Here’s how this South African bikini model secured a R150 million bag from the Prime Minister of Lebanon, after meeting him at a luxury resort in Seychelles in 2012.
So, how did this happen?
Swimwear model Candice-Jean van der Merwe was doing energy drink promotions and FHM swimwear calendars at the time, reports the New York Times.
At 19, Candice travelled to an exclusive Seychelles resort on Mahe island called The Plantation Club, ‘frequented by some of the richest private individuals in the world”’ She called it the ‘playground of the super-wealthy,’ where models were sponsored and flown in ‘to lend a sense of glamour and exclusivity.’
When models arrived at this resort their passports were removed and they weren’t allowed to take photos or tell stories of what happens there, said Candice.
On these trips, she connected with billionaires. ‘I have also been told that I have a very engaging personality,’ she said.
And this is where she met…
The billionaire blesser
The powerful Sunni politician, Saad Hariri, is a 43-year-old married father of three. He is rich AF. Forbes estimated his net worth at $1.9 billion in 2013. He became prime minister of Lebanon in 2016. However, Lebanon is on the verge of economic crisis, and protests in the country are turning violent.
Anyway, after they met at the resort, gifts from the Lebanese Prime Minister included:
- Audi R8 Spyder (her dream car, which she received after a car accident which totalled her car)
- Land Rover Evoque
- Two new cellphones (one with international roaming)
- And R150 million
In an email to the Prime Minister, she wrote “Love you my Saad :)” and provided her bank details. She bought a property with the money.
According to the Telegraph, Saad Hariri gave Candice the cash while he was not in office, so no laws were broken.
But then SARS was like ‘nah, hold TF up’
Candice insisted that the cash was a gift, and not taxable. But SARS froze her assets and appointed someone to oversee all of this. So the Prime Minister sent her another million dollars to help with legal fees.
She then sued SARS for damages. The saga resulted in Saad Hariri’s role becoming public. The freeze on her assets, she argued, meant she had to sell the house. She also argues that the case caused damage to her career and ended her relationship with Saad Hariri.
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