The Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Gave $16 Million to South African Model.
The prime minister of Lebanon gave more than $16 million to a South African bikini model. The young model say they had a romantic relationship after they met at a luxury resort in the Seychelles. According to South African court documents obtained by The New York Times. prime minister gave $16 million to south African model
The prime minister, Saad Hariri, was not in office when he sent the money starting in 2013. The transfer does not appear to have violated any Lebanese or South African laws.
But the revelation in a South African court case this year of the extravagant gifts to a younger model. This comes during a difficult period for Mr. Hariri, the top Sunni Muslim politician in Lebanon and an American ally.
His business and political empires have fallen on hard times, depriving many employees of their pay. His family’s construction conglomerate, Saudi Oger, ceased operations in 2017. And his media outlets have struggled to pay salaries.
A looming financial crisis in Lebanon has set off antigovernment protests. This month, Mr. Hariri said the Lebanese government would declare an “economic state of emergency” and push through austerity measures.
Mr. Hariri did not respond to questions sent to his media team about his relationship with the model, Candice van der Merwe, or any gifts to her.
The gifts have no clear tie to Lebanon’s current economic woes and Mr. Hariri, a married father of three, was sufficiently wealthy to have made the payments himself. Forbes magazine estimated his net worth in 2013 at $1.9 billion, thanks largely to business interests he inherited after his father, Rafik Hariri, who also served as prime minister.
Since then, the younger Hariri has remained one of Lebanon’s best known political figures. He makes frequent state visits to Paris, Washington and Riyadh and favors pro-Western policies, but heads a power-sharing government that includes Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group and political party backed by Iran.
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