Tuesday, May 13, 2014

'The idea I had a harem is madness - I only slept with three of the women who share my Spanish holiday home

A British oil tycoon accused of keeping a harem of models in his Spanish villa insists he has been framed as part of a plot to steal thousands of his possession worth £2million.

Multi-millionaire Shoja Shojai admitted that two former girlfriends and his wife were among the women police took away from his Costa del Sol holiday home - and confessed to fathering two love children.

But he said claims he had slept with all nine of the women who accuse him of duping them into sharing his sordid love nest were 'madness', and denied that he was father to their seven children.

And he insisted one of his ex-lovers lied he had assaulted her so she could steal millions of pounds worth of clothes, Persian rugs and jewellery from his Marbella mansion while he was in custody.

Mr Shojai, 56, who has born in Iran but has spent most of his adult life in the UK, said: 'The idea I had a harem is madness.

'I have slept with three of my female accusers including my wife but I've been seeking a divorce from her for many years and my sexual relationship with the other two women was over long before my arrest.

'The other women were simply friends of theirs who worked with them in the fashion business and had their own homes and came and went from my house when they wanted. The claim I was holding them here against their will is ludicrous.'

Speaking from the sumptuous living room of his rented £6,500-a-month palace, he added: 'Two 45-foot removal trucks were booked two weeks before the women reported me to police and a warehouse in Germany to receive my stuff was booked one month before.

'My house was robbed while I was in the police station answering the domestic violence allegations made against me.

'They took more than 25,000 personal items including all my personal papers, clothes, more than £2million worth of jewellery, 75 Persian rugs and 20 tapestries.

'The ringleader is the woman who went to police first to falsely claim I had assaulted her. She told the others I had been arrested by the FBI and taken to Guantanamo Bay and they needed to pack up and leave before the police arrived and they fell for it.

'I completely and absolutely deny all the allegations made against me. This was a cover-up to rob me. Thankfully I was released from custody in time and we managed to stop the lorries before they left Spain. Eight boxes of my stuff are now in a storage warehouse in nearby Estepona with a police seal round them.'

An investigating magistrate at a court in Marbella is probing the theft claims, while another judge looks into the physical and psychological abuse allegations against him.

Several women have made statements accusing him of threatening to harm them and their families if they left him.

The women, many aspiring models who say they met Mr Shojai in London while they were studying fashion design, have been taken to refuges.

Mr Shojai, who says he started a Swiss-based oil brokerage firm called Universal Resources Industries after a private education in England, has been released from custody and is back at his 10-bedroom home with a gardener and a maintenance man who are standing by him.

He has hired two lawyers to defend him against the abuse accusations and a third to prosecute the women reported to have formed part of his harem for theft.

The nine women, who come from all over Europe and Asia including Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan and Denmark, are being represented by a total of three lawyers.

The two courts probing the extraordinary accusations are conducting their investigations in private and no-one has yet been formally accused or charged.

The women, mostly in their twenties, have declined to speak publicly but have insisted via their lawyers that they stand by their stories and have nothing to do with the alleged multi-million pound theft.

Mr Shojai named one as a 27-year-old fashion designer, the daughter of a Tatar minister in the Russian Republic of Tatarstan who until a year ago was living in the London district of Maida Vale.

He claimed the woman - the first to go to police to claim she had been assaulted - had masterminded the alleged robbery to solve 'major financial problems' she and her family were suffering.

He said another of his accusers was a Russian woman with a Lithuanian passport who he said had a home in Chelsea.

Insisting both women were only occasional visitors to his home and neither lived there permanently, he added: 'I had a sexual relationship four years ago with one woman for one month and with the other approximately two to two-and-a-half years ago for a period of time.

'I was separated from my wife at the time and did not consider myself to be married, and I did not keep a harem here. It's impossible to keep one woman - let alone nine.

'These girls had complete freedom. They had nine cars at their service, they were travelling abroad almost every week. Five of them spent more than a month together in Milan for Milan Fashion Week.

'They used to go a local language school, riding school and dance school and they had three private teachers come here to teach them two different languages and karate.

'They had the best of everything. I can't understand why they didn't just take the jewellery and go instead of making up these abuse allegations about me.'

Denying claims he had fathered seven children with four of his female accusers, he said: 'I have two children with my wife and I recognise two other children as mine. But we are doing some DNA tests at the moment and I don't want to say who the other two belong to.'

He also said reports he had boasted of friendships with Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama were wide of the mark.

'The reports I have been invited to give a lecture at the House of Commons are true,' he added. 'I was invited by an MP but didn't go.'

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