• Germany's news in English

BMW heiress opens up about gigolo blackmailer

The Local · 21 Nov 2008, 12:15

Published: 21 Nov 2008 12:15 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In an interview with the Financial Times Deutschland on Friday, Susanne Klatten, 46, said the media blitz surrounding the investigation of former lover Helg Sgarbi made her a "victim for a second time" but also brought relief.

Klatten, worth an estimated €13 billion, turned in her former beau after he demanded a reported €14 million to keep secretely taped videos of their liaisons to himself. He had already coaxed €7 million from her by claiming the mafia was after him for supposedly harming a young girl in an accident.

"It was a moment of clarity: you're a victim and you have to defend yourself. I fought back in the name of all women in my family and in the name of many other women as well," Klatten told the paper.

Klatten inherited a major stake in German carmaker BMW from her father and is also owner of Altana, a German chemicals group. Her husband, with whom she has three children, has reportedly stood at her side during the ordeal.

With the help of former German special agents, Klatten went to Bavarian prosecutors late last year. They clandestinely taped conversations with Sgarbi, who was arrested at an Austrian highway rest stop early this year.

Story continues below…

"This was our only chance. Otherwise this would have gone on forever. You can't take that. You have to defend yourself. I'm glad that I did it," she told the paper.

Sgarbi, 43, is reportedly a member of a gang of romeos that launched love affairs with rich European women in order to blackmail them for millions. He is currently being held in a Munich jail and is expected to go on trial by the end of the year.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd