BMW And The Case Of The German Gigolo

March 9, 2009

The country that foisted lederhosen on the world is embroiled in another kinky scandal--this one involving the world's 55th richest person, Susanne Klatten, and one Mr. Helg Sgarbi.

Sgarbi was Klatten's gigolo, and while he was bilking Klatten for €7,000,000 (~$8,800,000), he was also secretly recording their trysts, one of which took place in a Holiday Inn in Munich. Swanky.

Klatten finally wised up to Sgarbi and tried to break off their relationship, but Sgarbi got testy and brought out the tapes, insisting that Klatten fork over another €14,000,000 (~$17,600,000) or he'd send the tapes to the press.

And as if the story weren't weird enough, that's a photo of Sgarbi on the left (above his American counterpart, Mr. Gere). It's like a whole 'nother world over there.

Unlike certain hotel heiresses we could name, Klatten went straight to the police, and Sgarbi was arrested--not for prostitution, since that's legal in Germany, but for blackmail, extortion, and a host of other charges filed by Klatten and two other women who fell victim to Sgarbi's, ahem, charms. The trial begins today, and Sgarbi's lawyer admits that the charges against him "are, at their core, true." Which isn't the sort of thing you'd expect to hear from an American lawyer, but like we said: a whole 'nother world.

How does all this relate to cars, you ask? Well, Klatten is a member of the Quandt family, who together own 46% of BMW--you know, the same Quandt family we mentioned earlier today who are afraid of a hostile takeover from Damiler?

Seems like the Germans are having nothing but trouble with merging these days.

[sources: MotorAuthorityTelegraph]

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