A Sad, Useless Life

Heiress: The Story of Christina Onassis


Weidenfeld & Nicolson 216pp £12.95 order from our bookshop

As EVERYONE who has heard of Monte Carlo, Maria Callas and Jackie Onassis knows, Christina Onassis, Bolker, Andreadis, Kausov, Roussel was the much married extremely rich girl who searched for happiness in almost as ruthless a manner as her father went after wealth and power, and her step-mother, Jackie KO chased after the root of all envy.

Christina’s odyssey ended in an Argentine country-club in late autumn 1988. She was 37 years old. As in everything involving her, there was confusion as to the cause of her death. Rumour had it that she committed suicide. An Argentine judge insisted she died of acute pulmonary oedema of the lung, a condition that can precipitate a heart attack. Her last husband’s uncle, by the name of Grinda, claimed the trauma of the spermatozoa implant surgery Christina had been undergoing in order to conceive with his nephew, to have done her in. The few romantics left in the jaded world she lived in believed it was from a broken heart. Nigel Dempster does not state the true reasons for her tragic end because the autopsy was so botched by the authorities there is no way to be sure. Otherwise, he has done his homework. Not only has he done it well, but he has also done it quickly. As of this moment there are two American writers preparing their opera about the most boring woman ever to have a book written about her, which must be good news for Nigel Dempster and the wily Austrian Weidenfeld. Good news because what there is to say about Christina, Dempster says; the people who knew her well enough to say anything of value have already told the world’s numero uno gossip columnist and greatest living Englishman.

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