The New York Times reported on the politics that allow Teodoro Nguema Obiang, the son of Equatorial Guinean dictator Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo into America. Here's what they didn't tell you about his lifestyle (and celebrity girlfriends).
- In 1991 Obiang went to Pepperdine University in Malibu, where he studied English as a second language. The same year he was rumored to have been arrested for cocaine smuggling. He was sentenced for similar crimes in France twice in that decade.
- He owned a record label, called TNO Entertainment. It's now defunct, but the website is cached here. Ron Carter, who used to represent Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones, did the PR for the label. He said, via email, that Obiang now also spends a lot of time in Mali where he may have further assets.
- Obiang once hired Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen's 300-foot yacht Tatoosh for either $400,000 or $700,000, depending on who you believe. Why? To impress the rapper Eve, who he's been on-again-off-again dating for several years. The Times of London report that he took her on a Christmas cruise on the boat - he apparently likes cruises: Harper's magazine report that he had another woman airlifted to shore after an argument on another cruise-ship. He is also rumored to have dated model Noemie Lenoir and actress Tiffany Limos.
- His property portfolio includes a $35m estate in Malibu, purchased with cash, where neighbors include Dick van Dyke, James Cameron and Mel Gibson, as well as a couple of estates in Cape Town, South Africa. His fleet of cars includes a couple of Bentleys and a Lamborghini. The New York Times report adds a Gulfstream V jet to his extravagant modes of transport.
He's not the only dictator's son who leads an obscene lifestyle while his people suffer. And he's not the only one to do it with the tacit backing of a Western government. More soon!
(Also: if you've run across Mr. Obiang, or any similarly nefarious characters, email me or firstname.lastname@example.org.)