Saudi Princess Maha Al-Sudairi Accused of Dodging $2M Bill
(NEW YORK) -- An Aston Martin, Rolls Royce Phantom and a sea of other luxury vehicles appeared to be at Princess Maha Al-Sudairi's beck and call while living at the Shangri-La Hotel in Paris last year.
Although the flashy vehicles were parked outside the hotel her entire six-month stay, the director of the luxury car company that provided the vehicles said he's yet to receive $2 million worth of back payments.
"She left on June 17 because her ex-husband had died, and since that time we have been waiting for our payment," said Sarkis Sarkis, 48, director of Cinquieme Etoile, who claims the princess stopped making payments in April.
This isn't the first time that Al-Sudairi, the ex-wife of Saudi Arabia's former Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has been accused of skipping out on a bill.
In 2009, the princess reportedly racked up a $20 million tab worth of unpaid meals, jewels and expensive lingerie via informal IOU's, according to the British daily newspaper The Independent.
Because Cinquieme Etoile subcontracted two restaurants, three security companies and one pressing service for the princess, Sarkis said, the back payments aren't just affecting his company, but the five others, as well.
"It's good to know that we are not alone," he said, "that there are many other companies involved in this invoice."
Sarkis said that he, along with the five companies he subcontracted, filed suit against the princess after several failed attempts to recoup the money.
"We called everybody," he said. "I had an appointment with a military officer here at the embassy and tried to see the ambassador, but no one wants to talk to us. Nobody cares."
A judge recently ruled in the companies' favor, agreeing to seize three of Al-Sudairi's storage spaces worth $15 million. The expensive jewels, clothing and artwork within the storage spaces will eventually be sold off to pay her debt.
Yet Sarkis said he's doubtful the money will reach him or the companies he subcontracted anytime soon.
The princess has allegedly invoked diplomatic immunity and has refused to hire a layer to address the suit, according to The Independent.
ABC News' calls and emails to the Saudi embassies in Paris and Washington failed to yield a comment on the case either from Saudi officials or Al-Sudairi.
In June of last year, headlines lit up with claims that the princess attempted to sneak out of the Shangri-La Hotel in the middle of the night without paying a $7.5 million bill. The princess and her team of 60 assistants occupied the entire 7th floor for the six-month period they stayed there.
Although Sarkis' company provided up to 30 luxury vehicles for the princess and her crew each day, Sarkis said she rarely left the hotel.
"She came out from the hotel during those six months only about 20 times," he said. "She spent her time sleeping and, I guess, I don't know, drinking, something like that."
Despite claims that the princess failed to pay her hefty bill to the Shangri-La Hotel in Paris, the chain's press relations department said, "the Shangri-La Hotel in Paris has no pending bill issues with any of its guests."
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