By Abul Taher | The Daily Mail
A woman who claimed to be a Saudi princess and went on a housebuying spree at exclusive London addresses has been ordered to pay back £12.5 million (US$19.5 million) after a judge ruled against her in a dispute with a property tycoon.
Miss Al-Amoudi – who has attracted the nickname the Vamp in the Veil – tried to gag The Mail on Sunday from reporting details of the court case.
Her solicitors were seeking an injunction to stop her being named. But at 1.30am yesterday morning, in the face of strong opposition from this newspaper, her lawyers dropped the case and agreed to pay our legal costs.
Miss Al-Amoudi, 28, owns 13 apartments in exclusive London areas including Knightsbridge and Chelsea. The most expensive apartment is behind Harrods and cost £2 million when she bought it in 2008.
She also owns a country house in Billingshurst in West Sussex, near Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s £18 million estate, and a large property in Truro, Cornwall.
Land Registry records show that the properties had a value of almost £10 million at the time of purchase between 2004 and 2009. They are now estimated to be worth well over £12 million.
Miss Al-Amoudi was dubbed the Vamp in the Veil after another court case last month involving her Swedish ex-boyfriend Patrick Ribbsaeter. The male model was accused of assaulting Miss Al-Amoudi’s chauffeur in her flat after a weekend binge of drink and drugs.
He was acquitted at London’s Southwark Crown Court. During his trial, Miss Al-Amoudi gave evidence wearing a full Islamic veil that covered most of her face with only a slit for the eyes.
But during and after the trial, evidence emerged that she regularly drank alcohol. Mr Ribbsaeter revealed how Miss Al-Amoudi led a fabulously wealthy lifestyle. He told the court she was driven round London in a Rolls-Royce Phantom VI. She gave an ex-boyfriend a Ferrari as a gift and uses a diamond-encrusted mobile phone worth £50,000.
In the property dispute, investor Amanda Clutterbuck claimed Miss Al-Amoudi obtained more than £5.5 million from her company through unauthorised money transfers. Ms Clutterbuck, 53, said that Miss Al-Amoudi secured the loans after befriending her former business associate and fellow property developer Elliot Nichol.
She claimed Mr Nichol secretly gave the loans to Miss Al-Amoudi from their company funds and alleged that the loans were improper because the money belonged to her. Ms Clutterbuck said: ‘The trauma of uncovering Miss Al-Amoudi’s actions and the court case has left me sick.
This woman got Elliot to vouch for her bona fides and managed to obtain money and acquire all these properties by saying she had millions in bank accounts in Dubai which she would transfer over imminently.
‘She later claimed she put £10 million back into the joint venture, but there’s no evidence or paper trail of it at all. She claims to be a Saudi princess with millions, but I see no evidence of it.’
Miss Al-Amoudi, who was not at the hearing, is seeking to set aside the judgment at Central London County Court. Mystery surrounds the background of Miss Al-Amoudi. In the past, she has claimed to be the daughter of one of the richest men in the world, Saudi-Ethiopian businessman Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi.
Sara Al Amoudi has been ordered to pay back £12.5 million after a judge ruled against her in a dispute with a property tycoon
Yesterday, the billionaire’s London-based spokesman said that she was not his daughter. Miss Al-Amoudi also claimed that Saudi businessman Mohammed bin Aboud Al-Amoudi – who owns the InterContinental Hotel in Jeddah – was her father.
An official in his company denied this. Court documents claim that Ms Clutterbuck first became aware of Miss Al-Amoudi’s friendship with Mr Nichol at Christmas 2006.
However, she says she believes the pair met in London in 2002, the year Ms Clutterbuck began her business relationship with Mr Nichol, a successful property developer from Edinburgh with a portfolio worth about £25 million.
He also had a long-term partner and son. Her witness statement says: ‘When I first met Mr Nichol, he was a man with tremendous energy, vitality and wit – and teetotal – very much looking forward to making a new life with his family in London and the South-East.
Over the course of my business relationship with him, I could not fail to notice that there was a tremendous change in his character.’ Mr Nichol died aged 50 in December 2009 from alcohol poisoning.
He owned properties in expensive areas of Central and West London. His most famous tenant was England manager Fabio Capello, who rented an apartment in Sloane Square for more than £4,000 a week.
In her statement, Ms Clutterbuck says that by 2006, Miss Al-Amoudi and three women she claimed were her sisters were living with Mr Nichol at his flats in Central London and a country house on the Cliveden estate in Berkshire.
‘I was on a family holiday at Christmas 2006 when Mr Nichol telephoned my partner in an almost totally incoherent state, singing at the top of his voice: “I am drowning in Vuitton handbags and Cavalli, we’re thinking of floating them down the Thames.” ’
Ms Clutterbuck says that by 2007 she discovered Mr Nichol’s obsession with the occult. Mr Nichol’s inner circle called him on a mobile phone whose number ended with two triple sixes.
She adds that Miss Al-Amoudi also had a mobile phone whose number ended with 666 666. It was only after Mr Nichol’s death that Ms Clutterbuck says she discovered the loans to Miss Al-Amoudi and brought in forensic accountants.
Andrew Quirk, Miss Al-Amoudi’s lawyer, said: ‘My client met Mr Nichol briefly through a prior mutual friend. They weren’t friends, there were no loans from Mr Nichol as claimed.
This claim that the client has taken £5.5 million is completely untrue. The allegations are being vigorously denied and are nonsense.’ Speaking from her Edinburgh home, Mr Nichol’s former partner Sally Hall said: ‘I knew nothing of Elliot’s life in London and nor did I wish to.
‘We separated two years before he died. I am here with my son and I know nothing and I have nothing to say.’