of his recent investments have been ill-conceived, botched deals.

The round-figured Khashoggi, who could pass as an amiable neighborhood shopkeeper, has been described as the world’s richest man, though he probably never was and certainly is not now. He sometimes seems to be dancing a curious line between fabulous profits and grim losses. What he was and continues to be is the world’s biggest spender, a man whose unrivaled profligacy gilds his self-image as a grand merchant-statesman. This soft-spoken man with a gift for putting people at ease, the product of a strict Islamic upbringing from one of the world’s most conservative and ascetic nations, has become an international symbol of sybaritic self-indulgence. “I am an artist with my wealth,” he says in quiet measured tones while relaxing in a room at the rear of his jet.

It costs Khashoggi an estimated $250,000 a day to support his life-style. His twelve estates around the world include a 180,000-acre ranch in Kenya and a $30 million apartment that takes up two entire floors of a luxury building on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. He has homes in Marbella, Paris, Cannes, the Canary Islands, Madrid, Rome, Beirut, Riyadh, Jidda and Monte Carlo. His 282- ft. yacht Nabila (complete with helicopter) makes Queen Elizabeth’s Britannia look like a package-tour ship. His fleet includes three commercial- size jets, twelve stretch Mercedes limousines, a total of 100 vehicles and a stable of Arabian horses.

This past Christmas Eve, Khashoggi entertained some 60 guests at his 5,000- acre spread on Spain’s postcard Mediterranean coast. For the occasion, La Baraka (in Arabic, “the blessings of God”) was transformed into a Moorish palace: gold chandeliers draped in white leaves and red streamers, the ceiling of the 50-ft.-high ballroom covered with shimmering silver and gold spangles like the fringes on a flapper’s dress. That night, like a magnanimous feudal lord, Khashoggi, in a gray-and-black satin tuxedo, greeted his guests with kisses on both cheeks. Servants trooped into the ballroom carrying great silver salvers of lobster thermidor and pheasant with apples. For the children, there was a magic show featuring live doves, as well as hand-painted Cinderella-like carriages for them to ride around in.

The next day Khashoggi called his wife Lamia into his all-white bedroom to give her a $1.9 million diamond, emerald-and-ruby necklace. “Oh, Baba!” (Arabic for “father”) she exclaimed when she saw it. His ex-wife Soraya, who presented her husband with a $2.5 billion divorce suit seven years ago that was resolved amicably, was also at the house: she got a less expensive ruby necklace. Christmas was relatively quiet this year, said Khashoggi, because the family is still grieving the death of his sister in March.

Fantastic parties are a Khashoggi signature. Christmas was a simple tea compared with his 50th-birthday fete in 1985, at which he entertained more than 400 guests at a three-day extravaganza. His birthday cake, a model of Louis XIV’s coronation crown, was created by a chef who was flown to the Louvre to study the original. Khashoggi’s parties also take place in his 30,000-sq.-ft. quarters incorporating the 46th and 47th floors of the Olympic Towers in Manhattan. Created out of 16 separate apartments, the abode has a pool that overlooks the spires of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. What will the host wear to his soiree? At Marbella there is a small warehouse, called the Central European Distribution Center, for Khashoggi’s clothes. More than 1,000 handmade suits, encased in plastic and ranging from size 46 to 56 to accommodate Khashoggi’s shifting figure, line the walls, sorted by color. The clothes are shipped to each of his homes so that he will have a full wardrobe of Arab and Western wear wherever he happens to be.

Khashoggi’s flamboyant life-style, besides gratifying his own inclinations, is a calculated element in his way of doing business. “Flowers and light attract nightingales and butterflies,” he says, a metaphor he prefers to the more homespun “catching flies with honey.” As a schoolboy in Egypt, he would earn $100, save half and use the rest to throw a party. He would be broke the next week, but, he says, “I would make a good impression, and all week everyone would invite me over.” Some 15 years ago, he chartered a yacht and sailed to Sardinia, docking it between Aristotle Onassis’ boat and that of King Constantine of Greece. “Suddenly,” says Khashoggi, “I saw that it was a small club of people who talked and socialized with each other. It was so difficult to meet these people in normal circumstances. This opened my eyes to the fact that there was a certain way to penetrate these classes of people, by meeting them on their own ground.”

These days Khashoggi seems to have trouble affording his own fantasy life. Despite the Iranian deals, his days as a big-time arms broker are past. He has invested in ambitious development projects around the world, several of which have come undone. In Salt Lake City where Khashoggi launched a $1 billion real estate venture, his Triad America company is being sued by dozens of contractors and investors for $140 million. In the Sudan, his multibillion- dollar plan to turn the desert nation into a breadbasket failed when his friend President Jaafar Numeiry was deposed. Khashoggi is also suffering smaller indignities. French authorities last week seized his DC-9 because he had not paid a debt to a British corporation. In Marbella a strike by some 60 servants demanding back pay was recently settled. “There are times,” confides a close friend, “when he has difficulty scrounging together $200,000 of pocket money.”

| Khashoggi’s problems are in keeping with the way he operates. In an age of ubiquitous M.B.A.s and computer transactions, Adnan Khashoggi is a wily and gracious trader, an exemplar of the Arab-Islamic values of daring, cunning, loyalty and generosity. For him the deal is the thing, the only thing. Business, love, politics, diplomacy — they are all forms of dealmaking. He proudly admits that he dissembles, uses women, flaunts his wealth to get an agreement. “When I am trying to broker a deal,” he says animatedly, “in diplomacy or business, I don’t tell the truth to both sides all the time. You should let both sides let off steam and feel vindicated. Then it’s time to encourage both to be generous in victory. You can usually have a deal if each has something the other wants as long as you can defuse the psychological land mines.”

Khashoggi has no real consolidated corporate power base. He is a master broker but a precarious builder. Instead of constructing institutions, he has created a cult of personality. He is the product of the Middle East, where loyalty is to individuals, not institutions; he understands the psychology of one-on-one haggling, not the culture of corporations. “I am a trader,” he says. “If I can make a decent profit, I prefer to take it and get out. There are others who hang on to an investment in the hope of realizing profits several times the money invested. They are welcome to their method. I prefer mine.”

To do business, he zigzags around the world on his jets the way others hop in a car to run an errand, because he must be there face-to-face. He believes that through the force of his personality, he can broker a billion-dollar merger or patch up a domestic tiff. Recently, in a conversation with a woman he had just met, she confided to him that she was in the final stages of divorce. “Stop!” he said excitedly. “Let me reconcile you! I am good at it.”

Born in Mecca, Khashoggi grew up with the confidence that comes from being the firstborn son in a country where the eldest boy is the prince of the family. His father, Dr. Mohammad Khashoggi, was the chief physician to King Abdul Aziz, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia. From his father, Khashoggi says, he learned the difference between compassion and realism, as well as the value of giving as a prelude to receiving. Khashoggi recalls that one oppressive summer afternoon when he was eight, he discovered a beggar asleep on the front steps. Knowing of Islam’s emphasis on charity, Adnan brought the man inside, gave him some food and said he could sleep in the hall. When his father returned that evening, Adnan expected great praise but got a lecture instead. “You’ve ruined this man’s life,” Dr. Khashoggi said. “He’ll never be able to sleep on the sidewalk again.” The incident, Khashoggi recounts, taught him that compassion must be tempered with logic, and logic with compassion. “It was the first time that I was touched by the reality of life.”

Saudi Arabia was then a poor and barren desert kingdom, lagging far behind the West in development. But Dr. Khashoggi was determined to give his son a modern education. Through a timely investment, he was able to send Adnan to Victoria College, a British-run school in Egypt that was the cradle of leadership for the elite of the Middle East. Khashoggi’s classmates included two princes who would become Kings, Faisal II of Iraq and Hussein of Jordan. There Khashoggi learned the rudiments of dealmaking. He found out that a Libyan schoolmate’s father wanted to buy sheets and towels; he knew that an Egyptian classmate’s father manufactured them. He introduced buyer and seller, and it yielded his first commission, about $1,000.

Khashoggi wanted to become a petroleum engineer and enrolled in the Colorado School of Mines. But Colorado was too cold for his desert blood, so his father arranged for him to go to the California State University at Chico, a school of 2,000. Set in a conservative rural town, it was an oasis for wealthy Middle Eastern students seeking an American education. When his father sent him $10,000 to buy a car and rent a better apartment, Khashoggi purchased two trucks that he leased to the owner of a small construction company for $125 a month. “I used to get $225 a month from home,” he remembers. “So, my income rose to $350 a month. I became a rich student.” He promptly moved to a hotel, hired a female student to do chores and type his papers, and began to give elegant soirees, replete with polished silver, pressed linen and fresh flowers.

It was the creation of an image. The 18-year-old student began brokering sales for a Seattle truck manufacturer. Soon all kinds of businessmen, assuming he was influential in Saudi Arabia, began offering him deals. “My life-style was my only way of making important contacts. I had put together a track record. But that was not enough. I would spend money in order to justify my request to be on prize society and business guest lists. In a few years everybody wanted to be on my guest lists.”

Khashoggi left Chico after only three semesters; wheeling and dealing would provide the rest of his education. In 1956 Khashoggi garnered a contract to supply trucks for the Saudi army. The pattern was set: the deal, the commission, the party, more contacts and contracts. By 1962 Khashoggi was the sales agent in Saudi Arabia for Chrysler, Fiat, Westland Helicopters Ltd. and Rolls-Royce. “One association,” he says, “led to another, one business to another.” For Western companies, Khashoggi was the man to know in Saudi Arabia.

Throughout his life he has played up his closeness to the Saudi royal family. Lately there have been rumors that Khashoggi is out of favor in Riyadh, but he adamantly denies them. “Having heard so much revolutionary rhetoric, I can really appreciate what the Saudi government did for its people,” he says. “King Fahd is the real revolutionary, after all. It takes a revolutionary to rule by common sense and compassion in the midst of turmoil.”

When Fahd’s half-brother King Faisal took the Saudi throne in 1964 and set the country on a course of close cooperation with the U.S., Khashoggi positioned himself to be the middleman between American arms manufacturers and the Saudi Defense Ministry. At Khashoggi’s instigation, the Saudis commissioned the U.S. to study their defense needs and make recommendations as to what they should buy. As a result, Khashoggi had the inside track and locked up sales-agency rights with such U.S. firms as Lockheed, Raytheon and Northrop. He eventually won exclusive commissions on 80% of all U.S. military sales to Saudi Arabia.

After the Arab-Israeli war of 1973, the Arab states were eager to expand their arsenals. Moreover, the rise in oil prices gave them billions to spend on whatever weapons they desired. “That’s when the middlemen like Khashoggi really started to make their killings,” says one Middle Eastern arms dealer. “It was the gold rush of the 20th century. Every con man in the world was in Arabia.” Between 1970 and 1975, Lockheed alone paid Khashoggi $106 million in commissions. During this same period, he is said to have collected hundreds of millions from other corporations. Khashoggi, says Max Helzel, then vice president of Lockheed’s international marketing, “became for all practical purposes a marketing arm of Lockheed. Adnan would provide not only an entree but strategy, constant advice, and analysis.” His commissions started at 2.5% + and eventually rose to as much as 15%.

In 1975 a Senate subcommittee investigating foreign payments by American corporations looked into Khashoggi’s dealings. Northrop said it had given him $450,000 in bribes for Saudi generals. Khashoggi denied the allegations that he had asked for bribe money, but the accusations did not endear him to the Saudi ruling family. In 1976 and ’77 the Securities and Exchange Commission attempted several times to subpoena Khashoggi as part of its investigation into arms companies. Khashoggi stayed away from the U.S. for nearly two years, but later came back to give a voluntary deposition.

By the mid-1980s, the era of cash-and-carry megadeals had wound down as oil prices declined and the oil sheiks became more sophisticated about arms transactions. By then they had reviewed thousands of arms proposals themselves and had sent their sons off to the U.S. to earn M.B.A.s. Khashoggi was no longer essential.

As a businessman and broker, Khashoggi has as a trademark the exquisite and exotic women who seem to hover around him. He has often been accused of hiring expensive call girls to seduce the men he is attempting to do business with. He amiably confesses to paying for escorts to liven up business functions. The women, he suggests, sweeten the deal. “They lend beauty and fragrance to the surroundings,” he says, while sitting on the terrace of his Marbella house overlooking Gibraltar. “They are also intelligent hostesses. I challenge anyone to come forward and prove that I ever told him the girls are available for sex,” he says with a smile and a wink.

Such women served Khashoggi’s purposes in other ways. In the 1970s Khashoggi spent much time and money recruiting the “escorts” hired by the Shah, in order to get information about the Iranian’s military plans. “The Shah was timid with women,” Khashoggi says, “and liked to impress them by telling them exciting secrets.” Khashoggi himself coached the women on how to guide the conversation to areas of particular interest. “They always came back with valuable intelligence,” he says with a smile.

As Khashoggi began to spread his wealth into other investments — banks, fledgling high-tech companies, farms and ranches — his attorney Morton MacLeod tried to create a corporate organization for his enterprises. It did not work. “We were thinking of corporate organizational structures, operating capital and bottom-line earnings,” says MacLeod. “He’s thinking more in % terms of people, relationships, alliances.” Khashoggi is not an administrator. Instincts guide him; details do not concern him, and he leaves them to his aides.

Some of the deals went bad. One of his first failures was a planned $600 million tourist resort that was shot down by the Egyptian legislature because of concern about damage to the nearby pyramids. Sudan’s President Numeiry invited Khashoggi to become a virtual economic czar in his country. He set up a joint venture with the government to exploit oil resources. When Numeiry was deposed in a coup in April 1985, the new government accused Khashoggi of having interfered in the country’s political and economic affairs. He is now unwelcome there.

Khashoggi’s most public debacle has been in Utah, where he was attracted by what he believed were prime development opportunities. The centerpiece of his $1 billion Salt Lake City project is the Triad Center, a $400 million, 25-acre complex of office buildings, a hotel and retail shops. Work stopped after only about a third of the glitzy complex was completed. Khashoggi refuses to cave in to Triad’s creditors, among them architects, contractors and banks. “They loaned the money against the collateral, the Triad Center,” he says. “Now they hear rumors about my cash-flow problems and call the loans. I am not going to bring in cash from other businesses to pay the bankers. The collateral is all they will get if they persist.” In Salt Lake City, Khashoggi was regarded as a hero for ten years; now he is branded a fraud. “If he is the richest man in the world and he is flying around in a gilded plane,” says Mayor Palmer Depaulis, “why isn’t he paying his debts here?”

As some of Khashoggi’s business interests flagged, his somewhat quixotic interest in diplomacy seemed to rise. He came up with the idea, in 1985, of bringing Palestinians and Israelis together for peace talks through a steering committee of American, Egyptian and Jordanian officials. Later he accompanied Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Hussein when they visited the U.S. in 1985. Khashoggi proposed a $300 billion fund to develop the area, a kind of Marshall Plan that would serve as an incentive for peace negotiations. Late in 1985, using his DC-8, he visited eight heads of state in ten days to push his plan. But ultimately nothing came of it. Khashoggi says he has brokered many political arrangements, like the arms-for-hostages deal, but always for reasons of business. “I am not interested in politics,” he says. “But if it serves my business interest, I’ll play the game.”

To his six children, Khashoggi is not a merchant-statesman, but “Baba.” His four sons and one daughter by his first wife, Soraya, are all students in the U.S. He and his second wife, Lamia, have a son Ali, 7, who lives most of the time at their house in Cannes. Although he considers himself a traditional disciplinarian and keeps his children on a budget, they do have fringe benefits: the older boys have been known to impress their dates with a tour of the family plane.

Khashoggi first met Lamia in Milan when she was a 17-year-old named Laura Biancolini. When she married Khashoggi in 1978, she changed her name and converted to the Muslim faith (as had Soraya). Buxom and statuesque with blue, almond-shaped eyes, she is self-possessed and cool. She dresses according to the Joan Collins Dynasty handbook, complete with diamonds and decolletage. With her, as with her husband, more is definitely more. Her idea of casual is to wear a one-inch ruby-and-diamond ring with matching ruby earrings. Her 40- carat diamond wedding ring covers the lower half of her ring finger. She asserts that size does not matter. “It’s the sentiment that counts,” she says in her accented English.

Khashoggi always seems to be surrounded by a claque of admirers, an entourage of curious and often comical characters. He is gratified by his friendships with the famous and the powerful, and in his office in New York City there are prominently displayed pictures of himself with Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger and Pope Paul VI. At Christmas in Marbella, a gaggle of lesser European royalty partook of “A.K.’s” hospitality. Among them was Count Jaime de Mora y Aragon, the brother of the Queen of Belgium, a rakish fellow with a monocle and a waxed mustache who comes across as a blue-blooded Salvador Dali.

But one of the persons who seem closest to Khashoggi is Shri Chandra Swamiji Maharaj — Swamiji, for short. The bearded Hindu guru claims he can see into the future and the minds of mortals. The swami’s brochure, which he gives out to the uninitiated, says “his Holiness has appeared on the scene as our real savior.” On Christmas Eve at Marbella, the white-robed swami glided down the marble steps in the middle of dinner, with his 14 disciples arrayed behind him. In an interview with an Indian magazine, the swami was asked what brought the two men together. “We have many common friends in politics and Hollywood,” the holy man replied.

Khashoggi lives in two cultures. His identity is split between East and West, between the simple white thobe he wears with fellow Arabs and the handmade cashmere jackets he wears with Westerners, between the austere ethos of Mecca and the hedonism of Marbella. “When I am among you,” he says, as if addressing all of the West, “I do as you do so well that practically I am one of you. But when I am in Saudi Arabia, I am a real Saudi Arabian. I obey and preserve the customs and traditions that give Saudi Arabia its identity and moral strength.”

In his attempt to bridge East and West, Khashoggi does make distinctions. His image in the West as the ultimate voluptuary both pleases and annoys him. “People in the West believe they have a higher morality than we do. But in fact we have a higher inner morality. All of us do naughty things from time to time. But when it comes to the really naughty things, we think twice.”

America, however, is still the home of his greatest ambitions. “My dream is to take over an important American company and use it as a base of my operations,” he says as he sits in his Monte Carlo apartment. Khashoggi wants to leave his mark on the world the way he stamps AK on the cufflinks he gives employees for Christmas. But like such ancient figures as Midas and Croesus, he may end up remembered as something more ephemeral, a man known for the way he accumulated and spent his phenomenal fortune.

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Khashoggi’s Fall

Image may contain Human Person and Adnan Khashoggi

Adnan Khashoggi was never the richest man in the world, ever, but he flaunted the myth that he was with such relentless perseverance and public-relations know-how that most of the world believed him. The power of great wealth is awesome. If you have enough money, you can bamboozle anyone. Even if you can create the illusion that you have enough money you can bamboozle anyone, as Adnan Khashoggi did over and over again. He understood high visibility better than the most shameless Hollywood press agent, and he made himself one of the most famous names of our time. Who doesn’t know about his yachts, his planes, his dozen houses, his wives, his hookers, his gifts, his parties, his friendships with movie stars and jet-set members, and his companionship with kings and world leaders? His dazzling existence outshone even that of his prime benefactors in the royal family of Saudi Arabia—a bedazzlement that led to their eventual disaffection for him.

Now, reportedly broke, or broke by the standards of people with great wealth—his yacht gone, his planes gone, his dozen houses gone, or going, and his reputation in smithereens—he has recently spent three months pacing restlessly in a six-by-eight-foot prison cell in Bern, Switzerland, where the majority of his fellow prisoners were in on drug charges. True, he dined there on gourmet food from the Schweizerhof Hotel, but he also had to clean his own cell and toilet as a small army of international lawyers fought to prevent his extradition to the United States to face charges of racketeering and obstruction of justice. Finally, Khashoggi dropped his efforts to avoid extradition when the Swiss ruled that he would face prosecution only for obstruction of justice and mail fraud, not for the more serious charges of racketeering and conspiracy. On July 19, accompanied by Swiss law-enforcement agents, he arrived in New York from Geneva first-class on a Swissair flight, handcuffed like a common criminal but dressed in an olive-drab safari suit with gold buttons and epaulets. He was immediately whisked to the federal courthouse on Foley Square, a tiny figure surrounded by a cadre of lawyers and federal marshals, where Judge John F. Keenan refused to grant him bail. He spent his first night in three years in America not in his Olympic Tower aerie but in the Metropolitan Correctional Center. No member of his immediate family was present to witness his humiliation.

Allegedly, he helped his friends Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos plunder the Philippines of some $160 million by fronting for them in illegal real-estate deals. When United States authorities attempted to return some of the Marcos booty to the new Philippine government, they discovered that the ownership of four large commercial buildings in New York City—the Crown Building at 730 Fifth Avenue, the Herald Center at 1 Herald Square, 40 Wall Street, and 200 Madison Avenue—had passed to Adnan Khashoggi. On paper it seemed that the sale of the buildings had taken place in 1985, but authorities later charged that the documents had been fraudulently backdated. In addition, more than thirty paintings, valued at $200 million, that Imelda Marcos had allegedly purloined from the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, including works by Rubens, El Greco, Picasso, and Degas, were being stored by Khashoggi for the Marcoses, but it turned out that the pictures had been sold to Khashoggi as part of a cover-up. The art treasures were first hidden on his yacht and then moved to his penthouse in Cannes. The penthouse was raided by the French police in a search for the pictures in April 1987, but it is believed that Khashoggi had been tipped off. He turned over nine of the paintings to the police, claiming to have sold the others to a Panamanian company, but investigators believe that he sold the pictures back to himself. The rest of the loot is thought to be in Athens. If he is found guilty, such charges could get him up to ten years in an American slammer.

In a vain delay tactic meant to forestall the extradition process as long as possible, he had at first refused to accept hundreds of pages of English-language legal documentation in any language but Arabic, although he has spoken English nearly all his life and was educated partially in the United States.

People wonder why he went to Switzerland in the first place, when he was aware that arrest on an American warrant was a certainty there and that Switzerland could and probably would extradite him if the United States requested it. The answer is not known, although there is the possibility that Khashoggi, like others in that rarefied existence of power and great wealth, thought he was above the law and nothing would happen to him. Alternatively, there is the possibility, which has been suggested by some of his friends, that his was tired of the waiting game and went to Bern to face the situation, because he was convinced that he had done nothing wrong and was innocent of the charges against him. There was neither furtiveness nor stealth, certainly no lessening of his usual mode of magnificence, in his arrival in Switzerland on April 17. He flew to Zurich by private plane. A private helicopter took him from the airport to Bern, where he had three Mercedeses at his disposal and registered in a very grand suite at the exclusive Schweizerhof Hotel. Ostensibly, his reason for visiting the city was to be treated by the eminent cellular therapist Dr. Augusto Gianoli with revitalization shots, whereby live cells taken from embryo of an unborn lamb are injected into the patient to ward off the aging process. Dr. Gianoli’s well-to-do patients often rest in the Schweizerhof after receiving the shots.

But apparently the revitalization of vital organs wasn’t the only reason Adnan Khashoggi was in Bern on the day of his bust. He was killing two birds with one stone, and the other bit of business was an arms deal. Those closest to him are highly sensitive about the fact that he is always described in the media as a Middle Eastern arms dealer. True, he started like that, they say, but they object to the fact that the arms-dealer label has stuck, and cite, instead, his other achievements. As one former partner told me, “Adnan brought billions and billions of dollars’ worth of business to Lockheed and Boeing.” Be that as it may, Khashoggi will always be best remembered in this country for his anything-for-a-buck participation in the Iran-contra affair, one of the most pathetic episodes in the history of American foreign policy, as well as a blight forever on the Reagan administration. True to form, the business he was conducting in his suite at the Schweizerhof that day was a sale of armored weapons.

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When the Swiss police arrived at the suite, the other two arms dealers mistakenly thought they were after them, and a slight panic ensued. The arms dealers left immediately by another door in the suite and were out of the country by private plane within an hour of Khashoggi’s arrest. Khashoggi, remaining totally calm, asked the police if they would place him under house arrest in his suite in the Schweizerhof Hotel instead of putting him in jail, but the request was denied. Then he asked them not to handcuff him, and the request was denied. The prison in Bern where he was taken, booked, fingerprinted, and photographed is barely a five-minute walk from the Schweizerhof, but the group traveled by police car. The friends of Adnan Khashoggi deeply resent that the Swiss government release his mug shot to the media as if he were an ordinary criminal. I went immediately to Bern after the arrest, said Prince Alfonso Hohenlohe, one of Khashoggi’s very close friends in international society and a neighbor in Marbella, Spain, “but they wouldn’t let me in to see him. I sent him a bottle of very good French red wine and a message to the jail. I hear he is the best prisoner they have ever had. I would cut off my arm to get him out of this situation.”

For years now, misfortune has plagued Khashoggi. In 1987, Triad America Corporation, his American company, which was involved in a $400 million, twenty-five acre complex of offices, shops, and a hotel in Salt Lake City, filed for bankruptcy after its creditors, including architects, contractors, and banks, demanded payment. Khashoggi blamed the failure on “cash-flow problems.” His most recent woe, reported by Reuters after his imprisonment in Bern, is that the privately owned National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia is suing him for $22 million, plus interest. The process of falling from a great height is subtle in the beginning, but there are those who have an instinctive ability to sniff out the first signs of failure and fading fortune. Long before the public disclosures of seized planes and impounded houses and bankruptcies, word went out among some of the fashionable jewelers of the world, from Rome to Beverly Hills, that no more credit was to be given to Adnan Khashoggi, because he had ceased to pay his bills. Then came the whispered stories of how he was draining money from his own projects to maintain his high life-style; of unpaid servants in the houses and unpaid crew members on the yacht; of unpaid maintenance on his two-floor, 7,200-square-foot condominium with indoor swimming pool at the Olympic Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York; of unpaid helicopter lessons for his daughter, Nabila, even while the extravagant parties proclaiming denial of the truth continued. In fact, the more persistent the rumors of Khashoggi’s financial collapse grew, the more extravagant his parties became. Nico Minardos, a former associate of Khashoggi’s who was arrested during Iranscam for his involvement in a $2.5 billion deal with Iran for forty-six Skyhawk aircraft and later cleared, said, “Adnan is a lovely man. I like him. He is the greatest P.R. man in the world. When he gave his fiftieth-birthday party, our company was overdrawn at the bank in Madrid by $6 million. And that’s about what his party cost. Last year he sold an apartment to pay for his birthday party.”

Probably the most telling story in Khashoggi’s downfall was repeated to me in London by a witness to the scene, who wished not to be identified. The King of Morocco was staying in the royal suite of Claridge’s. The King of Jordon, also visiting London at the time, came to call on the King of Morocco. There is a marble stairway in the main hall of Claridge’s which leads up to the royal suite. Shortly after the doors of the suite closed, Adnan Khashoggi, having heard of the meeting, arrived breathlessly at the hotel by taxi. Used to keeping company with kings, he sent a message up to the royal suite that he was downstairs. He was told that he would not be received.

Shortly after I was asked to write about Adnan Khashoggi, following his arrest, his executive assistant, Robert Shaheen, contacted this magazine, aware of my assignment. He said that I should call him, and I did.

“I understand,” I said, “that you are the number-two man to Mr. Khashoggi.”

“I am Mr. Khasoggi’s number-one man,” he corrected me. Then he said, “What is it you want? What will be your angle be in your story?” I told him that at that point I didn’t know. Shaheen’s reverence for his boss was evident in every sentence, and his descriptions of him were sometimes florid. “He dared to dream dreams that no one else dared to dream,” he said with a bit of a catch in his voice. He proceeded to list some of the accomplishments of his boss, whom he always referred to as the Chief. The Chief was responsible for opening the West to Saudi Arabia. “The Chief saved the Cairo telephone system. The Chief saved Lockheed from going bankrupt.” He then told me, “You must talk with Max Helzel. He is a representative of Lockheed. Get him before he dies. He is getting old. Mention my name to him.”

An American of Syrian descent, Shaheen went to Saudi Arabia to teach English in the late fifties, and there he met Khashoggi. He has described his job with Khashoggi in their long association as being similar to that of the chief of staff at the White House. Anyone wishing to meet with Khashoggi for a business proposition had to go through him first. He carried the Chief’s money. He scheduled the air fleet’s flights. He traveled with him. He became his apologist when things started to go wrong. After the debacle in Salt Lake City, he said, “People in Salt Lake City can’t hold Adnan responsible. He delegated all responsibility to American executives, and it was up to them to make a success. Adnan still believes in Salt Lake City.” And he became, like his boss, a very rich man himself through the contacts he made. At the close of our conversation, Shaheen told me that it was very unlikely that I would get into the prison in Bern, although he would do what he could to help me.

The night before I left New York, I was at a dinner party in a beautiful Fifth Avenue apartment overlooking Central Part. There were sixteen people, among them the high-flying Donald and Ivana Trump , one of New York’s richest and most discussed couples, and a major topic of conversation was Khashoggi’s imprisonment. “I read every word about Adnan Khashoggi,” Donald Trump said to me.

A story that Trump frequently tells is about his purchase of Khashoggi’s yacht, the 282-foot, $70 million Nabila, thought to be the most opulent private vessel afloat. In addition to the inevitable discotheque, with laser beams that projected Khashoggi’s face, the floating palace also had an operating room and a morgue, with coffins. Forced to sell it for a mere $30 million, Khashoggi did not want Trump to keep the name Nabila, because it was his daughter’s name. Trump had no intention, ever, of keeping the name. He had already decided to rename it the Trump Princess. But for some reason Khashoggi thought Trump meant to retain the name, and he knocked a million dollars off the asking price to ensure the name change. Trump accepted the deduction.

“Khashoggi was a great broker and a lousy businessman,” Trump said to me that night. “He understood the art of bringing people together and putting together a deal better than almost anyone—all the bullshitting part, of talk and entertainment—but he never knew how to invest his money. If he had put his commissions into a bank in Switzerland, he’d be a rich man today, but he invested it, and he made lousy choices.”

In London, on my way to Bern, I contacted Viviane Ventura, an English public-relations woman who is a great friend of Khashoggi’s. She attended Richard Nixon’s second inauguration in January 1973 with him. Ventura told me more or less the same thing Shaheen had told me. “The lawyers won’t let anyone near him. They don’t want any statements. There’s a lot more to it than we know. This is a terrible thing that your government is doing. Adnan is one of the most generous, most caring of men.”

The five-foot-four-inch, two-hundred-pound, financially troubled mega-star was born in Saudi Arabia in 1935, the oldest of six children. His father, who was an enormous influence in his life, was a highly respected doctor, remembered for bringing the first X-ray machine to Saudi Arabia. He became the personal physician to King Ibn Saud, a position that brought him and his family into close proximity with court circles. Adnan was sent to Victoria College in Alexandria, Egypt, an exclusive boys’ academy where King Hussein was a classmate and where the students were caned if they did not speak English. Later he went to California State University in Chico, and was overwhelmed by the freedom of the life-style of American girls. There he began to entertain as a way of establishing himself, and to broker his first few deals. Early on he won favor with many of Saudi royal princes, particularly Prince Sultan, the eighteenth son, and Prince Talal, the twenty-third son, who became his champions. In the 1970s, when the price of Arab oil soared to new heights, he began operating in high gear. Although Northrup was his best-known client, he also represented Lockheed, Teledyne National, Chrysler, and Raytheon in the Middle East. By the mid-1970s, his commissions from Lockheed alone totaled more than $100 million. In addition, his firm, Triad, had holdings that included thirteen banks and a chain of steak houses on the West Coast of the United States, cattle ranches in North and South America, resort developments in Fiji and Egypt, a chain of hotels in Australia, and various real-estate, insurance, and shipping concerns. The first Arab to develop land in the United States, he organized and invested many millions in Triad America Corporation in Salt Lake City. He became an intimate of kings and heads of state, a great gift giver, a provider of women, a perfect host, and the creator of a life-style that would become world-renowned for its extravagance. Even now, in the overlapping murkiness of deposed dictators, the Baby Doc Duvaliers, those other Third World escapees with their nation’s pillage, are living in the South of France in a house found for them by Adnan Khashoggi, belonging to his son.

Perhaps not surprisingly, having presented myself as a journalist from the United States, I was not allowed to visit Khashoggi in the prison at 22 Genfergasse in Bern. It is a modern jail, six stories high, located in the center of the city. The windows are vertically barred, and the prisoners take their exercise on the roof. At night the exterior walls are floodlit. For a city prison there is an amazing silence about the place. No prisoners were screaming out the windows at passersby. There were no guards in sight on the elevated catwalk. Much has been made of the fact that Khashoggi got his meals from the dining room of the nearby Schweizerhof Hotel, but that and a rented television set and access to a fax machine were in fact his only privileges. In the beginning, waiters in uniform from the hotel would carry the trays over, but they were photographed too much and asked too many questions by reporters. The waiters and the maître d’ that I spoke with in the restaurant of the Schweizerhof were reluctant to talk about the meals being sent to the jail, as if they were under orders not to speak. The evening I waited to see Khashoggi’s meal arrive, a young girl brought it on a tray. She was not in uniform. She got to the jail at precisely six, and the gourmet meal was wrapped in silver foil to keep it hot.

Everywhere, people speak admiringly of Nabila Khashoggi, the first child and only daughter of Adnan, by his first wife, Soraya, the mother also of his first four sons. Nabila is the only family member who remained in Bern throughout her father’s ordeal, although one of the sons, Mohammed, is said to have visited once. A handsome woman in her late twenties, Nabila at one time had aspirations to movie stardom. In 1981, she became so distraught over the notoriety and sensationalism of her mother’s divorce action against her father that she attempted suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills. Between father and daughter there is enormous affection and mutual respect. It was after her that Khashoggi named his spectacular yacht.

Nabila visited the prison on an almost daily basis, providing comfort and news and relaying messages to her father. The rest of the time she remained in total seclusion in her suite at the Schweizerhof. On occasion she dined at off-hours in the dining room, but she did not loiter in the public rooms of the hotel, and reporters, however long they sat in the lobby hoping to get a look at her, waited in vain. I wrote her a note introducing myself and left it at the desk. I mentioned the names of several mutual friends, among them George Hamilton, the Hollywood actor, who had sold Nabila his house in Beverly Hills for $7 million three years ago, during the period when Nabila was trying to launch a career as a film actress. The house was allegedly a gift to Hamilton from Imelda Marcos when she was still the First Lady of the Philippines. I also mentioned in my note that I had been in touch with Robert Shaheen, Khashoggi’s aide and friend, and that he was aware that I would contact her.

From there, I walked back to my hotel, the Bellevue Palace, and as I entered my room the telephone was ringing. It was Nabila Khashoggi. Polite, courteous, she also sounded weary and wept out; there was incredible sadness in her voice. She said that the lawyers had forbidden her or any member of her family to speak to anyone from the press, and that it would therefore not be possible for me to interview her. She thanked me, when I asked her how she was holding up, and said that she was well. In closing, she said in a very strong voice, “I think you should know that Robert Shaheen has not worked for my father for several years, and that we do not speak to him.” This information shocked me, after Shaheen’s passionate representation of himself to me as Khashoggi’s closest associate, but it was only the first of many surprises and contradictions I would encounter in the people who have surrounded Adnan Khashoggi during his extraordinary life. Intimates of Khashoggi’s told me that he often had fallings-out with those close to him, and that sometimes they would be reinstated in his good graces, and sometimes not.

Later that day Nabila Khashoggi called again to ask if I spoke German. I said no. She said there was an article in that day’s Der Bund, the Swiss-German newspaper, that I should get and have translated. The article was positive in tone, and said that perhaps the Americans did not have sufficient evidence to cause the Swiss to extradite Khashoggi. John Marshall, a British newspaperman based in Bern, said about the article, “The supposition is that the Americans have jumped the gun. The charges presented so far will not stand up in the Swiss court.” Everywhere, I heard people say, “If Khashoggi tells what he knows, there will be enormous embarrassment in Washington.” The reference was not to the charges pending against Khashoggi in the matter of Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos. It had to do with Iranscam. Roy Boston, a wealthy developer in Marbella and a great friend of Khashoggi’s, said, “I can’t imagine that the Americans really want him back in the United States. It would be a mistake. The president and the former president would be smeared. And the same with the King of Saudi Arabia. Adnan would never say one word against the king. But the Americans? Why should he keep quiet? If he really starts talking, good gracious me, there will be red faces around the world.”

One of the unknown factors in the Khashoggi predicament is whether the King of Saudi Arabia will come to his aid, and on that point opinions differ. “I don’t know how the king feels about Adnan now,” said Roy Boston. “He did a lot of handling of Saudi affairs, with the king and without the king. There is always the possibility that he is still doing things for the king.”

John Marshall said, “If the King of Saudi Arabia stands behind him, he will never let Khashoggi go to jail in the United States.”

“Do you think the king will come to Khashoggi’s rescue?” I asked Nico Minardos.

“No way!” he said. “The king doesn’t like him. Only Prince Sultan likes him now.”

The most mystifying family matter, during Khashoggi’s imprisonment, was the nonappearance of Lamia Khashoggi, the beautiful second wife of Adnan, who never visited her husband in Bern. Several people close to the Khashoggis feel that their marriage has for some time been more ceremonial than conjugal. Lamia sat out her husband’s jail time at their penthouse in Cannes with their son, Ali. I listened in on a telephone call placed by a mutual European friend who asked if she would talk with me. Like Nabila, she declined, under lawyers’ orders. When the friend persisted, she acted as if she had been disconnected, saying, “I can’t hear you. I can’t hear you. Hello … hello?” and then hung up.

Until recently Lamia, who was born Laura Biancolini in Italy, was a highly visible member of the jet set, palling around with such luminous figures as the flamboyant Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, the young wife of the billionaire aristocrat Prince Johannes von Thurn und Taxis. At the Thurn und Taxises’ eighteenth-century costume ball in their five-hundred-room palace in Regensburg, Germany, in 1986, Lamia Khashoggi made an entrance that people still talk about. Dressed as Mme. de Pompadour, she came down the palace stairway flanked by two Nubians—“real Nubians, from Sudan”—carrying long-handled feathered fans. Her wig was twice as high as the wig of her hostess, who was dressed as Marie Antoinette, and her gold-and-white gown was so wide that she could not navigate a turn in the stairway and had to descend sideways, assisted by her Nubians. It was felt that she had attempted to upstage her hostess, a no-no in high society, and since then, though not necessarily related to the incident, their friendship has cooled. In the midst of the Thurn und Taxises’ million-dollar revel, attendees at the ball tell me, there was much behind-the-fan talk that the Khashoggi fortune was in peril. Khashoggi had secured oil and mining rights in the Republic of Sudan and had used those rights as collateral to borrow money. When his friend Gaafar Nimeiry, the president of Sudan, was overthrown in 1985, the succeeding administration canceled the contracts he had negotiated, and one Sudanese broadcaster protested that Nimeiry had sold the Sudan to Adnan Khashoggi.

Laura Biancolini began traveling on Khashoggi’s yacht, along with what is known in some circles as a bevy of lovelies, at the age of seventeen. She converted to Islam, changed her name to Lamia, and became Khashoggi’s second wife before giving birth to her only child and Adnan’s fifth son, Ali, now nine, in West Palm Beach, Florida. Marriage to a man like Adnan Khashoggi cannot have been easy for either of his wives. Women for hire were part and parcel of his everyday life, and he often sent girls as gifts to men with whom he was attempting to do business. “They lend beauty and fragrance to the surroundings,” he has been quoted as saying.

His previous wife, who was born Sandra Patricia Jarvis-Daly, the daughter of a London waitress, married him when she was nineteen, long before he was internationally famous. She also converted to Islam and took the name Soraya. They first lived in Beirut and later in London. A great beauty, she is the mother of Nabila and the first four Khashoggi sons: Mohammed, twenty-five, Khalid, twenty-three, Hussein, twenty-one, and Omar, nineteen. Although their marriage was an open one, the end came when he heard that she was having an affair with his pal President Gafaar Nimeiry of Sudan. He was already involved with the seventeen-year-old Laura Biancolini. In Islamic tradition, a divorce may be executed by the male’s reciting “I divorce thee” three times. Subsequently, Soraya experienced financial discontent with her lot and complained that the usually generous Khashoggi, whose life-style cost him a quarter of a million dollars a day to maintain, was being tight with his alimony payments to the mother of his first five children. With the aid of the celebrated divorce lawyer Marvin Mitchelson, she sued her former husband for $2.5 billion, which she figured to be half his fortune. She had, in the meantime, married and divorced a young man who had been the beau of a daughter she had had out of wedlock before marrying Khashoggi and bearing Nabila. She had also engaged in a highly publicized love affair with Winston Churchill, the grandson of the late British prime minister and the son of the socially unimpeachable Mrs. Averell Harriman of Washington, D.C. Concurrently with that romance, she bore another child, generally thought to be Churchill’s child but never publicly acknowledged as such. As choreographed by Marvin Mitchelson, the alimony case received notorious worldwide coverage, which caused great embarrassment to all members of the family, as well as an increased disenchantment with Khashoggi on the part of the Saudi royal family. Ultimately, Soraya received a measly $2 million divorce settlement, but, more important, she was also reinstated in the family. Right up to the bust and confinement in Bern, she attended all the major Khashoggi parties and even posed with Adnan and Lamia and their combined children for a 1988 Christmas family photograph.

Khashoggi’s private life has always been a public mess. “I haven’t spoken to my ex-uncle since 1983, after the Cap d’Ail scandal, when one of his aides went to jail for prostitution and drugs,” said Dodi Fayed, executive producer of the film Chariots of Fire and son of the controversial international businessman Mohammed Al Fayed, the owner of the Ritz Hotel in Paris and Harrods department store in London, over which there was one of the bitterest takeover battles of the decade. Dodi Fayed’s mother, Samira, who died two years ago, was Adnan Khashoggi’s sister. Khashoggi and Mohammed Al Fayed were once business partners. Since the business partnership and the marriage of Samira and Fayed both broke up bitterly, the relationship between the two families has been poisonous. Dodi Fayed’s use of the term “ex-uncle” indicates that he no longer even considers Khashoggi a relation.

The Cap d’Ail affair had to do with a French woman named Mireille Griffon, who became known on the Côte d’Azur as Madame Mimi, a serious though brief rival to the famous Madame Claude, the Parisian madam who serviced the upper classes and business elite of Europe for three decades with some of the most beautiful women in the world, many of whom have gone on to marry into the upper strata. Partnered with Madame Mimi was Khashoggi’s employee Abdo Khawagi, a onetime masseur. Madame Mimi’s operation boasted a roster of three hundred girls between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. A perfectionist in her trade, Madame Mimi groomed and dressed her girls so that they would be presentable escorts for the important men they were servicing. The girls, who were sent to Khashoggi in groups of twos and threes, called him papa gâteau, or sugar daddy, because he was extremely generous with them. In addition to their fee, 40 percent of which went to Madame Mimi, the girls received furs and jewels and tips that sometimes equaled or surpassed the fee. One of the greatest whoremongers in the world, Khashoggi was generous to a fault and provided the same girls to members of the Saudi royal family as well as to business associates and party friends. His role as a provider of women for business purposes was not unlike the role his uncle Yussuf Yassin had performed for King Ibn Saud. After the French police on the Riviera were alerted, a watch was put on the operations and the madam’s telephone lines were tapped. In time an arrest was made, and the case went to trial in Nice in February 1984, amid nasty publicity. Madame Mimi, who is believed to have personally grossed $1.2 million in ten months, got a year and a half in jail. Khawagi, the procurer, got a year in prison. And Khashoggi sailed away on the Nabila .

Of more recent vintage is the story of the beautiful Indian prostitute Pamilla Bordes, who was discovered working as a researcher in the House of Commons after having bedded some of the most distinguished men in England. In a three-part for-pay interview in the London Daily Mail, she made her sexual revelations about Khashoggi shortly after he was imprisoned in Bern, a bit of bad timing for the beleaguered arms dealer. Pamella was introduced into the great world by Shri Chandra Swamiji Maharaj, a Hindu teacher with worldly aspirations known simply as the Swami or Swamiji, although sometimes he is addressed by his worshippers with the papal-sounding title of Your Holiness. The Swami, who is said to possess miraculous powers, has served as a spiritual and financial adviser to, among others, Ferdinand Marcos, who credited him with once saving his life, Adnan Khashoggi, Mohammed Al Fayed, and both the Sultan of Brunei and the second of his two wives, Princess Mariam, a half-Japanese former airline stewardess. (Princess Mariam is less popular with the royal family of Brunei than the sultan’s first wife, Queen Saleha, his cousin, who bore him six children, but Princess Mariam is clearly the sultan’s favorite.) The Swami played a key role in the Mohammed Al Fayed–Tiny Rowland battle for the ownership of Harrods in London when he secretly taped a conversation with Fayed which vaguely indicated that the money Fayed had used to purchase Harrods was really the Sultan of Brunei’s. The Swami sold the tape to Rowland for $2 million. Subsequently, he was arrested in India on charges of breaking India’s foreign-exchange regulations.

The Swami introduced Pamella Bordes to Khashoggi after she failed to be entered as Miss India in the Miss Universe contest in 1982. Pamella, a young woman of immense ambition, was invited to Khashoggi’s Marbella estate, La Baraka, shortly after meeting him. In her Daily Mail account of her five-day stay, she said, “I had a room to myself. I used to get up very late. They have the most fabulous room service. You can order up the most sensational food and drink anytime you want.” She despised the other girls who were sent along on the junket with her, referring to them as “cheapo” girls who “ordered chips with everything. They smothered their food with tomato ketchup and slopped it all over the bed. It was disgusting.” The girls were taken shopping in the boutiques of Marbella and told to buy anything they wanted, all at Khashoggi’s expense. In the evening, they dressed for dinner. She described Khashoggi as always having a male secretary by his side with a cordless telephone. “Non-stop calls were coming in.… It was business, business non-stop.” She slept with him in what she described as the largest bed she had ever seen. “I was very happy to have sex with him, and he did not want me to do anything kinky or sleazy.”

After their liaison, she became a part of the Khashoggi bank of women ready and willing to be used in his business deals. In the article, she described in detail a flight she was sent on from Geneva to Riyadh to service a Prince Mohammed, a senior member of the royal family, “who would be a key man in buying arms and vital technology.” The prince came in, looked her over, and said something to his secretary in Arabic. The secretary then took Pamella into a bathroom, where she was told to bathe and to wash her hair and blow-dry it straight. The prince, it seemed, wanted her with straight hair. Then she went to the prince’s room and had sex with him. The next day she was shipped back to Geneva. “He was somebody very, very important to Khashoggi. Khashoggi was keeping him supplied with girls. Khashoggi has all these deals going, and he needs a lot of girls for sexual bribes. I was just part of an enormous group. I was used as sexual bait.”

In an astonishing book called By Hook or by Crook, written by the Washington lawyer Steven Martindale, who traveled for several years with Khashoggi and the Swami, the author catalogues Khashoggi’s use of women in business deals. The book, which was published in England, was then banned there by a court order sought not by Khashoggi but by Mohammed Al Fayed.

In Marbella, Adnan Khashoggi is a ranking social figure and a very popular man. He has a magnificent villa on a huge estate that he bought from the father of Thierry Roussel, the last husband of the tragic heiress Christina Onassis. After Khashoggi bought his house in Marbella in the late seventies, he said to Alain Cavro, an architect who for twenty years has worked exclusively for him and who refers to him as A.K., “I want to add ten bedrooms, salons, and a big kitchen, and I want it right away. I need to have it finished in time for my party.” Cavro told me that he had ninety-three days, after the plans were approved. Workers worked twenty-four hours a day, in shifts, and the house was completed in time for the party. “A.K. has a way of convincing you of almost anything,” Cavro told me. “He can persuade you with his charm to change your mind after you have made it up. He builds people up. He introduces people in such a flattering way as to make them blush. He finds very quickly the point to touch them the most. Afterwards, people say, ‘You saw how nice he was to me?’ People feel flattered, almost in love with him.’ ”

Khashoggi was responsible for bringing Prince Fahd, now King Fahd, of Saudi Arabia to Marbella for the first time. That visit, which resulted in Fahd’s building a mosque and a palace-type residence in Marbella, designed by Cavro, changed the economy of the fashionable resort.

In the summer of 1988, a Texas multimillionairess named Nancy Hamon chartered the ship Sea Goddess and invited eighty friends, mostly other Texas millionaires, on a four-day cruise, starting in Málaga, Spain. The high point of the trip was an elaborate and expensive lunch party at the Khashoggi villa in Marbella. Khashoggi, already in severe financial distress, put on the dog in the hope of lining up some of these rich Texas backers to shore up his failing empire.

“Oh, darling, it was an experience,” said one of the guests. “There were guardhouses with guards with machine guns, and closed-circuit television everywhere. The whole house is gaudy Saudi, if you know what I mean. They have Liberace’s piano, with rhinestones in it, and the chairs are all trimmed with gilt, and a disco, naturally, with a floor that lights up. Do you get the picture? You can see Africa and Gibraltar from the terrace—that was nice. They had flamenco music pounding away at lunch. Some of the guests got into the flamenco act after a few drinks. I’ll say this for Mr. Khashoggi, he was a tremendously gracious host. And so was the wife, Lamia. She had on a pink dress trimmed with gold—Saint Laurent, I think—and rubies, lots of rubies, with a décolletage to set off the rubies, and ruby earrings, great big drop earrings. This is lunch, remember. He has built a gazebo that could hold hundreds of people, with silver and gold tinsel decorations, like on a Christmas tree. The food was wonderful. Tons of staff, as well as a lot of men in black suits—his assistants, I suppose. After lunch we were taken on a tour of the stables. The stables are in better taste than the house. Everything pristine. And Arabian horses. It was marvelous. It was amazing he could continue living on that scale. Everyone knew he was on his uppies.”

These days, Khashoggi is constantly discussed in the bar of the exclusive Marbella Club. Very few people who know him do not speak highly of his charm, his generosity, and the beauty of his parties. The cunning streak that flaws his character is less apparent to his society and party friends than it is to his business associates. “When Adnan comes back here, I told Nabila that I’ll give the first dinner for him,” said Roy Boston. “He has been a considerable friend to some people here in Marbella. He is always faithful to his friends. He remembers birthdays. He does very personal things. That’s why we like him. Now that he’s in trouble, no one here is saying ‘I don’t like him’ or ‘I saw it coming.’ ”

“He is a fantastic host,” said Prince Alfonso Hohenlohe. “He takes care of his guests the whole night—heads of state, noble princes, archdukes. He has a genius for seating people in the correct place. He always knows everyone’s name, and he can seat 150 people exactly right without using place cards. All these problems he is in are because of his great heart and his goodness. I was at a private dinner party in New York when Marcos asked him to help save them. For A.K., there were no laws, no skies, no limits. With all the money he had, he should have bought The New York Times, or the Los Angeles Times, and NBC. He should have bought the media. The media can destroy a president, and it can destroy Khashoggi.”

One grand lady in Marbella reminisced, “Which party was it? I don’t remember. Khashoggi’s birthday, I think. There were balloons everywhere that said i am the greatest on them, and he crowned himself king that night and walked through the party wearing an ermine robe. It was so amusing. But odd now, under the circumstances.” Another said, “He’s the only host I’ve ever seen who walks each guest to the front door at the end of the party. Even when we left at 8:30 in the morning, he walked us out to our cars. He’s marvelous, really.” Another, an English peeress, said, “Alfonso Hohenlohe’s sister Beatriz, the Duchess of Arion, invited us to dinner at Khashoggi’s. I said I wouldn’t dream of going to Mr. Khashoggi’s on a secondhand invitation, and the next thing I knew, the wife, what’s-her-name, Lamia, called and invited us, and then they sent around a card, and so, of course, we went. There were eighty, seated. It was for that Swami, what’s-his-name, with a vegetarian dinner, because of the Swami—delicious, as a matter of fact. I said to my husband, or he said to me, I don’t remember which, ‘That Swami’s a big phony.’ But Mr. Khashoggi was very nice, and he entertains beautifully. Most of the people down here just feel sorry for him. For God’s sake, don’t use my name in your article.”

An American writer who spends time in the resort said to me, “That gang you were with last night at the Marbella Club, they’re all going to like him, but I know a lot of people here in Marbella who don’t like him, the kind of people he owes money to. He gives big parties and owes money to the help. I’ll give you the number of the guy who fixes his lawn mowers. He owes the lawn-mower fixer $2,000.”

Whether Khashoggi is really broke or not is anybody’s guess. Roy Boston said, “Is he broke? I can’t answer that. Four weeks before he was arrested, he gave a party here that must have cost a fortune. It was a big show, so he can’t be that broke, but he might be officially broke. If you are once worth $5 billion, you must have a little nest egg somewhere. He’s not stupid, you know.” A former American associate, wishing anonymity, said, “Adnan is not broke. I don’t care what anyone says. He’s still got $40 million coming from Lockheed. That’s a commission alone.” Steven Martindale thinks he really is broke. “He owes every friend he ever borrowed money from.” When Khashoggi’s bail was set in New York at $10 million one week after his extradition, however, his brothers paid it immediately.

In his business dealings with the Sultan of Brunei, Khashoggi never rushed things. “Khashoggi had a personal approach: he was willing to show the Sultan a good time, willing and eager to take the Sultan around London or bring a party to the Sultan’s palace in Brunei. He gave every appearance of not needing the Sultan, but rather of being another rich man like the Sultan himself who just wanted to enjoy the Sultan’s company,” writes James Bartholomew in his biography of the Sultan of Brunei, The Richest Man in the World. Business, of course, followed.

Alain Cavro, who supervised all the building and reconstruction projects undertaken by any of the companies within the Khashoggi empire, was a close observer of the business life of Adnan Khashoggi. In 1975, Cavro became president of Triad Condas International, a contemporary design firm that built both palaces and military bases, mostly in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia. When Khashoggi met with kings and heads of state, he would usually take Cavro with him. Khashoggi would say to his hosts, “Give me the honor to demonstrate what we can do, either something personal for you or for your country.” He meant a new wing for the palace, a pavilion for the swimming pool, a new country club, or, possibly, but not usually, even something for the public good. Whatever it was that was desired, Cavro would do the drawings overnight, and then Khashoggi would present the architectural renderings and follow that up with the immediate building of whatever it was, as his personal gift to the king or head of state. In the inner circle this process was called Mission Impossible; it was designed to show what A.K. could do. “In Africa, heads of state are impressed with magic,” said Cavro. Business followed. Cavro, totally loyal to A.K., said, “But these gifts must not be construed as bribes, but rather as a demonstration of how he could do things fast and well. A.K. felt that the heads of state were doing him a favor to allow him to demonstrate how he did things.”

Cavro described to me Khashoggi’s total concentration when he was involved in a business deal. When the pilot of one of his three planes would announce that they were landing in twenty minutes and that the chief of state was waiting on the tarmac, Khashoggi would go right on with what he was doing until the last possible second. Then he would change into either Western or Eastern garb, depending on where he was landing. In each of his private jets were two wardrobes: one contained his beautifully tailored three-piece bespoke suits from London’s Savile Row, in all sizes to deal with his continually fluctuating weight; in the other were white cotton thobes, headdresses, and black ribbed headbands, the traditional Saudi dress. As he deplaned, he would go immediately into the next deal and give that affair his full attention. He was also able to conduct several meetings at the same time, going from room to room, always zeroing in on the exact point under discussion. He constantly emphasized how important it is to understand what the other party to a deal needs and wants.

But long before Adnan Khashoggi’s arrest in Bern and his extradition to the United States, his time had passed. His position as the star broker of the Arab world was no longer unique. He had set the example, but now the sons of other wealthy Saudi families were being educated in the United States and England, in far better colleges and universities than Chico State, and were being trained to perform the same role as Khashoggi, with less flash and flamboyance. Khashoggi has, in fact, become an embarrassment. A Jordanian princess described him in May of this year as a disgrace to the Arab world.

With sadness, Cavro told me, “Salt Lake City was the beginning of the end for him. After he lost so much money, A.K. began to change. The parties were too extravagant. And his personal life.” He shook his head. “Everything was too frantic. Even his brother wanted him to lower his life-style. That kind of publicity is a disease.”

Dominick Dunne is a best-selling author and special correspondent for Vanity Fair. His diary is a mainstay of the magazine.

Dominick Dunne

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How Art Mogul Louise Blouin Lost Her Fabled Hamptons Estate

The true story of billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, his 11-strong harem and £150,000-a-day lifestyle

He nearly brought down the US government, and his yacht was featured in a James Bond film, then later sold to Donald Trump - even as he faced bankruptcy

khashoggi adnan yacht

  • 11:34, 22 Nov 2017
  • Updated 12:49, 22 Nov 2017

"An extraordinary lover," is the glowing verdict of one of Adnan Khashoggi's "pleasure wives," 1980s model Jill Dodd, despite him being over twenty years older than her, and several inches shorter.

Khashoggi, who died in London aged 81 earlier this month, believed that under the law of his birthplace, Saudi Arabia, a man is allowed 11 "pleasure wives" - lovers, essentially - and three legal wives.

Jill was "a 21-year-old child" when she fell into a relationship with Khashoggi in 1980. They had met at a party in Cannes, where the young model thought that the short, balding man reminded her of friend's father.

The billionaire ended the evening by writing "I love you" in his blood on Jill's arm.

The next night, Khashoggi invited Jill for dinner on his yacht, where she was given the run of his room full of couture gowns, choosing a grey Lanvin dress for the occasion.

Married for the second time, Khashoggi kept seeing Jill platonically for months, even inviting her to his one-year-old son Ali's birthday party.

His second wife, Lamia (born Laura Biancolini in Italy, she changed her name and converted to Islam upon marriage), was unsurprisingly cold to her husband's newest possible love interest.

Khashoggi's first wife, Soraya, had been at 20, half his age when they married in 1961.

Born Sandra Daly on a Leicester council estate, she took the name Soraya when she converted to Islam to marry Khashoggi.

She gave birth to five of Khashoggi's children - including Nabila, the yacht's namesake - while another daughter, Petrina, was fathered by Conservative MP Jonathan Aitken.

After a week at Khashoggi's Marbella compound, waiting for him to arrive in the country, Jill Dodd was woken by him in the middle of the night.

He watched her strip off and take a bubble bath, then made her an extraordinary offer: to become his pleasure wife, and travel to his properties around the world with him.

Jill agreed - and joined the Khashoggi harem. He acted like a default father in some ways, such as paying for her tuition at the Los Angeles Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.

Her lover's generosity really paid off for her - she would later found the Roxy surf and snowboard clothing brand in the late 1980s.

Jill Dodd's relationship with the flashy arms dealer didn't last beyond 1982, as she felt her prime position within his harem slip away. Khashoggi was turning his attention to newer, younger models.

In her memoir The Currency of Love: A Courageous Journey to Finding the Love Within , Jill, now 57, only has good things to say about Khashoggi.

"I never forfeited my independence, ambition or creative expression when I was with Adnan and have no regrets.

"I’ve learned a valuable lesson: Neither money nor love is worth the sacrifice of integrity, inner peace and authenticity."

Jill's education is a rare example of Khashoggi spending money on something that couldn't be seen, worn or docked in St Tropez.

By the mid-1980s, he had 12 homes across the world, in expensive locations like Cannes, Paris, Madrid and London.

His New York apartment was comprised of 16 flats knocked together to create a super-sized pad.

He also owned a compound in Marbella, where he hosted his wildest parties.

The billionaire had 100 limousines, three private jets and a South Korean bodyguard, named Mr Kill.

Khashoggi's famous yacht, the Nabila (named for his daughter), cost $80m and boasted a disco with laser beams that projected Khashoggi's face, 11 (that number again) guest rooms, on-board hospital, morgue with coffins and bulletproof glass.

He loaned his vessel to the makers of the 1983 James Bond Film, Never Say Never Again. The yacht became baddie Blofeld's headquarters.

Khashoggi's pampered yet insecure harem of "pleasure wives" only saw one side of his complicated, high-rolling life.

They were not given a peek at how he made the money that bought them diamond rings and Lanvin dresses on tap.

The conspicuous consumption and endless parties featuring free-flowing champagne, unlimited caviar and celebrity pals flown in private jets helped cement Khashoggi's reputation as the Gatsby of his time.

The intrigue around him kept his shady weapons deals firmly in the dark.

Adnan Khashoggi was born in the holy city of Mecca in 1935, one of the six children of the Turkish court doctor to King Ibn Saud.

He went to school in Egypt, then college in California.

Aged 21, he brokered his first major deal, selling $3 million- worth of trucks to Egypt; this netted him $150,000 commission.

Unsurprisingly, after this, Khashoggi didn't return to college.

Instead, he built his career - and incredible fortune - on the shaky back of freelance deal-making. He called it "merchantry."

A 1987 Time cover story on the billionaire featured his face, alongside the taglines 'Those Shadowy Arms Traders' and 'Adnan Khashoggi's High Life and Flashy Deals'.

He did business with the all the main arms dealers: Northrop, Lockheed, Grumman, Chrysler, Fiat, the Westland helicopter company, Rolls-Royce and Raytheon.

He set these companies up with buyers for their military wares: most often, governments.

Moving in these powerful, dangerous circles led to the scandal that cost Khashoggi his place in the global elite.

In 1987, Khashoggi was implicated in the Iran-Contra Affair, the biggest political scandal of the 1980s.

The Reagan administration sold arms to Iran in exchange for the release of Iranian hostages, and then diverted the proceeds to Nicaraguan rebels.

The international intrigue had tendrils stretching as far as Lebanon, and involved deal-making with Hezbollah.

Adnan Khashoggi was named as a key middleman in this labyrinthine plot, accused of paying bribes.

In 1988, he was arrested in Switzerland and faced charges of concealing funds.

After three months in a Swiss prison (where he ate gourmet meals brought in from a nearby restaurant in his cell), Khashoggi was extradited to the US, tried and acquitted.

Scandal continued to dog the disgraced billionaire as the 1980s came to a close.

In 1989, Khashoggi was indicted in New York for sheltering assets for Imelda Marcos, widow of Ferdinand Marcos, the 10th president of the Phillippines.

Both were eventually acquitted from charges of fraud and racketeering.

Khashoggi's government links started fading away as the 1980s moved into the 90s.

He lost his Washington contacts after Reagan left office, and when other important clients such as the Shah of Iran and the President of Sudan were ousted from power, they were no longer in the market for his services.

In a 1989 Vanity Fair profile of Adnan Khashoggi, Donald Trump told the reporter Dominick Dunne about his purchase of Khashoggi's famed yacht, the Nabila, which he renamed the Trump Princess:

"Khashoggi was a great broker and a lousy businessman,” Trump said to me that night.

“He understood the art of bringing people together and putting together a deal better than almost anyone—all the bullshitting part, of talk and entertainment—but he never knew how to invest his money.

"If he had put his commissions into a bank in Switzerland, he’d be a rich man today, but he invested it, and he made lousy choices.”

The 1990s were a decade of decline for Khashoggi, as the court cases starting lining up.

He was finally having to pay for his excessive 80s. For example, he was forced to settle a £10 million gambling debt from a 1986 visit to the London Ritz Casino - in 1998.

He spent the last years of his life between London and Monaco, reportedly living on his last $400 million.

In his final years, Khashoggi evaporated from public view, the champagne-and-caviar parties all over for him.

He was battling Parkinson's disease when he died at St Thomas' Hospital in London on 6 June 2017.

He is survived by his second wife Lamia, his third wife Shahpari, his eight children and countless "pleasure wives."

MORE ON Donald Trump Adnan Khashoggi James Bond Billionaires Films

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The incredible story of the world’s richest arms dealer, Adnan Khashoggi

Just how did the world’s richest man lose his fortune.

Words: Gentleman's Journal

Adnan Khashoggi was the charismatic arms fixer clients, classmates and even the US government could rely on. But unlike his rivals, his deals were brokered not in backstreet dens but at parties drowning in Champagne, caviar and Hollywood A-listers. So just how did the world’s richest man lose his fortune?

I first heard of Adnan Khashoggi at a gathering in a golf club outside Marbella. The guests were the owners of mansions dotting the hills on the outskirts of town. If you looked down the valley past the fairways and greens, you could see the tax haven of Gibraltar just out to sea. I was chatting to a London hedge fund manager who, realising I didn’t work in finance, changed the topic to the club’s previous owner.

‘You know all of this used to belong to Khashoggi?’ he said. ‘This whole estate used to be his private hunting ground. This was his lodge.’ I’d wondered what relation the taxidermy and animal skulls plastered on the walls bore to golf, but I had no idea who the man was. Having seen the size of the estate spread across the face of two mountains, I was intrigued to find out.

khashoggi adnan yacht

One of Khashaggi’s many homes

Today, he is something of a forgotten legend, but in the Eighties he was at the very centre of the international jet set. Although never convicted of any crime, he made his $4bn fortune from brokering deals between arms manufacturers, governments and private clients. He was considered the richest man in the world and became famous for his life of extravagance and excess.

The media labelled him the era’s most prolific weapon dealer before he was implicated in a scandal that destroyed his business and almost brought down the US government in the process.

The hedge fund manager was surprised I’d never heard of him and told me that Khashoggi’s sister was Dodi Al Fayed’s mother, thinking it’d give some idea of who he was talking about. ‘The Spanish government seized the estate from him and sold it on, but the basement is completely untouched since he lived here. It’s like a time warp. The parties he had down there were legendary.’

khashoggi adnan yacht

Khashoggi on the cover of The Washington Post in 1984

It was enough to spark my curiosity and over the course of the last few years I have spoken to people who knew him or have watched his movements with intense interest. And, I eventually found my way into that forgotten basement.

Some months after the meeting at the golf club I spoke to Ronald Kessler, Khashoggi’s biographer. He attended some of the soirées at the lodge when Khashoggi was at the height of his fame. His 50th birthday saw the party to end them all.

‘One of his brothers gave him a lion cub,’ he says. ‘Shirley Bassey belted out, “Happy birthday dear Adnan.”’ There were Hollywood stars, including Brooke Shields and Sean Connery. Several refrigerator trucks were parked outside solely to cool the champagne. ‘The birthday cake was a work of art – literally,’ Kessler continues. ‘On top was a gold crown measuring 3ft across and made of sugar. Khashoggi’s chief chef had flown to the Louvre to study Louis XIV’s coronation crown, then returned with his plan for the cake.’ Balloons were dropped from the ceiling adorned with the slogan ‘World’s Greatest’. ‘Anyone who was there knew they’d reached the pinnacle of high society.’

Although it may all sound like a trumped-up Ferrero Rocher advert, in the rarefied world of the Eighties, business magnate reputation was everything. If you needed an arms deal funded or a shopping mall built, a healthy bottom line or triple-A credit rating were by the by. Far better to throw a $6m birthday party and sweep your creditors away to Marbella on one of your three private jets. Risky deals were made and dubious loans granted over little more than a hunch and an expensive dinner. No one knew this better than Adnan Khashoggi.

khashoggi adnan yacht

With his second wife, Lamia, in Monaco in 2006

According to folklore, the young Khashoggi brokered his first business deal when still at high school. He arranged a meeting between the fathers of two classmates, one a hotel manager, the other an oil magnate, charging $1,000 for the privilege. A few years later he quit university in the US and used the money his father gave him for his studies to broker a deal between US and Saudi logistics companies and received $50,000 in commission. With this he formed his company Triad Holdings, which he used for legitimate business interests throughout his career. It was the front companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein he used for the other deals.

Kessler told me that, like all great networkers, he genuinely liked people and people genuinely liked him. Many years ago Donald Trump said, ‘Khashoggi understood the art of bringing people together and putting together a deal better than almost anyone – all the bullshitting part, of talk and entertainment.’

Trump, like so many business tycoons of the era, seemed to have inherited some of Khashoggi’s panache for making deals and some of his taste for garish decadence. He also inherited his multi-million dollar superyacht, Nabila. Trump bought it from the Sultan of Brunei who seized it from Khashoggi when he defaulted on a loan for which the boat was security.

The Nabila, named after Khashoggi’s daughter, was the jewel in the crown of his billionaire lifestyle. At a total cost of around $80m, it had a 12-seat movie theatre, two saunas, a swimming pool, a discothèque, a jacuzzi, a billiard room and 11 guest rooms all clad in white chamois leather and spread over five decks. The master suite had four rooms and a bathroom with a solid gold sink. The glass was bulletproof, but the ship also had an on-board ‘hospital’ with the slightly macabre addition of a morgue, if all else failed. In the Bond film Never Say Never Again , the ship was used as the nerve centre for an international criminal mastermind.

By the mid-Eighties, Khashoggi’s property empire included 12 homes spread across the world: Cannes, Paris, Madrid, London, and, of course, Marbella. In New York he bought 16 flats and knocked them together into one vast apartment. He owned 100 limousines, three private jets and boasted a South Korean bodyguard trained in martial arts. He also featured on the cover of Time magazine and TV shows such as Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous , which typified the image of the Eighties tycoon.

The show was hosted by Robin Leach, who joined Khashoggi at his homes, on his private jets and his superyachts. ‘He was the Gatsby of his time,’ he says. ‘At his parties it was unlimited champagne, unlimited caviar, fancy dresses, beautiful jewels and a slew of Hollywood celebrities flown in on private jets.’

khashoggi adnan yacht

Inside Khashoggi’s private jet

As Mr Leach had met so many of the Eighties wealthiest, I asked him what set Khashoggi apart? ‘The ability to fly to any continent at a minute’s notice, the houses in all the swanky places including his Mount Kenya Safari Club estate, the New York apartment – all fabulously decorated. No expense spared.’

His comments on Khashoggi’s character sounded very familiar. ‘Warm, friendly, sociable, a winning smile that could charm anybody, even his detractors. The time spent in his company was always fun and enjoyable except once when his bodyguards wanted me to throw a game of table tennis so he won. You would never have guessed he was involved in arms deals.’

The fact that Khashoggi worked so hard to cultivate a lifestyle of extravagance might suggest he grew up in the orbit of exceptional wealth, but he didn’t. He was from a relatively modest, middle-class family. His father was a physician, distinguished by the fact he was family doctor to King Abdulaziz of the House of Saud. Abdulaziz was the ruler who unified Arabia before he oversaw the discovery of petroleum and its mass export to the west.

‘Carnegie began manufacturing steel when there was a great need for it for railroads,’ Kessler suggests. ‘One could argue that Khashoggi fell into a similarly fortunate situation.’ He came along at just the same time as Saudi Arabia’s billions of petrodollars and was canny enough to identify it along with their need for arms. All that was left was to bring together the American arms manufacturers and his childhood connections. He put two and two together and made billions over the course of the Sixties and Seventies.

Not that Khashoggi himself saw what he did as arms dealing. When an interviewer, perplexed at how it could be called anything but, asked what it was he was up to Khashoggi replied simply, ‘Marketing’.

khashoggi adnan yacht

Khasshoggi on the cover in 1987

Indeed, the director of Lockheed Martin described Khashoggi as a one-man marketing department, and the company rewarded him in kind with over $100m in the time he worked with them. The main customer was the Saudi government, but he helped smaller clients too. He reportedly provided David Stirling, who founded the modern SAS, with arms for a covert operation in Yemen in 1963 and countless others we may never know about.

While Khashoggi’s public image and business interests entered the stratosphere, his personal life started to become rather more tumultuous. His first marriage in 1961 was to English socialite Sandra Daly, who was half his age, double his height and grew up on a Leicester council estate. She subsequently converted to Islam and took the name Soraya before she became pregnant with Khashoggi’s children. It later transpired the Conservative MP Jonathan Aitken had fathered at least one of them.

‘Khashoggi was 5ft 4in tall and weighed about 200lbs, but he somehow seemed robust more than flabby,’ Kessler told me. ‘He had a deep gaze with a charming mystery to it.’ His diminutive figure didn’t appear to be an issue when it came to women.

Khashoggi was no stranger to infidelities himself. In 2006 he gave an interview freely admitting his penchant for prostitutes and claimed he’d hired Heather Mills, Paul McCartney’s ex-wife, as a call girl for one of his parties at the Marbella hunting lodge. Despite this, when I asked Kessler if he knew what happened at the basement parties I’d been told about he declined to comment.

Khashoggi’s supernova lifestyle reached fever pitch in the mid-Eighties. Some estimates suggest he was spending around $300,000 a day when the scandal that would bring about his downfall began to emerge. The Iran Contra Affair involved a secret sale of weapons by the US government to Iran when it was supposed to be under an arms embargo. The Reagan administration initiated the sale as part of a complex deal that led Iran to release US hostages and fund the Contra rebellion in Nicaragua on behalf of the US. When the scandal hit in 1987, Reagan made a grovelling public apology for misleading the American public (‘There’s nothing I can say that will make the situation right,’ he explained) amid calls for his impeachment and pressure from Congress. And who was it that brokered the arms deal? One Adnan Khashoggi.

In 1988, Khashoggi was arrested in Switzerland accused of concealing funds. He was swiftly extradited to the US on charges of racketeering and fraud, but later cleared by a Federal jury. The damage to his reputation was done though and the court cases came thick and fast after that. He began defaulting on debts and in the early Nineties his empire and obscene lifestyle quickly unravelled. (In 1998, for example, he settled one £10m gambling bill racked up during a three-month spree in 1986 at the Ritz Casino in London.)

khashoggi adnan yacht

Khashoggi with his second wife, Lamia

Now 80, Adnan Khashoggi is still with us. Word has it he ekes out a modest life in Monaco with just $400m to his name. He was implicated in a money laundering scam in 2011 and was allegedly consulted by the US government on the 2003 Iraq invasion, but his profile has all but evaporated. Those who played a role in his life – ex-house maids, ex-wives, those looking to recoup money – tell their stories in the news far more often than Khashoggi himself.

The long line of tales of court cases and companies trying to recoup money remain. One creditor tried to recoup an 11-year-old debt, plus interest, through the Saudi courts, but lost because interest is banned under Sharia. It seems Khashoggi may have retained some of his luck at least.

Years after the night at the golf club, the idea of the untouched basement, the time capsule of Khashoggi’s fame, still hadn’t left me. I got in touch with the owners of the estate in Marbella, who agreed to show me around.

I was led down a staircase that spiralled deep into a hall of mirrors. Ahead was a stage and a dance floor surrounded by velvet sofas, and I was filled with a sense of awe and ghoulishness as I began to realise just how untouched the place really was. The DJ booth, for instance, still had his record collection strewn across the shelves and turntables, while small rooms, into which guests could disappear to find privacy, gathered layers of dust. Past the wine cellar and old hunting trophies was a firing range where human shaped targets still hung at the far end.

But, there my exploration was forced to an abrupt halt by a padded door, shut tight with a huge lever. My hosts told me they had no idea what was back there, no one had ever opened it. Beyond the basement’s veneer of decadence, sociability and nods to great violence was something unknowable, something perhaps only Khashoggi had ever really known. Much of the mystery of Adnan Khashoggi remains, perhaps never to be explained.

This article was written by Henry Wilkins for our March/April issue. Subscribe to the magazine here.

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Top 10 Fascinating Facts about Adnan Khashoggi

Adnan Khashoggi

Adnan Khashoggi by RogerMcNamara - Wikimedia Commons

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Adnan Khashoggi in Deauville, France in the 1980s

Adnan Khashoggi in Deauville, France in the 1980s by Roland Godefroy – Wikimedia Commons

1. Khashoggi’s early years were spent among some of Saudi Arabia’s most influential figures

2. khashoggi made his first us$250,000 as an agent for kenworth.

A Kenworth truck

A Kenworth truck by Andrej Danković – Wikimedia Commons

3. Khashoggi helped bring together Western companies and the Saudi Arabian government

4. khashoggi owned the largest yacht named the nabila after his daughter.

khashoggi adnan yacht

Axou , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

5. Khashoggi was an arms dealer who brokered deals between US firms and the Saudi government

6. khashoggi donated us$200 million to u.s. president’s richard nixon campaign.

Richard Nixon, Official Presidential Photograph

Richard Nixon, Official Presidential Photograph by Oliver F. Atkins – Wikimedia Commons

7. Khashoggi headed and owned a company called Triad International Holding Company

8. khashoggi, through triad, owns private properties .

Adnan Khashoggi appearing on After Dark - episode 'The Gulf: Counting The Cost' - on 2 March 1991

Adnan Khashoggi appearing on After Dark – episode ‘The Gulf: Counting The Cost’ – on 2 March 1991 by Open Media Ltd – Wikimedia Commons

9. Khashoggi funded the top-secret Operation Moses in 1984

10. in 1988, khashoggi was arrested in switzerland.

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The story of Donald Trump’s superyacht: The Trump Princess

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Donald Trump loves a good deal

khashoggi adnan yacht

In 1988, the successful businessman Donald Trump bought the 86m Benetti build superyacht Nabila . He renamed her Trump Princess and used it until 1991.

For a superyacht built in 1980, Nabila was an impressive vessel. She was built for Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi that paid $100 million for it and named after his daughter. Khashoggi is known for his involvement in arms dealing. His net worth was around $4 billion in the early 1980's.

When Khashoggi ran into financial trouble in the mid-1980's he took a loan of $50 million and put Nabila as collateral. He defaulted on the loan in 1987 and a Swiss holding company took possession of the yacht. It was placed with yacht specialist Burgess for a quick sale at an asking price of $50 million.

Learning that Nabila is for sale, Trump made a bid. Burgess had already two other offers, but Trump's bid was more appealing. A Burgess agent flew to New York and made Trump a proposal for $32 million. The sale was settled at $30 million. A bargain, for a yacht he never set foot on.

Trump refitted the vessel and named it Trump Princess .

Why did Trump buy the yacht? He does not like water sports, he's not keen on swimming and always tried to avoid the sun. He never owned a big boat before. He doesn't even like boats.

He was charmed by a "certain level of quality" and admitted that it's an incredible toy and a work of art. "I was buying a great piece of art at a ridiculously low price."

Unlike Trump, Khashoggi loved boats. He acquired his first yacht when his was 18 and traded up as his wealth increased.

In the 70's he owned two yachts but wanted something out of this world. So, he commissioned British designer Jon Bannenberg to draw the most impressive and sumptuous yacht.

Khashoggi didn't stop here he employed Italian designer Luigi Sturchio to produce an interior that is believed to have cost more than the yacht itself.

Also, he wanted the ship to be completely self-contained and included everything in the specifications: from a patisserie and a hair salon to a cinema room with an 800-film library and a hospital with an operating room.

Nabila had crew quarters for a staff of 52 people. It had a helicopter landing pad and two nine meter tenders. The fuel tanks were big enough for 8,500 nautical miles when cruising at 17.5 knots. It had three water-makers capable to produce 45.000 liters of fresh water from the ocean. Also, it had six huge refrigerators that could store a three-month supply of food for 100 people.

For Khashoggi and later for Trump, this vessel was an invaluable business instrument. Movie stars, political leaders and diplomats were invited on board. It is believed the yacht had 150 telephones and satellite communications in order for business sales to be arranged.

The yacht has five decks and more than 100 separate areas. The owner's suite is a full-beam area with a three meter wide bed. It has a dressing room and an impressive bathroom with onyx tiles. Next to the bedroom, there is a television room, a large sitting area and a private elevator that takes the owner to his private sundeck. The yacht has another two elevators on board, one for guests, one for crew.

Trump spent another $8.5 million for refitting the yacht at Amels in the Netherlands. Renamed Trump Princess , she set sail from the Azores to arrive in New York on July 4, 1988, in time for a huge party Trump threw on the yacht.

Like the previous owner, Trump used the yacht mostly for business. But not for long. In 1991, Trump sold the ship to Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal for $20 million. The Prince renamed the yacht Kingdom 5KR , the name under she still sails today.

For more about Donald Trump's Joy Rides click here .

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Adnan Khashoggi | The Richest Man On Earth?

Apr 26, 2024.

He became known as “The Great Gatsby of The Middle East”, and once claimed to be the richest man on Earth.

From facilitating lucrative business deals between the West and Saudi Arabia to his lavish lifestyle and controversial ventures, in this episode, we'll explore the intriguing life of Adnan Khashoggi.

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khashoggi adnan yacht

[00:00:05] Hello, hello hello, and welcome to English Learning for Curious Minds, by Leonardo English. 

[00:00:12] The show where you can listen to fascinating stories, and learn weird and wonderful things about the world at the same time as improving your English.

[00:00:21] I'm Alastair Budge, and today we are going to be talking about a man called Adnan Khashoggi.

[00:00:27] He was a businessman, a hyper connector, a lavish spender , and an arms dealer , who made his fortune in the late 20th century through facilitating connections between the West and Saudi Arabia, earning himself the nickname of “The Great Gatsby of The Middle East”..

[00:00:42] His was a fascinating, if not controversial life, and I’m thrilled to tell you more about it today.

[00:00:49] OK then, let’s get started and talk about the life of Adnan Khashoggi.

[00:00:56] Between the years of 1984 and 1995 there was a popular American TV show called Lifestyle Of The Rich And The Famous. The show involved, as the title suggested, a look inside the lives of rich and famous people.

[00:01:15] And in one of the first episodes, from February of 1985, the show opened like this: 

[00:01:23] How lavish a lifestyle would you lead if you were the richest man on earth? In this world exclusive edition of Lifestyles, we'll explore the fabulous private domains of Adnan Khashoggi whose globetrotting existence is so unbelievably lush . It has inspired blockbuster movies and novels, which only pale in comparison to the true story you will see in the next 60 minutes.

[00:01:47] In case you didn’t get that, the host said:

[00:01:50] “How lavish a lifestyle would you lead if you were the richest man on earth? In this world exclusive edition of Lifestyles, we'll explore the fabulous private domains of Adnan Khashoggi whose globetrotting existence is so unbelievably lush it has inspired blockbuster movies and novels, which only pale in comparison to the true story you will see in the next 60 minutes”

[00:02:18] The next 60 minutes went on to describe the “mysterious mogul ”, how excessive his life was, the houses, the yachts , the private aeroplanes, the royal friends, and how he had an estimated wealth of $10 billion, making him the richest man on Earth.

[00:02:38] This was in 1985, so $10 billion is around $30 billion in inflation adjusted terms. 

[00:02:46] In today’s age of tech billionaires he would only just sneak into the top 50 richest people in the world, but back in 1985 this would have put him firmly in first place.

[00:02:59] But, just a year later, he was said to be down to his last few dollars, with creditors chasing him for everything from unpaid jet fuel to staff at his houses complaining that they hadn’t been paid in weeks.

[00:03:13] And this all begged the question , where did the money go? Was he ever the richest man on Earth, or was it all one great lie?

[00:03:25] Adnan Khashoggi was born in 1935, in Mecca, in Saudi Arabia.

[00:03:31] When he was born, Saudi Arabia was a poor country, for the most part an agricultural subsistence economy.

[00:03:39] In 1938, three years after Khashoggi was born, oil reserves were discovered, but this didn’t mean that the country’s economy went from poor and underdeveloped to swimming in oil cash overnight .

[00:03:53] It took a long time, with the majority of the country not seeing the benefits from the oil until the late 20th century, debatably even the start of the 21st century.

[00:04:04] But Adnan Khashoggi was not born into regular Saudi society. 

[00:04:10] His father was the king’s personal doctor, and the young Khashoggi was afforded privileges and opportunities that most of the kingdom’s citizens did not enjoy.

[00:04:23] He was educated in Alexandria, in Egypt, at an exclusive private school where his classmates would include the future king of Jordan.

[00:04:32] It was at this exclusive school, where he rubbed shoulders with the sons of the region’s rich and powerful, that he would come to understand the power of connection, of brokering a deal between two parties.

[00:04:45] According to his obituary on his personal website, “It was at school that Khashoggi first learned the commercial value of facilitating a deal, bringing together a Libyan classmate whose father wanted to import towels with an Egyptian classmate whose father manufactured towels, earning USD $1,000 for the introduction.”

[00:05:07] Now, whether this is folklore or not, a carefully curated story that served to plant the idea of Khashoggi having some god-given ability to create advantageous deals, that is anyone’s guess.

[00:05:22] What does seem to be true is that this is how he would make most of his money, becoming, if you believed him, the richest man in the world.

[00:05:33] He went to university in the United States, but left before he graduated. After all, there was money to be made, and Khashoggi sensed that this was his time.

[00:05:45] To quote his personal website again, “In one of his first big deals, a large construction company was experiencing difficulties with the trucks that it used on the shifting desert sands. Khashoggi, using money given to him by his father for a car, bought a number of Kenworth trucks, whose wide wheels, like a camel's foot, made traversing the desert considerably easier. Khashoggi made his first $250,000 leasing the trucks to the construction company, and became the Saudi Arabia-based agent for Kenworth.“

[00:06:21] That $250,000 would be something like $3 million in today’s money, by running a desert-based car rental company, essentially.

[00:06:32] If this story is to be believed, it must have seemed almost too easy. 

[00:06:39] Khashoggi was in this unique position not only of having powerful contacts in Saudi Arabia but of speaking fluent English and understanding Western business culture.

[00:06:50] He crafted this reputation for himself as a man who could straddle both cultures, who could put Saudi buyer and Western seller together, taking a small percentage for himself, of course.

[00:07:02] A small percentage, when we are talking about deals worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, well these end up being quite significant. 

[00:07:12] And deals for towels, or deals for large desert trucks, well these can be large, but Khashoggi would later discover something that was more expensive, and therefore more lucrative , than anything you would need for a good night’s sleep or for crossing the desert: war, or rather, the threat of war.

[00:07:35] Let’s return to his obituary again, and remember, this is on his “personal website”. “Khashoggi became an advocate and negotiator for the defence relationship between Saudi Arabia and the West. Khashoggi provided advice, strategy, and structures for government defence contracts. In the 1960s and 1970s, Khashoggi helped develop the Saudi defence sector during a period in which the young Kingdom felt threatened by the rise of nationalist movements in the region.”

[00:08:07] Now, “defence” in this context is somewhat of a euphemism for arms, weapons, guns, bombs, planes, tanks, everything that a country needs to defend itself from attack, or if it so desires, to attack another country.

[00:08:25] Saudi Arabia didn’t have the capacity to make its own arms, but there were plenty of Western companies with great expertise in the area that were more than willing to supply the Middle Eastern kingdom with the goods that it needed.

[00:08:40] And this was something encouraged by Western governments as well.

[00:08:45] After all, Saudi Arabia had and still has vast oil reserves, so it was in Western interests for the kingdom to remain a close ally , and a stable one at that . 

[00:08:57] So, who did the kingdom turn to? 

[00:09:00] Or rather, who did Western arms companies turn to to sell their wares to the Saudis?

[00:09:06] The man who had made a name for himself as having impeccable connections, and a foot in both camps: Adnan Khashoggi.

[00:09:16] Khashoggi became the agent for a variety of different Western corporations, representing them in deals with the Saudi government. One is a company that is still around today, and you may have heard of: Lockheed, or Lockheed Martin as it would come to be known. 

[00:09:34] Khashoggi was deeply involved with the company, becoming its agent in the region when he was a mere 26 years old, selling billions of dollars of weapons and equipment to Saudi Arabia in the 1970s. 

[00:09:46] And it made him a very rich man. 

[00:09:51] His commission varied, from 2.5% up to a reported 15%, and he ended up earning $150 million dollars from the company as Saudi Arabia went on an arms-buying spree after the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

[00:10:10] If there was ever an example of the value of connection, of putting two parties together, well this was it.

[00:10:18] Now, Lockheed would say that this was simply commission, a price the company was willing to pay for someone to sell its goods and services in a different market.

[00:10:29] But for all of this money, $150 million, for it all to go to one person, one individual, it seemed…excessive.

[00:10:41] It would turn out that this money would go through Khashoggi, but it wouldn’t all end up in his pocket.

[00:10:48] In 1975, when forced to testify in front of a US Senate Subcommittee about bribery , the chairman of Lockheed was forced to admit that a proportion of Khashoggi’s fees would be earmarked for bribes to high-ranking Saudi officials.

[00:11:06] In other words, Lockheed would pay Khashoggi, Khashoggi would transfer Saudi officials a kickback , a bribe , into their Swiss bank accounts and they would sign off on the multi-million dollar arms purchases.

[00:11:19] And the money wasn’t the only perk of doing business with Khashoggi, and this is where this story is going to get slightly sordid , I’m afraid. 

[00:11:29] He was married, he had five children of his own, but he kept a dozen or so “pleasure wives”, mistresses who would be taken around the world and put up in five star hotels, lavished with gifts and a five star lifestyle, but part of the deal was that they would need to acquiesce to Khashoggi’s every wish, which would often include sleeping with his business associates and government contacts.

[00:11:58] This might be gross and immoral , it might be a dereliction of his duty and of the duty of the corrupt officials and businessmen. You could even argue that it resulted in a buildup of arms in the region. 

[00:12:11] But for many years it was great business.

[00:12:15] It was great business for Lockheed, the arms company. It was great business for the Saudi officials who received huge bribes for choosing Lockheed, and it was great business for the man in the middle, Adnan Khashoggi.

[00:12:30] Khashoggi took this money and invested it all over the world, speculating in real estate, oil refineries , car rental companies, all and any commercial enterprise that he could.

[00:12:43] The problem was, according to someone who would later do business with him, Donald J. Trump, Khashoggi was a rubbish businessman. 

[00:12:53] He was great at facilitating connections, he was great at bringing people together, as well as cultivating his own brand as a hyper connector and power broker , but when it came to investing and operating businesses, this wasn’t where his skills lay.

[00:13:11] Trump got to know Khashoggi, at least from a business perspective, after he bought his yacht .

[00:13:18] Khashoggi had bought this yacht in 1980, and it cost a reported $100 million to build, almost $400 million in today’s money.

[00:13:29] It was the peak of luxury, complete with its own patisserie , even hospital with an operating theatre.

[00:13:36] And of course, it had all of the usual toys and features of the ultra-rich: helipads , a cinema, and large enough fridges and freezers to carry a three-month supply of food for 100 people.

[00:13:50] It was so opulent that it even featured in the James Bond movie Never Say Never Again.

[00:13:57] For Khashoggi, it was a tool of business, and he would use it to entertain business executives and government officials, prospective clients, far away from the prying eyes of the media. 

[00:14:10] On one occasion there were a reported five heads of state being entertained on it at the same time.

[00:14:17] It was a business expense, helping Khashoggi seal deals, but it was a serious expense. 

[00:14:25] After he ran into financial difficulties in the late 1980s, he was forced to sell it, and this is where he came into contact with Donald Trump, who would go on to buy the yacht .

[00:14:38] According to a story that Trump would happily tell anyone who asked, Trump managed to get $1 million knocked off the asking price because Khashoggi didn’t want Trump to continue using the yacht ’s original name, Nabila, because it was Khashoggi’s daughter’s name.

[00:14:55] What Khashoggi didn’t think about, or didn’t know, and this was what Trump thought made him a bad businessman, was that Trump had no intention of keeping the original name.

[00:15:08] If there is anything anyone knows about Donald Trump, it’s that he likes to stick his name on everything he owns, and sure enough, he took the $1 million reduction in price, and immediately changed the name to “Trump Princess”.

[00:15:24] Now, back to Khashoggi. 

[00:15:26] If you remember the start of the episode, the programme claimed that he was the richest man in the world, with a fortune of $10 billion. 

[00:15:36] How did he get there, you might be asking yourself, if he was a lousy businessman and made his money merely as a facilitator between Western companies and Saudi government officials, taking a small percentage in commission?

[00:15:51] The simple answer is, most probably, he didn’t.

[00:15:55] He never had anywhere near the riches that he said he had. 

[00:15:59] Khashoggi never was the richest man in the world, far from it, but he was exceptionally talented at making people believe that he was.

[00:16:09] Sure, he was very rich, but a lot of what he said he owned was either paid for with credit or rented.

[00:16:18] He would be given large loans, people would extend huge credit lines to him. 

[00:16:24] After all, he was good for it, the richest man in the world always paid his bills, did he not?

[00:16:31] It turned out that even making huge commissions on arms sales was not enough to pay for a lifestyle that was, at one point, costing him a reported $250,000 every single day.

[00:16:45] And from his heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, things started to go downhill for Adnan Khashoggi. He was forced to sell the planes and yachts , and to revise his spending.

[00:17:00] He was even arrested in 1988 in Switzerland on charges of racketeering and conspiracy , with US federal prosecutors claiming that he had helped the former president of the Philippines and his wife run away with over a hundred million dollars that they had stolen from the country.

[00:17:18] He fought the extradition order, and only agreed to be extradited when the more serious charges were dropped.

[00:17:26] But the good days were over for this international playboy . 

[00:17:31] He never officially declared personal bankruptcy, but he would be chased by his creditors for the rest of his life, before dying in 2017, at the age of 81.

[00:17:43] Now, you have heard the story of Adnan Khashoggi, and how a man became spectacularly wealthy, or at least managed to live a life of vast luxury, as a middleman between the West and the Middle East.

[00:17:57] You might also recognise his surname, Khashoggi, because of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist and dissident who was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018, with the CIA concluding that this was done on the orders of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman.

[00:18:16] Jamal Khashoggi and Adnan Khashoggi are not, in fact, strangers that share a common surname. They were related. Adnan Khashoggi was Jamal Khashoggi’s uncle.

[00:18:29] As you might remember, the then US president Donald Trump, was under pressure to publicly criticise Saudi Arabia for the murder of the dissident journalist, especially after his own government agency concluded that this was a state-sponsored murder.

[00:18:45] But he did not, instead citing the value of US weapon sales to the country.

[00:18:52] Adnan Khoshoggi died in 2017, a year before his nephew, Jamal.

[00:18:59] But the two men couldn’t have been more different.

[00:19:03] One spoke out against the Saudi regime’s weapons purchases and military intervention. 

[00:19:09] The other facilitated it.

[00:19:12] One sold his yacht to Donald Trump, the other was metaphorically abandoned at sea by him.

[00:19:19] One partied with kings and queens in Monte Carlo, and died peacefully in a London hospital at the age of 81.

[00:19:27] The other ended up cut into pieces with a bone saw .

[00:19:32] There are certainly a few conclusions that you can draw from that.

[00:19:38] Okay then, that is it for today's episode on Adnan Khashoggi, a controversial but certainly colourful character.

[00:19:46] As always, I would love to know what you thought about this episode. 

[00:19:49] This show is actually quite popular in Saudi Arabia, so for the Saudi Arabian listeners, what do you know and think about the life of Adnan Khashoggi? 

[00:19:57] You can head right into our community forum, which is at community.leonardoenglish.com and get chatting away to other curious minds, or you can always email us at [email protected].

[00:20:09] You've been listening to English Learning for Curious Minds, by Leonardo English.

[00:20:14] I'm Alastair Budge. you stay safe, and I'll catch you in the next episode.


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Adnan Khashoggi


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  1. Nabila: The story of Adnan Khashoggi and his 86m superyacht

    Adnan Khashoggi and the 86m superyacht Nabila that nearly broke a shipyard. Famed for his lavish lifestyle that garnered him a reputation as the "richest man in the world" during the 1980s, Adnan Khashoggi pushed decadence to new levels with the build of 86-metre Nabila. Sophia Wilson discovers how the flamboyant Saudi arms trader shaped ...

  2. Kingdom 5KR

    The yacht was built in 1980 by the yacht builder Benetti at a cost of $100 million (equivalent to $370 million in 2023). Its original interior was designed by Luigi Sturchio. She was originally built as Nabila for Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi (named for his daughter). During ...

  3. Arms, harems and a Trump-owned yacht: How a Khashoggi family ...

    Adnan Khashoggi, who died in 2017, was Jamal Khashoggi's cousin; their grandfathers were brothers in the holy city of Medina. Jamal Khashoggi knew his older cousin from family gatherings over ...

  4. Trump Princess: Inside Donald Trump's 86m superyacht, now Kingdom 5KR

    BOAT dives into the archives to tell the full story of how Donald Trump bought the 85.9-metre (282 foot) Benetti superyacht Nabila (now Kingdom 5KR) for close to $30 million and transformed her into Trump Princess... "A certain level of quality." That is the phrase that Donald Trump returns to again and again to explain just why he bought Adnan Khashoggi's 86 metre yacht Nabila.

  5. The Legendary Nabila Yacht

    Adnan Khashoggi. The Nabila was commissioned in 1978 by billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. Named after Khashoggi's daughter, she was built at Benetti's shipyards in Viareggio and delivered in July 1980. Interior design was managed by Luigi Sturchio; the exterior was designed by English-Australian yacht designer Jon Bannenberg. The yacht ...

  6. Adnan Khashoggi

    Website. www .adnankhashoggi .com. Adnan Khashoggi ( Arabic: عدنان خاشقجي, romanized : 'Adnān Khāshuqjī; 25 July 1935 - 6 June 2017) was a Saudi businessman and arms dealer known for his lavish business deals and lifestyle. [2] [3] He was estimated to have had a peak net worth of around US$4 billion in the early 1980s.

  7. KINGDOM 5KR Yacht • Prince Al Waleed bin Talal $90M Superyacht

    The Kingdom 5KR yacht is an 85.65-meter superyacht built by Benetti in 1980. The yacht can reach a top speed of 20 knots and has a cruising speed of 17 knots, with a range of 8,500 nautical miles. Originally named Nabila, the yacht was built for Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi and was later owned by the Sultan of Brunei and Donald Trump.

  8. Adnan Khashoggi and the 86m superyacht that nearly broke a shipyard

    Famed for his lavish lifestyle that garnered him a reputation as the "richest man in the world" during the 1980s, Adnan Khashoggi pushed decadence to new levels with the build of 86 metre Nabila. Sophia Wilson discovers how the flamboyant Saudi arms trader shaped superyacht history "People thought of Adnan Khashoggi as the richest man in the world because of his lifestyle but in reality ...

  9. Adnan Khashoggi, Saudi arms dealer, sold superyacht to Trump

    Adnan Khashoggi owned the 86-metre-long yacht, then the world's largest, called the Nabila. He sold it to Donald Trump, who renamed it the Trump Princess. Credit: Wikipedia.

  10. Businessman Adnan Khashoggi's High-Flying Realm

    21 minute read. Richard Stengel. January 19, 1987 12:00 AM EST. H igh above the clouds, at 35,000 ft., Adnan Khashoggi's DC-8 is cruising noiselessly toward his estate in Marbella, Spain. His ...

  11. Nabila, the Shamelessly Outrageous Benetti Superyacht That Wrote

    In 1978, Saudi billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi commissioned Benetti to build him a new superyacht. He'd owned yachts ever since he was 18 and, right at the moment, ...

  12. Khashoggi's Fall

    Adnan Khashoggi's life was an eighties remake of The Thousand and One Nights. The rumors started during the Iran-contra scandal, and the Saudi arms dealer once touted as the richest man in the ...

  13. The true story of billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, his 11

    Khashoggi's famous yacht, the Nabila (named for his daughter), cost $80m and boasted a disco with laser beams that projected Khashoggi's face, 11 (that number again) guest rooms, on-board hospital ...

  14. The incredible story of the world's richest arms dealer, Adnan Khashoggi

    Now 80, Adnan Khashoggi is still with us. Word has it he ekes out a modest life in Monaco with just $400m to his name. He was implicated in a money laundering scam in 2011 and was allegedly consulted by the US government on the 2003 Iraq invasion, but his profile has all but evaporated.

  15. Life

    Khashoggi's super-yacht The Nabila. Khashoggi's private DC-8 jet. ... Adnan Khashoggi is often referenced with adjectives that are less than flattering, owing to the lavish lifestyle and over the top parties given in the 60s, 70s and 80's. But perhaps one of the most interesting details about this larger than life individual, is the many ...

  16. Top 10 Fascinating Facts about Adnan Khashoggi

    Khashoggi owned the largest yacht named the Nabila after his daughter Axou , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons Kingdom 5KR, originally named Nabila is an 85.65-meter 281 ft superyacht built for Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi.

  17. The story of Donald Trump's superyacht: The Trump Princess

    In 1988, the successful businessman Donald Trump bought the 86m Benetti build superyacht Nabila. He renamed her Trump Princess and used it until 1991. For a superyacht built in 1980, Nabila was an impressive vessel. She was built for Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi that paid $100 million for it and named after his daughter.

  18. Episode 466

    [00:13:18] Khashoggi had bought this yacht in 1980, and it cost a reported $100 million to build, almost $400 million in today's money. [00:13:29] It was the peak of luxury, ... [00:03:25] Adnan Khashoggi was born in 1935, in Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. [00:03:31] When he was born, Saudi Arabia was a poor country, for the most part an ...

  19. Family

    Adnan Khashoggi with Father Dr. Mohammed Khashoggi, Mother Samiha, Sisters Samira, Assia and Soheir, and Brothers Adil and Essam. Adnan Khashoggi and brother Essam Khashoggi and sister Soheir Khashoggi. ... Adnan Khashoggi on board the Nabila Super-Yacht. Adnan Khashoggi at Stanford University. Adnan Khashoggi.

  20. Kargasok

    Kargasok. Kargasok ( Russian: Каргасок) is a rural locality (a selo) and the administrative center of Kargasoksky District of Tomsk Oblast, Russia, located on the left bank of the Ob River, 460 kilometers (290 mi) from Tomsk, the administrative center of the oblast. Population: 8,127 ( 2010 Russian census); [1] 8,547 ( 2002 Census); [2 ...


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    Akademiya, Tomsk: See 6 traveler reviews, 30 candid photos, and great deals for Akademiya, ranked #32 of 51 specialty lodging in Tomsk and rated 4 of 5 at Tripadvisor.


    Tomskiy, Tomsk: See traveler reviews, candid photos, and great deals for Tomskiy, ranked #44 of 51 specialty lodging in Tomsk and rated 3 of 5 at Tripadvisor.