Shady Secrets The World's Wealthiest Wives Tried To Hide

When the Pandora Papers were exposed in 2021, there were people who believed that wealthy people had no more secrets and everything there was to know about them was out in the open. However, that was not the case; wealthy people have far shadier secrets than those that surround their money. Jack Kelly wrote about the Pandora Papers for Forbes and highlighted that most scheming that goes down in wealthy circles is to embellish and further grow their wealth. Sometimes, those secrets and the scheming go beyond the financial scope.

A friend of Grant Cardone, who is the CEO of multiple businesses, shared with him in a CNBC article when talking about wealthy people and their secrets, "None of them were ever satisfied with what they had already accomplished, but instead focused on the next thing that could be accomplished." In order to accomplish those things, they had to hide certain aspects of their lives to guarantee their success, that they wouldn't get canceled, and they would be able to go about their business with no issues.

With all that said, let's take a look at some of the shady secrets the world's wealthiest wives tried to hide.

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers had a family secret

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers became one of the richest billionaires in the world in 2017 after her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, the heiress of the L'Oréal empire passed away. She had been a part of the board since 1997, and with her family, held 33% of the stocks.

Even though L'Oréal has held its position in the beauty industry, it hasn't happened without controversy and secrets. Many years after its foundation, allegations surfaced against Eugene Schueller (Bettencourt Meyers' grandfather) for having collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. The Smithsonian Magazine reported Schueller became publicly pro-Nazi and anti-Republican. Some of his writings read, "I know full well that we don't have the chance that the Nazis did, coming to power in 1933 ... We don't have the gift that the Germans had ... We don't have the faith of national-socialism. We don't have the dynamism of a Hitler pushing the world ... We must rip from men's hearts the childish concepts of liberty, equality, and even fraternity."

In 1946, Schueller had to face the Court of Justice of the Department of the Seine for his public attitude around the time of occupation. The judge in charge was Marcel Gagne, and he didn't proceed with any convictions towards Schueller. "Schueller showed a certain activity in favor of the ideas of Franco-German collaboration ... The minimal percentage of German business and to the fact that the merchandise delivered was of no direct military interest," he declared.

Alice Walton's family earns a lot and pays too little

Alice Walton is one of the wealthiest women in the world. Although she has been celebrated for creating the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas, none of her money has gone to it or the family's foundation. According to the Walmart 1 Percent Report, Walton didn't make a single individual contribution in 23 years to the Walton Family Foundation, and only has been responsible for .13% of the contributions with the Walton Enterprises.

Not only have they not contributed to their own foundation, they have not been paying their employees what they deserve. Many times, there have been talks about how little Walmart employees make and how much money the Walton family makes. Bloomberg did a report on the wealthiest families in the world and established that on average the Walton's fortune grows $3 million per hour. It was Bernie Sanders, who in a tweet pointed out: "The Walton family makes more money in one minute than Walmart workers do in an entire year. This is what we mean when we talk about a rigged economy."

The Washington Post took this tweet a step forward and compared how much money the family makes compared to their employees. Based on the amount of shares they hold and their prices, the family makes $1.51 million an hour while their employees (on average) make $12 an hour. An average employee makes $24,960 in a year, while the Walton family makes $25,149 in a minute.

Julia Koch allegedly mistreated her husband

Julia Koch married businessman David Koch in 1996 and was with him until his death in 2019. However, former employees have said the marriage wasn't a happy one and, towards the end, Julia completely mistreated her husband and hid spendings from him.

Felicia Racine used to work for the Koch family as a bodyguard, but in 2020 she came forward and spoke about Julia's shady behavior towards her husband. According to what Racine shared with Daily News, Julie used code words to refer to certain things such as trips she was going on so her husband wouldn't know or any visits she had with her lover. Racine also claimed Julia would keep David locked in a room during parties and instructed her employees to keep an eye on him so he wouldn't leave the room. She claimed, "I was always under the impression that they had so much money, if you don't just bite your tongue and go along with things, they'll get rid of you."

In 2021, the New York Post reported that Racine had taken back her allegations, "My time working with the Koch family was very rewarding. Unfortunately, following my departure, I shared information about the family with the media that I have since learned was inaccurate or false." Besides her statements, the allegations cannot be confirmed or denied.

Jacqueline Mars had a controversial divorce

Jacqueline Mars, granddaughter of the founder of Mars Incorporated, is the perfect example of having one terrible marriage and choosing to never marry again. In 1986, she married Hank Vogel and, less than ten years later, she divorced him in what was a controversial divorce in which the court had to intervene.

Tampa Bay reported in 1993 that Mars had filed for divorce, accusing Vogel of cruelty. In turn, Vogel claimed, "I feel I'm being dumped like a sack of potatoes," and sued his soon-to-be ex-wife to claim some of the family's money. According to his claims, Mars had deceived him by telling him she was worth $30 million but had no access to the family money — before that, it had taken him a while to connect her to the Mars empire because he met her under the name Badger.

The Washington Post shared Vogel's statement in which he claimed his only interest for filing the suit was to live comfortably after the divorce. "I loved this woman — and in some ways I will always love her, but I made certain changes in my life to accommodate her and she made certain promises to me that she never fulfilled. Now, I find out that she never told me the truth in the first place about what she owned and how much money she had, and I'm not entitled to take advantage of that? Come on."

The couple had signed a prenup that was valid in New Jersey.

Susanne Klatten was blackmailed

Stories of vindictive lovers and blackmail do not only happen in the movies. Susanne Klatten, heiress to BMW, is the living proof that even the wealthiest can fall into the traps of their lovers and can be blackmailed.

In 2007, Klatten met Helg Sgarbi (not knowing he was an expert gigolo and blackmailer), and the two connected over the book "The Alchemist." According to the Daily Mail, much later when speaking to the police, Klatten said, "'He was charming, attentive and at the same time he seemed very sad. That stirred a feeling in me that we had something in common." This feeling of having something in common cost Klatten over £6 million.

Sgarbi fed her lies throughout their entire relationship and, at one point, told her during his trip to Miami he had hurt the daughter of a mafia boss and needed to pay £9.2 million. Because he didn't have all the money, Klatten chose to help him to save his life. The Guardian reported that when Klatten began working with the police, Sgarbi blackmailed her by demanding she pay £43 million or he would release compromising footage of the two of them together.

Klatten's spokesperson told ABC News, "Once Ms. Klatten realized that the relationship with Mr. S. was based on the criminal intent to betray her and extort money, she was determined to take action." In 2009, Sgarbi was sentenced to six years in prison.

Yang Huiyan and the migration documents scandal

Yang Huiyan isn't only one of the wealthiest women in the world, she is also at the top of Asia's richest individuals. That is why it was shocking when her name came up in a secretive migration from China's elite. These elite members obtained golden passports by becoming Cyprus citizens in order to gain European Union citizenship.

Golden passports can be obtained through investments, but in recent years have become controversial. The Charles Weiner Chair in international law at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Peter Spiro, is the expert in dual-citizenship who told Insider, "They're a weak link through which to gain admittance into the EU. The concern is that unsavory and possibly criminal individuals will secure EU passports, which then entitles them to mobility and settlement rights." These passports have also been labeled as the weak spot in the EU's armor.

According to Plataforma, more than 500 names popped up in the list of people who had applied for a golden passport. The investigation was led by Al Jazeera television, but they did not release every name on the list. Huiyan's name was mentioned because of her and her family's political ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

Dasha Zhukova spiked racial controversy with a photo

Dasha Zhukova is better known for being the founder of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and Garage Magazine. Some people may also know her for her marriage of nearly a decade to Roman Abramovich. As one of the wealthiest women in the world, eyes have been on her throughout her entire life, so it was no surprise she was caught for a racist photograph.

In 2014, Zhukova did an interview with Russian website Buro 24/7, and in one of the photographs she was sitting down on a chair shaped as the mannequin of a Black woman with her legs in the air and what looked like a belt tied around them. The Guardian reported the incident and shared Zhukova's statement which read: "This photograph, which has been published completely out of context, is of an art work intended specifically as a commentary on gender and racial politics. I utterly abhor racism, and would like to apologize to anyone who has been offended by this image."

Many commented on the incident, including journalist Alex Rees, who wrote about it for Cosmopolitan. In his article, he highlighted that this kind of art shouldn't exist, but that it clearly exists for the wealthy to feel edgy, provocative, and racist. At the same time, Buro 24/7 apologized if the post had been insulting, but instead of taking it down, they blurred out the image.