WHO attended your 18th birthday party if you were lucky enough to have one?
Mine was in a room above a pub where me and my school friends danced to disco music played by a Smashy and Nicey style DJ.
I can assure you with confidence that a convicted arms smuggler from Libya was not among the participants.
But Tarek Kaituni – convicted in 2005 of attempting to smuggle a submachine gun from Holland to France – was a guest at Princess Beatrice’s 21st birthday celebrations in Marbella, Spain.
But a grainy photo (yes, another one) from the party in Spain shows him sitting with him Prince Andrew and others from an alcohol-laden table at the event in 2009, and rumor has it his birthday present for the young princess was a gold and diamond necklace worth £18,000.
Kaituni, who has boasted in the past that she can “influence” Andrew, also attended a surprise 60th birthday party for Sarah, the Duchess of York, and attended the wedding of the couple’s daughter, Eugenie, to Jack Brooksbank .
In 2019 he introduced Andrew to the Turkish banker Selman Turkwho is now being sued in the High Court by multi-millionaire Nebahat Isbilen, who claims she trusted him with her money but now says he is a scammer and wants it back.
One of her claims is that he tricked her into sending Princess Beatrice a £750,000 ‘wedding present’ in exchange for Andrew’s help with a passport application – which Turk denies and says it was on her ‘own initiative’ became.
That case is ongoing, and Turk denies the allegations, but he may offer yet another clue as to how Prince Andrew has enjoyed a high life that his actual earnings suggest he would have trouble paying for.
In fact, it has emerged that Turk is also at the center of mysterious payments of £350,000 to Andrew and £225,000 to his Ex-wife Sarah£25,000 to Princess Eugenie and the aforementioned £750,000 ‘gift’ for Beatrice’s wedding
Princess Eugenie says she thought the £25,000 was a gift from a “longtime family friend” (believed to be Kaituni) to pay for her mum’s birthday party and was surprised to learn the money came from Turk she says that she did it. I dont know.
Her mother Sarah, who believed him to be a “perfectly bona fide banker”, received her £225,000 payment from Turk’s company Alphabet Capital Ltd in what the High Court alleged was a front for “apparent money laundering”.
Sources close to the Duchess say she believed it was for her work as a “brand ambassador” for a green energy company whose debt he had assumed.
Prince Andrew has so far refused to explain the details behind his £350,000 payment, which he has since repaid.
No one in the York family has been accused of any wrongdoing, but it once again calls into question Andrew’s judgment on the company he runs and reinforces the allegations of “selling royals” against him.
Were they there as true “friends of the family”?
Or was there an unspoken assumption that cash “gifts” in exchange for the praise of receiving a royal “stiffie” — as posh people call official invitations — would be ready for display on their mantelpiece?
When Andrew comes back into focus with his suffering mother’s sidethese are the questions that won’t go away anytime soon.
It’s just not you, dear
Certainly one of the perks of being married is that you always have someone on hand who can say to you in so many words, “Honey, you’re not going out, are you?”
We could put it in a friendlier way, like, “That’s not bad, but that other outfit suits you so much better,” but the endgame is always the same — make sure they don’t make the house look like . . .
. . . Good, Justin Bieber after covering himself in glue and walking through an XXL flood sale.
Worse, it’s a “Balenciaga Couture” thing and probably costs more than your average used car.
As for the “metal-studded Crocs,” I’m at a loss for words.
Mind you, after that Kim Kardashian During his final appearance in Balenciaga’s Warning Tape one-piece, Justin’s wife, Hailey, may have “believed” her husband had gotten off easy in his seeming desperation to appear “fashion forward.”
Barks has to bite
SAMANTHA BARKS, judge on new TV show All Star Musicals, says the days of mean judges are over.
“We’re sitting there, the three of us on the podium, giving out so much love from our seats . . . We find ourselves in a world where caring for one another is now more important in our mindset. . . it’s a very positive place,” says the 31-year-old West End star.
Yawning. Trouble is, “giving love” and “positivity” are all well and good, but every panto/movie/tv show needs a crowd-teasing “villain” who gets to the heart of what we’re all thinking.
Otherwise, it’s just dull vanilla and ultimately meaningless.
On Strictly, for example, if Craig Revel Horwood says “Fab-u-luuus dah-ling,” then you know for a fact that it really was. He’s not evil, he’s honest.
ANOTHER nine symptoms have been added to the list of signs you may have Covid.
Which means for those of us who are self-employed, unless we receive a positive LFT forcing us to stop work, we will continue anyway.
And for those who are busy but hate their job, another nine excuses to stay home.
Smith’s house truths
WHAT difference a slap makes.
Two weeks ago, Will Smith was one of the biggest box office stars in the world, a status that would only improve after winning an Oscar.
A couple of big movies awaited release and two streaming giants outbid each other to make a biopic based on his life.
But after a rash, violent outburst in front of a global TV audience, he’s currently struggling to find work other than pouring his heart out oprah.
Bids for his life story have fizzled, the two films could remain in the can for the foreseeable future, and his management agency is reportedly debating whether or not to drop him.
There are no surprises there. Hollywood Inc is a ruthless place based solely on how bankable you are.
But what about life outside of work?
Over the years I have interviewed many people who have experienced public scandal and every single one of them has said that there were people who stood up when they least expected it and those who they thought that they would support them they dropped like a hot cake.
In other words, Will Smith gets a short, sharp lesson in who his real friends really are.
RISHI SUNAK is now bombing the Top Tory polls for its disastrous mini-budget.
When you come third from the bottom in the ratings and among the “ministers without a portfolio” (Nigel Adams, as you ask), you know you’re in trouble.
Who would be a teacher?
Teaching assistant Sabrina Willmott has been awarded £7,257 after being wrongfully sacked for hugging a special needs four-year-old to comfort him.
A labor judge ruled that the hug was not “gross misconduct” and she should never have been fired.
And shame on those at school who took that approach.
Who would be a teacher these days, eh?
FRIENDS who have bought expensive electric cars have reported difficulties on long journeys due to inaccurate battery performance figures and a lack of working charging stations.
Now the AA has revealed that electric car owners are twice as likely as the rest of us (I drive a petrol Mini) to call in roadside assistance because we’re out of power.
As always, the government appears to be aggressively pushing that we all go green so that it can meet its “net-zero” carbon goal without yet having the adequate infrastructure to make it work.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5058527/prince-andrew-questions-to-answer/ With family friends like this… Andrew has a lot of questions to answer