Well here’s a fine kettle of fish.
Please enter Sheikh Walid Juffali. He’s a Saudi, worth an estimated £4bn, a decent sum of money, you’d say. He was married for 14 years to Christina Estrada, who among other lifetime achievements was a model who featured in the Pirelli Calendar. If you see photos of them together, you’ll see that she clearly married him for his good looks, and that all that wonga played absolutely no role in her deliberations.
I say he was married to the luminous Christina, because he divorced her in 2014. Ms Estrada was somewhat surprised when she found out, since he neglected to tell her he was getting shot of her. That must have quite ruined her day.
Now the generous sheikh is giving her £70,000 a month. That’s the best part of 900 grand a year. I could struggle by on that, I reckon. Well, she reckons she can’t and is trying to skin her ex in the courts in London.
Now Walid is a very clever sheikh indeed. He points out that 70 big ones a month is a generous settlement, and I tend to agree with him, since she also got the home in California. But this is the best bit. Juffali was appointed as the permanent representative for St Lucia to the London headquarters of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in April 2014. Because of this he’s claiming diplomatic immunity, and says the courts have no jurisdiction over him. Now that’s what I call cunning.
Ms Estrada has written to Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, demanding the immunity be lifted. Good luck with that, grrrllfriend. Diplomatic immunity is enshrined in international law, and can’t be lifted at a whim. We didn’t even do that for those Libyans who shot PC Louise Fletcher back in 1984. If cop killers still have immunity then so does a bloke doing his best to stop his scheming grasping ex from raiding his coffers. And right now, I think that Mr Hammond has a bit more on his plate than fretting about an avaricious harridan.
Yes, I do see that Juffali could dosh the woman scorned half a billion and not notice, but I’m rather impressed with his thinking. I admire deviousness now and then. I hope he pulls it off, if for no other reason than that I’m in no doubt that, were the positions were reversed, she’d be wriggling like a gaffed fish to avoid coughing up.