The Quick 10: Billionaires Behaving Badly
One of the heirs to the Johnson & Johnson fortune was arrested this week. Not for a DUI or drug charges, as the arrests of other heiresses might cause you to suspect, but for theft. Shocking, but she's not the only person about to come into millions (or billions) that has behaved badly. Here are 10 who prove that money can't buy good sense - with nary a mention of a certain hotel chain heiress. And OK, they aren't all billionaires, but the title had a nice ring to it, don't you think?
1. Casey Johnson. Johnson is the heiress I was just talking about who was arrested for grand theft. Grand theft of what, you ask? Jewelry, shoes, parts of a legal document, clothes and even underwear.
2. Courtenay Semel. OK... if this doesn't sound like a soap opera, I don't know what does. For some time last year, Yahoo! heiress Semel (her dad used to be the CEO) dated the aforementioned heiress Casey Johnson. But there was definitely trouble in paradise. In January of this year, the heiresses got in a fight and, according to the New York Post, Semel "beat the crap out of [Johnson] and then she lit her hair on fire.
3. Jacqueline Kent Cooke. Her dad owned a majority share of TelePrompTer, sold it for $646 million, and bought the Chrysler Building. He owned the Los Angeles Daily News, and eventually ended up buying the Washington Redskins. All of his business transactions made him a billionaire... which his daughter was sure to flaunt when she left a diner without paying last year, mooned a cop, flipped him the bird and then got in her car to drive drunk. When the officer stopped her from driving, she followed up with the ever-popular, "Don't you know who I am?" and then informed him that "$1 billion goes a long way," then threatened to have his badge taken away. Charming.
4. Mathias Guerrand-Hermes. It's not just the heiresses who behave badly - it's the heirs, too. Last year, the heir to the Hermes fashion house fortune was arrested after a flight when he refused to take his seat when asked. Instead, he grabbed a spot on another passenger's arm rest and moved toward the passenger and her husband rather threateningly when they asked him to move. The pilot actually came out of the cabin to help dissolve the situation, which is when Hermes grabbed the pilot's crotch. I guess the Hermes name doesn't necessarily guarantee class, huh?
5. John Francis Dodge. The "˜80s was a time of excess for a lot of people, so you can imagine how that might have multiplied for people with a ton of money to spend on that excess. Take, for example, Dodge heir John Francis Dodge. In 1986, Dodge, who was already on probation for forging prescriptions, was arrested for trafficking liquid morphine. Funnily, his girlfriend at the time was a clerk at a pharmacy in West Palm Beach.
6. Seth Cathy. Love Chick-Fil-A? You have Seth's grandpa, founder Truett Cathy, to thank. But Seth wasn't arrested in a Chick-Fil-A - he was arrested at a Waffle House. Last year, he barricaded himself inside the bathroom of one of the restaurants in Atlanta, stripped nude, flooded the room, caused damage to the walls and fixtures, and was found wielding a metal toilet paper dispenser when the police were finally able to break into the bathroom. After resisting arrest and behaving erratically, he had to be maced. Don't chalk it up to sabotaging the competition, though - the Cathy family later released a statement saying that the incident wasn't drug or alcohol-related and that Seth was being treated by their family doctor.
7. Kim Jong Nam, the heir to North Korea (yeah, not just a company - a whole country), was arrested in 2001 on, of all things, a fake passport charge. Headed to Japan, Nam insisted that he was from the Dominican Republic before coming clean and admitting that he was just headed to Disneyland in Tokyo for a low-key vacation with his family and didn't want to be recognized.
8. Susanne Klatten. Klatten's father was the man who turned BMW around when it was nearly bankrupt. Upon his death in 1982, Klatten inherited enough money and investments to make her the richest woman in Germany and the 55th-richest person in the entire world according to Forbes magazine. This, of course, makes her rich enough to afford a gigolo, which is exactly what she did. It all turned sour when he blackmailed her for a total of about â‚¬ 60 million, saying that he would send details of their affair - including film - to not only her husband, but also to the board of BMW (which she sat on). She turned him in and he was sentenced to six years after confessing to blackmailing Klatten and other women.
9. Hisham Talaat Moustafa. The Egyptian billionaire rifled through his couch cushions and came up with $2 million to pay a hitman to kill his former lover, Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim. He was found guilty in May of this year, and in June he received his sentence: death by hanging. Talaat Moustafa is married and has three children.
10. Andrew Luster. You've probably heard of him "“ Luster, one of the heirs to the Max Factor fortune, was convicted on 86 of the 87 charges against him in 2003 including drug-induced rape, raping an unconscious victim, sodomy and poisoning. He received six years each for the 20 counts of rape and four years for poisoning, to be served consecutively. Luster fled the country and was famously captured by Dog the Bounty Hunter. He won't even be eligible for time off with good behavior until 2108 (he would be 145 years old at that point).
Any others? Besides that one blonde girl named after a famous city, I mean. I prefer to avoid talking about her.