• Austria's news in English

Vienna man 'blackmailed' Bacardi heiress

The Local · 6 Nov 2014, 16:52

Published: 06 Nov 2014 16:52 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Former playboy Raphael Abarth, 57, is the stepson of the legendary car designer. He is in custody and will appear in Vienna Regional Criminal Court on November 20th, according to a report in the Kurier newspaper.

Bacardi, 54, accuses Abarth of trying to extort €110,000 from her via threats. “I lived in fear for mine and my daughter’s life,” she told police.

Abarth, who reportedly lives off just €800 a month, told Bacardi that he had mafia contacts and would sell lurid stories about her to the press.

He claimed to have damaging information about how Italian-born Bacardi, a former typist, came to marry the billionaire Luis Bacardi. Monika Bacardi has said his story is “nonsense”.

Abarth alleges that he helped Bacardi gain access to high society and that they made a pact that she would later pay him €300,000.

Bacardi married the rum baron in 2000 and he died five years later. She didn’t see Abarth again until five years ago when they met at a ball in Kitzbühel.

Bacardi said that after this meeting she gave him money, because she wanted to “help out an old friend” and he “had always been a nice young man”. She reportedly gave him money so he could pay for dental work and a faith healer.

Abarth then said that she owed him €110,000 and sent a demand through a lawyer. At this point Bacardi decided things had got out of hand and refused to give him more money.

She said that he then became “aggressive” and threatened her. Abarth’s lawyer said that his client “never acted with intent to blackmail”.

Story continues below…

Police in Vienna said that Abarth had links to organized crime networks and was also wanted by police in Italy after being convicted in absentia for drug smuggling. He has been held in police custody since August 20th.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available