Have you ever stiffed the hotel on the bill? They might be able to slap it on your credit card while you’re making a getaway, but a few thousand dollars is easy to recover. When the tab starts creeping toward half a million dollars, though, courts start getting involved … especially in Italy and especially when your father is a Libyan dictator.
Saadi Gaddafi, whose dad is Muammar, dropped €392,000 for a 40-day stay at the Grand Hotel Excelsior, near Portofino. In fairness, he also had his entourage with him – personal trainer, bodyguards, secretaries … you know the drill. It takes a lot of people to keep a dictator’s son on the go. Instead of making things right at the front desk on his way out, Gaddafi left a black SUV in the parking lot. According to local media, it’s still there.
This may seem like irresponsible behavior for a world leader’s son, even if he is only from Libya. At the time, though, he was wrapping up his career as a soccer player in Italy, so he had to party in a manner appropriate to his profession. And he did have his fun. According to the Guardian:
After signing in 2003 for Serie A side Perugia, Gaddafi joined Udinese in 2005 and Sampdoria in 2006, playing in a total of two matches in Italy and failing a drugs test. When not in training, he made the Italian gossip columns when he reportedly crashed a yacht into a harbour wall in Sardinia. He is now reportedly forging a new career as a film mogul.
The hotel didn’t rush into court. Rather, it worked the usual channels with a country that has solid relations with Italy:
Corriere della Sera reported that prior to taking legal action, the Grand Hotel Excelsior contacted the Libyan embassy in Italy which had paid previous bills on behalf of Saadi Gaddafi, only to be told that it would not cover the cost of the stay until it was told to do so by the Libyan government. On Friday, an Italian judge ordered Gaddafi to €5,000 in legal expenses in addition to his bill.
Time to sell some more plutonium, I guess. I’m sure there’s someone out there with half a million dollars and a flux capacitor to feed.
[photo by StartAgain via Flickr]