WHO attended your 18th birthday 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 Libyan arms dealer was not among the participants.
But Tarek Kaituni – convicted of attempted smuggling of a submachine gun from the Netherlands to France in 2005 – was a guest at Princess Beatrice’s 21st birthday celebrations in Marbella, Spain.
It’s unclear if he also attended his 18th party at Windsor Castle, with Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, Ghislaine Maxwell and 400 of Beatrice’s other, um, close friends.
But a grainy photo (yes, another one) from the party in Spain shows him sitting with Prince Andrew and others near an alcohol-laden table at the event in 2009, and rumor has it his birthday present was for the young one Princess a gold and diamond necklace worth £18,000
Kaituni, who has boasted in the past that she can “influence” Andrew, was also invited to a surprise 60th birthday party hosted by Sarah, Duchess of York, and attended the wedding of the couple’s daughter, Eugenie, to Jack Brooksbank.
In 2019 he introduced Andrew to Turkish banker Selman Turk, who is being sued in the Supreme Court by multi-millionaire Nebahat Isbilen, who claims she trusted him with her money but now says he is a scammer and wants them recovered.
One of his claims is that he tricked her into sending Princess Beatrice a £750,000 “wedding gift” in exchange for Andrew’s help with a passport application – which Turk denies and allegedly received on his own initiative.
That case is ongoing and Turk denies the allegations, but again, there may be a clue to how Prince Andrew enjoyed a high life whose actual income suggests he would struggle to pay for it.
In fact, it has emerged that Turk is also at the center of mysterious payments of £350,000 to Andrew, £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, which she told me Do not know.
His mother Sarah, who thought he was a “perfectly bona fide banker”, secured his £225,000 payment from Turkey’s Alphabet Capital Ltd, which the High Court alleged was a front for “money laundering”.
Sources close to the Duchess say she believed it was for his work as a “brand ambassador” for a green energy company whose debt he had assumed.
Prince Andrew has so far declined to explain details of his £350,000 payment, which he has since repaid.
No member of the York family has been accused of wrongdoing, but it calls into question Andrew’s good judgment in the business he runs and feeds the royals for sale charges against him.
Why should people like Epstein, Weinstein, Maxwell, Kaituni and Turk be present at the milestone birthdays of two young women if their father had not invited them?
Were they there as true “family friends”?
Or was there the unspoken assumption that cash “gifts” would be received in exchange for the congratulations of a royal “stiffie” — as stylish people call formal invitations — to display on their mantel?
As Andrew takes center stage again alongside his ailing mother, these are the questions that won’t go away anytime soon.
It’s just not you, darling
Certainly one of the perks of marriage is that you always have someone on hand to say to you in so many words, “Honey, you can’t get away with that, can you?”
We could put it better, like, “It’s not bad, but that other outfit suits you so much better,” but the end result is always the same: make sure she doesn’t leave the house in a similar shape. . .
. . . Well, Justin Bieber after being covered in glue and going through an XXL flood sale.
Worse, it’s a sweetheart “Balenciaga Couture” and probably costs more than your average used car.
As for “fangs adorned with metal,” I’m at a loss for words.
Mind you, after Kim Kardashian’s recent appearance in Balenciaga’s Warning Tape one-piece, Justin’s wife Hailey may have “believed that her husband got off lightly in his apparent desperation to appear avant-garde.”
Barks has to bite
SAMANTHA BARKS, a judge on new TV show All Star Musicals, says she believes the days of mean judges are over.
“We’re sitting there, the three of us on the podium, pouring out so much love from our seats. . . We find ourselves in a world where caring for others in our state of mind is now more important. . . it’s a very positive place,” says the 31-year-old West End star.
Yawning. Thing is, “giving love” and “positivity” are all well and good, but every panto/movie/tv show needs a “bad guy” to tease the crowd and chase after what we all think.
Otherwise, unfortunately, it’s just vanilla and ultimately meaningless.
For example, when Craig Revel Horwood says “Fab-u-luuus dah-ling” on Strictly, you know damn well it was him. He’s not mean, he’s honest.
Nine more symptoms have been added to the list of signs you may have of Covid.
Which means for those of us who are self-employed, unless we receive a positive LFT compelling us to stop work, we will continue anyway.
And for those who have a job but hate their job, nine more excuses to stay home.
The truths about Smith’s house
What a 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 great films awaited release and two streaming giants outbid themselves to make a biopic based on his life.
But after a violent and ill-considered outburst in front of a global television audience, he’s reportedly struggling to get work other than venting his gut about Oprah.
Offers for his life story have flown, both films could remain on the shelf for the foreseeable future, and his management agency is debating whether or not to drop him.
No surprise. Hollywood Inc is a killer place based solely on how bankable you are.
But what about life outside of work?
Over the years I’ve interviewed many people who have experienced public scandal and each of them said that there were people who showed up when they least expected it and those who thought they were opportune and who like them dropped a hot cake.
In other words, Will Smith gets a short and to the point lesson about who his real friends really are.
RISHI SUNAK is now being bombed in ‘Top Tory’ polls after his disastrous mini-budget.
When you come second to bottom in the rankings and below Minister Without Portfolio (Nigel Adams, as you ask), you know you’re in trouble.
who would be teacher
Teaching assistant Sabrina Willmott has been awarded £7,257 after being wrongfully sacked for hugging a four-year-old child with special needs for comfort.
A labor judge ruled that the hug was not “grave misconduct” and that she should never have been dismissed.
And shame on those at school who followed this course.
Who would be a teacher these days, huh?
FRIENDS who have bought expensive electric cars report difficulties on long journeys due to inaccurate battery status reports and a lack of working charging points.
Now the AA has revealed that electric car owners are twice as likely as the rest of us (I drive a gas-powered Mini) to call roadside assistance because we’re out of power.
As always, it looks like the government is aggressively pushing for us all to go green so they can reach their net-zero carbon emissions goal without the right infrastructure in place to make them viable.