John Bowie* Fasten your seat belts. I always enjoyed the movie ‘Scarface’, despite some of the eye-averted violence, but whatever way you look at Al Pacino machine-gunning enemies from his mansion, the scale of his ruthlessness befits today’s Russian oligarchs.
And so it has come to pass that the owner of the mansion, Sergey Grishin, where ‘Scarface’ hung out, has sold another estate he owned to the actress Meghan Markle and her husband Harry for a cut-price $US14.7 million. But the vendor remains a person with – now I must be careful to avoid writs here – is a person who befits the title ‘oligarch’ more than anyone might have imagined in their most frightful movie nightmares. And, odd as it is, this mangled and tortured tale of Royal ructions, violence, fraud and vicious litigation has reached our shores via no-one less than the esteemed Chapman Tripp representing the so-called ‘Scarface Oligarch’ Sergey Grishin’s lawyer in a – again, great care here – ‘complaint’ against LawFuel’s reportage on their client’s role in litigation with Grishin’s former wife and her friend.
Specifically, we wrote about Grishin and his lawyer, a fellow named Amman Khan (left) who once worked for the law firm we have reported about in the US extensively, Pierce Bainbridge, but is now with a firm
called Withers Bergman. (They are proud “to help many of our clients use their success to make the world a better place.”)
When we published the original story here, we used the term ‘Scarface Oligarch’, which the ragtop UK media and others took to with abandon. References to the “so-called ‘Scarface Oligarch’ surfaced across the media from the Daily Mail to Fox News.
All of which lead to the lengthy missive from Chapman Tripp, on behalf of Khan and three former partners at Pierce Bainbridge (a firm who represented everyone from Rudy Giuliani to Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti).
Such are the perils of the humble media, now blasted daily for fake news and worse, but who face the wrath of those in power for matters as sanguine as allegations of everything from vast fraud to violence and porn vengeance.
Grishin’s role in both Russia and US is studded with controversy and lawsuits involving money, women and any other ingredient your might expect of the modern oligarch from Russia.
It’s as ugly as these oligarchs get. And that’s a power of ugly.
Our story involved Grishin’s former and third (or was it second) wife Anna Fedoseeva and her associate, LA film maker Jennifer Sulkess. We reported matters faithfully and identified some of the activities of the ‘Scarface Oligarch’ and his attorney Khan.
The women in the story – and we always stand up for women where possible – have been irredeemably sworn off oligarchs, but they are also deeply upset by Meghan Markle and her professed concern over womens’ rights but who has paid the ‘cut price’ for the Scarface Mansion.
A hail of bullets couldn’t prevent us reporting such matters. We just trust we’re still here to pick over the corpses when the shooting stops.
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