The rise and fall of the “wealthiest divorcee in history” has been extraordinary. A former nude model for her first husband’s Knave magazine and star of adult films such as “The Nine Acres of Nakedness,” Patricia Kluge is the daughter of an Englishman and a Scots-Iraqi. She married her second husband, the late John Kluge, chairman of Metromedia and once the richest man in America, in 1981 after belly dancing for him at a dinner party in New York. As part of her plan to dovetail herself into the top drawer of American society, the couple built a 24,000 square foot mock 18th century English-style mansion, Albermarle, in Virginia and stuffed it full of Chippendale furniture. She got this as part of her $100 million divorce settlement in 1990 and wisely invested part of the payoff in a highly successful business trading football cards but then vanity struck. The Kluge Estate Winery project that she started with her third husband, William Moses, bankrupted the pair in June 2011 and the Bank of America foreclosed on her properties. A lifeline came from “longtime friend” Donald Trump who purchased the vineyard and employed her, but even he’s now uttered the words: “You’re fired!” and sent her packing. Of her newfound predicament Kluge commented: “What did we lose? Material things, nothing too important. When something like this happens you really see who your friends are, those you can rely on, and we have many friends.” Here is a lady with fortitude that can only be described as admirable. It’s probably best, however, to keep her away from the cash register.
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