Harvard professor, hedge-fund millionaire, and "court historian for the imperial American hard right" Niall Ferguson is leaving his wife for a feminist filmmaker he met at the Time 100 party. Sex! Scandal! Murderous Muslim clerics! This story has it all.
Ferguson (whose career highs include defending colonialism and parlaying books about the Rothschild dynasty into a lucrative Rothschild-endorsed hedge fund career) is divorcing his wife of sixteen years, former editor and Condé Nasty Susan Douglas, reports The Daily Mail. Niall's new lovah: Somali-born filmmaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali. After meeting at a party for Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World, Niall and Ayaan launched into the most glamorously snobby, geopolitically thrilling forbidden love since Cleopatra and both Roman triumvirates:
Just two weeks ago they attended the Jaipur Literary Festival in India where they were photographed kissing in the opulent surroundings of the spectacular Diggi Palace.
Ms Hirsi Ali had been flown to the event secretly. She has been the subject of threats from Muslim extremists since writing the script for the movie Submission, which was critical of Islam.
...[Time art editor Belinda] Luscombe, a friend of Ms Hirsi Ali, said: "I think [the Time 100 party] is where they met for the first time. In all the years I have known Ayaan, she's never had a boyfriend. She's gorgeous, but with a fatwa, it's tricky to find guys."
Other people who come up in this story: Henry Kissinger and British historian Sir Alistair Horne (who knew of the affair before it went public), a member of Parliament, and seven other mistresses. Now check out this ridiculous quote:
"There was a point when it was not impossible for me to get $100,000 for a one-hour speech at some extravagant hedge-fund manager conference in an exotic location," Ferguson recalled.
...and this one:
Says a friend: "Niall has a fair few enemies who feel he has got above his station, but Sue always stood by him. The marriage was fine for 13 years, then when Niall went to America, it all started to go wrong."