BORJA’S BOOTY: The Spanish and German press is abuzz with news that dashing young Borja Thyssen, the adopted son of art-loving Baron Heini Thyssen, instantly became one of Europe’s wealthiest bachelors when his 81-year-old father died last month. Publications from Spain’s El Mundo to Germany’s Bunte are speculating that the 22-year-old Borja, whose mother is the Spanish-born Tita Thyssen, fifth wife of the baron, inherited just under $1 billion, or about one-third of the Thyssen family fortune. They also claim Thyssen’s four biological children got a measly $200,000 each.

Well, the lawyer for the late Thyssen and his wife says it isn’t so. He told WWD that Borja “absolutely did not” inherit $1 billion, and that the Thyssens — with the exception of son Alexander — agreed in writing to a division of the family assets on Feb. 15. “Their agreement is confidential, but I can say that the financial figures the papers are reporting are not true at all,” said the Madrid-based lawyer. Indeed, sources familiar with the agreement said that while the Thyssen children signed away their inheritance rights on their father’s estate, their family trusts have remained intact. They added that Tita is the sole inheritor of her late husband’s estate. So clearly, while Borja may not be a billionaire bachelor, he is isn’t exactly going hungry. Case in point: For his 21st birthday, he got a Goya from his mamma so he could start his very own art collection.

This story first appeared in the May 31, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

As nearly every label-looker knows, Puma pretty much owns Serena Williams. But Puma also sponsors the Cameroon soccer team, which may explain the synergy at play in Williams’ green, orange and yellow ensemble (the colors of the Cameroon squad) — complete with soccer-worthy yellow knee-high socks — on the courts of the French Open this week. Nine-year-old tennis prodigees, take note.

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