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Maybe the richest girl in the world, Athina Onassis Roussel, the granddaughter of legendary shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, is turning 20 this month and making plans to move to Greece so that she can connect with her roots. She will study Greek to appease the trustees of the Onassis Foundation, enabling her to take control of the multibillion-dollar fortune she inherited when her mother died in 1988.
She received a sizable sum when she turned 18, but her trustees have been withholding the huge balance, claiming that her grandfather stipulated that she must be fluent in the Greek language before she gets the rest. Athina’s mother, Christina Onassis, died in Argentina when Athina was just three, so her father, Thierry Roussel, brought her up in Switzerland. As of late, she has been living with her 31-year-old equestrian boyfriend, Doda de Miranda Neto, in Brazil.
Athina wants to ride for the Greek Olympic Show jumping team at the Beijing Games in 2008 so she has joined the Avlona Equestrian Club outside of Athens, where she will set up her residence. She will train and keep her horses there, using it as her base for competing in Greek and international competitions, which will become her springboard for an Olympic tryout. Long destined to become the richest woman in the world, she has also decided that she wants to sell her grandfather’s 3,000-acre private Greek island, Skorpios, a veritable Garden of Eden, which he bought in 1962 for $12,000 and where he entertained everyone from Greta Garbo to Winston Churchill, the late John Kennedy, and, yes, Maria Callas. Jackie Kennedy Onassis redecorated all the villas on the island. Madonna was said to be interested in buying it, but the $375 million price tag, which makes Skorpios the most expensive private island in the history of the world, was a little steep even for her.
It’s being bruited about that Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake got engaged last weekend in Los Angeles, where she was showing off a diamond ring to her friends. That’s not to say that the bauble she’s wearing on the third finger of her left hand couldn’t be a friendship ring, meaning it could mean just about anything. Justin’s grandmother, Sadie Bomar, has said she doesn’t think Cameron’s ready for marriage: “She isn’t that mature. When I saw them they didn’t seem that much in love. The two of them just didn’t seem connected.” Which is probably why they haven’t told Granny the good news.
This story first appeared in the January 12, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Princess Anne’s daughter, Zara Phillips, has asked her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, for permission to marry her six-foot-two-inch rugby star boyfriend, Mike Tindall, the hunk she’s been dating for the past year. The happy couple has been shopping for the perfect ring all over London. If the marriage happens, Zara will be the first of the Queen’s grandchildren to walk down the aisle.
Camilla Parker Bowles’ 30-year-old son, Tom Parker Bowles — his godfather is the Prince of Wales — is engaged to Sara Buys, a fashion editor for Harpers & Queen magazine. Tom and Sara met at Oxford University two years ago. Ever the romantic, Bowles literally got down on bended knee to propose in Venice over New Year’s and he didn’t even get wet. “The wedding will be next year and everyone is absolutely delighted.” Thrilled silly, actually.
Even though she’s remarked that, at 38, she’s too old for miniskirts, the supermodel’s supermodel, Cindy Crawford, is going to grace the cover of British Vogue in a see-thru top, a gold swimsuit slashed to the navel and a micromini. The last time Crawford appeared on the cover was in December 1995, along with Naomi Campbell, Amber Valetta and Shalom Harlow. Welcome back.
Of course you heard that Jude Law proposed to Sienna Miller at Christmas. What you don’t know is that he let his three little children by Sadie Frost tell their mother the happy news after he told them what was going to happen. Sadie, a damned good sport, made a statement congratulating Jude and Sienna. Maybe the reason Jude didn’t tell her himself is because he didn’t want to risk one of those loud confrontations he and Sadie became famous for.
Vera Wang has made Stephanie March a romantic white silk organza dress for her wedding on Feb. 20 in New York to celebrity chef Bobby Flay. And Stephanie has picked out her trousseau at Henri Bendel’s new La Lingerie boutique, which features over 30 designers, including John Galliano, Diane von Furstenberg and Roberto Cavalli. Stephanie’s friends Mariska Hargitay, Malaak Compton-Rock and Diane Neal are among those invited to her bridal shower at the Fifth Avenue store on Jan. 25. Some of the friends will see to it that whatever additional pieces they buy will benefit Stephanie’s favorite charity, Safe Horizon.
Nicole Kidman is not getting a lot of encouragement from her friends regarding her romance with Steve Bing, which is now heading into its third month. Supposedly, her ex-husband Tom Cruise and her best friend, Naomi Watts, aren’t jumping for joy over her new relationship. Nicole spent the weekend in Palm Springs seeking the advice of her father, Anthony Kidman, a clinical psychologist, who always understands his little princess.
Isabel Goldsmith, the 49-year-old heiress and half-sister of Hugh Grant’s beloved Jemima Khan, is being seen around London on the arm of Major Peter Hunter, a polo-playing partner of Prince Charles. Isabel owns that marvelous Mexican resort Las Alamandas — her grandfather was Antenor Patino, the late Bolivian tin king who bought the original land. Society has flocked there ever since Isabel took over the resort.
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony have found a $10 million love nest designed by Philippe Starck on top of the Icon Building in South Beach, Fla. They have eyes on a penthouse that boasts a private pool, no less. J.Lo says her New Year’s resolution is to stop smoking cigars, one of her favorite things, so that she can have a baby. Somebody tell her that there’s more to having a baby than smoking cigars, the dear girl.