A new blog post on the RUSSIA! Mag website:
Roman Abramovich has a problem, a gambling problem. His girlfriend, 26 year-old socialite Dasha Zhukova, gave him hell for it so he simply moved his habit online, to the “Everest Room.” And then, last week, he lost a yacht in a poker game. Reportedly.
Abramovich, decimated by the crisis (he’s lost $8.5 billion) but still filthy rich, was in Barcelona to see his team, Chelsea, play in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals and, apparently, got bored enough to lose $500,000 in an evening. He reportedly squelched the debt by unloading one of the lesser yachts in his five-yacht armada – dubbed the “Roman Navy” in the British press. Probably, it was the tiny 163-foot tag-along named Sussurro. His other yachts all have superlative, record-smashing features of one sort or another – as well as helipads, submarines, something called zero-speed stabilizers, and military-grade missile defense systems – and cost hundreds of millions of dollars, so he probably kept those.
Tossing off a yacht would not be out of character for Abramovich who, in 2006, gave a $150 million one to his business lieutenant, Eugene Shvidler, to thank him for his hard work. Nevertheless, Abramovich was pissed when news of his night in Barcelona got around.
Italian newspaper La Repubblica first reported the event – as well as some invented dialogue between Abramovich and a fictionally angry Miss Zhukova – on Monday, a couple Russian news outlets picked it up, and now La Repubblica is facing a world of pain.
“The story is absolutely, completely, entirely false,” Abramovich spokesman John Mann told AFP.
Which means, of course, Abramovich is suing and that the story is, quite possibly, true.