The rumor and gossip about billionaire widow Lily Safra’s notoriously high maintenance Villa Leopolda seems never to end.
Back in August we reported that Russian billionaire Mikail Prokhorov was the mysterious purchaser of the lavish home in Villefranche-sur-Mer which was on the market for a record price of 390 million euros.
Then came a report in early January of 2009 in The Londoner’s Diary that stated The Widow Safra’s trophy estate had, in fact, not been sold.
Fast forward to the middle of February when the London Times reports that Prokhorov paid a $55 million deposit, but wants to back out of the deal (Prokhorov reportedly lost $7 billion in the economic crisis).
However, Lily Safra has refused to return the massive deposit citing French law which states property buyers lose their deposit in the event they back out of a real estate deal after the sales agreement has been signed.
She issued last week a press release saying that she would donate money to ten charities using “all proceeds potentially available from a deposit made on the sale of Villa Leopolda, which has now been halted.”
King’s College, London, and Imperial College, London would each receive one million euros neuroscience research. Safra doesn’t name who the buyer might have been in the release.
Mrs. Safra comments: “By transforming the purchase deposit into an act of giving, I would like to encourage all who can do so to support medical research, patient care, education, and other important humanitarian causes during these times of economic uncertainty.”