In the Venn diagram of billionaires' real estate transactions, the intersection charting the overlap between filthy-rich heiresses and buyers of islands is actually quite small—there are plenty of the former, sure, but usually the island-buying is left to the adults: Larry Ellison, Roman Abramovich, Mikhail Prokhorov, and so on. Now, though, various sources are reporting that Ekaterina Rybolovlev, the daughter of Russian fertilizer billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, has snapped up the mother of all private islands, Skorpios.
Purchased by Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis in 1962 for the equivalent of $16K and made famous by his marriage to Jackie Kennedy in 1968, the island has traded for an undisclosed sum, though the Daily Mail places it as north of $150M. The 23-year-old buyer is no stranger to high-priced property, in Dec. 11 shelling out a then-record $88M for a penthouse at NYC's tony 15 Central Park West. (The lofty purchase was met with breathless rumormongering from the New York Post, which mentioned that the heiress might actually be "nothing but a straw buyer for her billionaire father, who is attempting to hide assets from his wife, who has been trying to divorce him for three years.") Anyway, her father, whose billions are undoubtedly backing this purchase, is gaining a reputation as a real estate trophy hunter of sorts. In 2008, the elder Rybolovlev spent $100M on a beachfront mansion in Florida that had been renovated and flipped by Donald Trump.
Athina Onassis Roussel, a partial heir to the estate of Aristotle Onassis and owner of Skorpios, spent little time on the island by her own admission, but in 2009, amid rumors that the island had sold to fashion designer Giorgio Armani, she released a statement claiming that she had no interest in selling the island where her mother and grandfather were both laid to rest. Roussel, who spends the bulk of her time in São Paulo with her Brazilian husband, may have met Ekaterina Rybolovlev on the equestrian circuit, where both are competition showjumpers.
· All Dmitry Rybolovlev coverage [Curbed National]
· Russian billionaire's daughter buys Onassis island Skorpios [The Times of India via Gawker]
· Daughter of Russian billionaire buys idyllic Greek island where Aristotle Onassis married Jackie Kennedy [Daily Mail]
· Divorce, Oligarch Style [NYT]
· Onassis denies rumors of Skorpios island Sale [Zimbio]