Ari Onassis was a business partner but above all a very good friend of mine for many years until his death in 1975. It was great to know him and fantastic to be involved in his odyssey and contributes to build his empire. There are so many things that are said about Ari and by creating this blog I want to reflect the reality about him to make sure his memory is not stained by gossiping people that don't know anything about him. You can also view my website:

Friday, September 28, 2007

On Christina's Russian husband

It was, beyond doubt, the year's strangest love match. This week in Moscow, Christina Onassis, 27, heir to her late father Aristotle's $500 million shipping, financial and industrial empire, is set to marry a Soviet citizen and Communist Party member who, say U.S. intelligence sources, may have KGB connections. What is more, she apparently intends to make her home in the Soviet capital.
A family member in Athens glumly calls the affair a "disaster that has befallen us." For Christina, report friends, it is quite the opposite: the happy ending to a romance that began in Paris in 1976. It was there that she first met Sergei Kauzov, 37, a slender, quiet man with thinning blond hair, a mouth glistening with gold teeth, and a glass eye that he now and then calmly removes and replaces in public. A graduate of a Moscow foreign-language institute, Kauzov is fluent in French and English as well as his native Russian. He had been sent to Paris as a representative of Sovfracht, the Soviet ship-chartering agency. There, say Onassis company sources, he met Christina over a business lunch at which she was initiating a deal to lease oil tankers to the Soviets. She drove Kauzov home in her limousine. More personal rendezvous followed, first at Russian restaurants in Paris, later at, apartments lent to them by friends.
Kauzov's apparent freedom as a foreign-based deal maker leads U.S. intelligence officials to think it is "extremely likely" he has—or had—some affiliation with the KGB. But romance evidently was not in his instructions from the home office, and his increasingly fond friendship with Christina was broken off by Kauzov's recall to Moscow last fall. Christina pursued Kauzov with phone calls, telex messages and couriers, and a visit to Moscow late last year. Meanwhile, Sergei filed for divorce from his cellist-wife Natasha, gave her custody of their nine-year-old daughter, and moved in with his mother. In June, Christina told U.S. Oil Magnate Armand Hammer, a longtime family friend, that she was off to Moscow again, this time to marry Kauzov.
The match, if it proceeds as planned, will be Christina's third. Her previous ventures in love have been disasters. Her first important romance was with Peter Goulandris, heir to another Greek shipping fortune, but the couple were so incompatible that they never got as far as the altar. That over, she married, at 20, a Los Angeles real estate broker more than twice her age named Joseph Bolker. Nine months later, they divorced. Four months after her father's death, in 1975, she married Alexander Andreadis, scion of an Athens business family. "It is like being made a king for life," gushed Andreadis, who was dethroned by divorce less than two years afterward.
According to Armand Hammer, the romance with Kauzov is more serious. "He had been helping her, advising her in many things, including her business," Hammer told TIME. "She feels she can trust him." Apparently so. Christina is said to be shopping for a cooperative apartment in Moscow, or a dacha near by, or both. "I'm very adaptable," she told one interviewer. Sergei, for his part, is said to be ready to take his wife's surname.
Kauzov, however, is unlikely to take over the Onassis shipping empire as well. Christina—who has demonstrated a shrewd capability for keeping her professional and love lives separate—insisted last week that the business would continue to be run by its present executives, who include many of her father's old associates. Beyond that, she should be able to acquire a Soviet visa that permits her to come and go as she pleases. Thus Christina could continue commuting between New York, Paris and Monte Carlo to conduct her corporate affairs from those preeminently non-Communist bastions

No comments: