The past of the entrepreneur and designer Jill Dodd, founder of the international brand of sports apparel Roxy, is without a doubt exotic. His life took an unexpected turn for a weekend in the early eighties, when with 20 years working as a model in Paris. Revealed to the BBC a world that few know.
It all started with an invitation to a party…
«My agent called me to ask me if I wanted to go to Monte Carlo with her and I said ‘Yes… wonderful!’. The night that we went to a party insane».
The place was Le Pirate, where waiters in long hair and without a shirt on playing guitar while a campfire crackling, six meters tall, lit up the sky.
«A ‘pirate’, he gave me a glass of champagne. I took it and threw the cup into the fire, as the other guests. It was all so wild and decadent. She wanted to dance and saw a man sitting at the table that seemed harmless: it was like the dad of a friend. We looked at each other and started to dance around the campfire».
«While we were dancing, my agent approached me and asked if I knew who was dancing. I answered no, that I didn’t care. I said: ‘Adnan Khashoggi’ and asked: ‘What is Adnan Khashoggi?’… do not I understood nothing«.
Khashoggi was a saudi billionaire, arms dealer and known for its role in some of the most famous scandals of the eighties, among them the Iran-Contra or Irangate, (1985 and 1986), in which the united States, under the government of Ronald Reagan, sold weapons to the iranian government that was at war with Iraq, and funded the movement Against nicaragua, two operations forbidden by the Senate. Khashoggi was a key intermediary.
Written with blood
«When we sat down, he went up the sleeve and wrote «I love You» on my arm in big letters and red».
«At first I didn’t realized that it had been written with blood.»
«I sat down to try to understand what had just happen (…)
I was lost in my own world, giddy with alcohol and surrounded by strangers in this crazy place. The only thing I did was look at my arm (…)
I liked to write ‘I love You’. I cleaned it up«
Jill Dodd in his book «The currency of love» (The currency of love)
«I thought it was fun. When we danced it was so innocent, childlike and fun. And when he did that I thought was very imaginative. People do crazy things in Europe in the holidays… scandalous, sometimes.»
«At the end of the night, my agent told me that Adnan wanted me to go to their boat for coffee. I replied that the only thing that I wanted to do was go to sleep». I said: ‘But it is that pot that you see there’, pointing towards the Mediterranean. There was a boat that looked like a liner… I had never seen a boat so big«.
Jill was not to have coffee that night, but accepted an invitation to dinner the following night.
«The ship was huge. He had at least ten rooms, a disco, a hospital that could do open heart surgery (…) When we arrived we asked if we wanted to have a change of clothes and took us to a room full of evening gowns haute couture. I was impressed».
«After an elegant dinner, I asked him if he wanted to show me the boat. We went to his room: the bed was covered in skins, the handles of the doors were made of gold and had walls James Bond-style rotating to reveal hidden rooms… it seemed to me that it was all a big nifty machine».
A machine whose next owner was Donald Trump, the current president of the united States.
«Adnan was behaving as if I would really like to know who I was and what were my interests. We sat chatting for hours. Although I said: ‘I have to be honest: I know everything about you. I had to investigarte for security reasons'».
«I knew where I was born, my dad was a firefighter, in which I had worked… a normal person would have been shocked but I was not very fast judging people,» he recalls.
«After that night, I definitely wanted to see you again, but I didn’t know if it ever would happen. Do you know how sometimes you meet people who seem familiar, as if had known before, and don’t know why but everything fits?».
«In addition, I left a good impression that I would not have tried to kiss me. That made me think of him more». And thus continued the relationship for a while, without there being anything physical.
Wife of pleasure
«We were with a group in Marbella and Adnan had not yet arrived. One night I woke up, I took my hand and led me to her suite. We started talking and suddenly he asked: ‘would You like a bubble bath?’. I got to the tub, he sat down on the edge and chatted.
«Then we went to her bedroom and then I wanted to kiss him. But he said: ‘I can Not kiss you until you agree to a contract’. I didn’t understand what I was talking about. He explained to Me: ‘I will not be the case in the traditional way’. Compared with the royalty in Saudi Arabia and other powerful men that is allowed to have three wives legal, and 11 wives of pleasure.
«‘I wish you were my wife of pleasure. Let us make a contract of 5 years. I will take care of you, I’ll be able to contact at any time, if you want to see me I’ll send the plane. You’ll be able to go out with other men…’, so I proposed marriage of pleasure».
«To me, I didn’t care about all that. I wanted to be independent… and I wanted to kiss it».
I was about 12 cms. higher than him, his head was round and bald and had a belly… it seemed To me adorable!»
Jill Dodd talking to the BBC about Adnan Khashoggi, whom he met when she was 20 and he 44 years of age.
The contract was not written, but verbal. With a kiss was sealed and Jill became his wife pleasure.
«That meant that I had his life style when he was with him: he lived in their beautiful homes, staffed by domestic servants, fed by chefs, relaxed by massage therapists. To Adnan he was fascinated by the fashion and liked to dress up».
«Not what I left everything to be with him. I kept paying my rent, lived alone and worked».
Jill was aware that he was a man extremely rich, but did not yet know that Khashoggi was the arms dealer.
«I didn’t even know what their surname was. And there was no internet… how was I going to find that information? I knew was that I was interested and that I wanted to spend more time with him.»
«A long time passed before I was aware of how he made money. I asked him at the beginning but it did not mention guns.»
«It was on a trip to Las Vegas that told me he was closing a big business. When I explained what it was I exclaimed: ‘But these are machines of war!‘ and I answered: ‘Not all countries the right to defend themselves in a war with other countries?'».
The other women
«I met the other wives of pleasure in meetings or at dinners. With the time became normal. We were trying to with respect but kept the distance. I felt that I was special to him. It was later that he began to change.»
«One night he brought me a necklace that was for another person. I was asleep in my bed and he came in the middle of the night with a package. I kissed her on the head and I turned around and said: ‘I was wrong room! Stay with the gift'».
«I felt shattered. That was the first time I really injured».
«I started to study and so I was not with him as much as before. Then I realized that I was looking for another woman. I found it horrifying. Adnan and I were in his suite when a man came in with a folder large black that had pictures of models».
The began to look at and suddenly I realized what was going on.
‘What are you doing? Are you looking for girls to buy? What was as well as me did you find? What I chose in a catalogue?‘. Looked at each other and began to laugh».
«I felt betrayed. Everything erupted at that moment. At that time, he had hordes of women around. Everything was each time it was more sordid».
«Then I met a girl named Rene, who was identical to me, only less high and more young. I began to feel that he was too old for him (he was then 22 years old)».
Jill was, but he kept in contact with Khashoggi for years.
«He called Me and asked me if I wanted to go back with him. If you had ever told me that he loved me and wanted to be only with me, without the harem, would have been considered».
«Adnan died on the day that I published my book (June 6, 2017). For me, it was a shock that took me a week. In the middle of the night I woke up crying and felt that I was speaking to him, telling him that he wanted to».
«Really I don’t have more than memories fond of him. For most that sounds crazy, it was one of the healthier relationships that I’ve had with a man.»
«There was a lot of honesty. I respected him, I never spoke with cruelty. In fact, after the relationship with Adnan, I was in an abusive relationship with an american which was horrible. As an adult woman -I’m 57 years old and I have been happily married for almost 20 years – still remember her as a beautiful friendship».
However, if one of his two daughters, said that he is in a relationship as she had with Khashoggi, «feel terror».