Excesses of the Rich and Wealthy Jackie and Aristotle Onassis Part 1

About the excesses of the rich Jackie and Aristotle Onassis, biography and history of their extravagent spending.

EXCESSES OF THE RICH

JACKIE AND ARI

When Aristotle Socrates Onassis married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy in October, 1968, he took on rather a large expense. Jackie's compulsive spending had caused her first husband to ask a friend, "Isn't there a Shoppers Anonymous?" Jackie complained, "Sometimes the President seems more concerned with my budget than with the budget of the U.S." When the newspapers reported that Jackie had spent $50,000 on clothes alone during her first 15 months in the White House, she retorted, "I couldn't spend that much unless I wore sable underwear." However, this figure was probably accurate. Her spending was uncontrollable, and it drove John Kennedy to distraction.

If Kennedy was tight by Jackie's standards, at least Ari was no slouch. As an impoverished, uneducated teenager, his first job paid 23 cent an hour. At the time of his marriage to Jackie, the Greek shipping king was worth a minimum of $500 million. He owned a Greek island, Skorpios, as well as houses everywhere and a yacht that may be the most fabulous one in history. This yacht was named Christina, after Ari's daughter by his first marriage. Purchased in 1954, the former Canadian frigate was remodeled at a cost variously reported at $2.5 million and $3 million. The Christina has baths constructed of Siena marble with gold fixtures, luxurious guest quarters uniquely styled and named after different Greek islands, a lapis lazuli fireplace, two El Greco paintings, 42 phones, teakwood decks, a dry-cleaning plant, a full-sized movie screen, and a seaplane. In the children's playroom, the dolls wore clothes designed by Dior. The yacht's circular bar has its own homey little touches too. The covering for the bar stools is made of whale's testicles, and the footrests on the stools are polished whale teeth. Best of all, there is a mosaic dance floor, a reproduction of a fresco from ancient Crete. Push a button, and the mosaic descends and becomes a swimming pool. In 1971 the Christina was estimated to be worth $7 million. Its basic operating costs were $1,140,000 a year. Frank Sinatra, among others, attempted to buy it, but Onassis would not sell. Though Ari was not a big reader, on his desk on the yacht he kept a copy of J. Paul Getty's How to Be Rich.

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