A French socialite and property owner who was owed millions by the Duke of York has been left furious after discovering that Sarah Ferguson bought a £5 million house in Mayfair.
Isabelle de Rouvre, 74, was owed £6.8 million from the sale of a Swiss chalet back in 2014 – but agreed to receive only half of the sum as she believed the Yorks were struggling financially.
Prince Andrew and his ex-wife bought Ms de Rouvre’s chalet in Verbier for £18 million, but only paid her £13 million upfront. Ms de Rouvre sold to them directly rather than place it on the market after the royals rented it from her during the early 2010s.
The remaining £5 million were to be paid in installments with interest, and by 2021, this had still not been paid and the family owed a total of £6.8 million.
Ms de Rouvre reportedly settled for just £3.4 million, in part because she believed both the Duke of York and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson were short of money.
But today the socialite revealed her outrage after it was revealed Fergie had bought a £5m Mayfair property, said to be a ‘long-term investment’ for her daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
Ms de Rouvre branded the news, ‘incredible and unbelievable’ saying she believed Fergie ‘didn’t have a penny’.
Today, it also emerged that the Prince’s payout to sexual abuse accuser Virgina Guiffre could have been as little as £3 million.
Pictured: Isabelle de Rouvre, 74, was owed £6.8million from the sale of a Swiss chalet back in 2014
The chalet in Verbier, Switzerland, is still owned by the Yorks – Prince Andrew has been trying to sell it but old debts mean it has previously been frozen as an asset
Despite saying in 2010 that she is constantly on the edge of bankruptcy, Sarah Ferguson has splashed out £5 million on the Mayfair property
Sarah Ferguson (pictured with ex-husband Prince Andrew in 2019), 62, is said to have purchased the home from her friend the Duke of Westminster, 31, who became one of the wealthiest men in the country when he inherited his father’s £10billion fortune in 2016
The French socialite told The Telegraph: ‘I understood they didn’t have the money and believed he would be going to prison in America so I thought it best to get what I could.
‘I am outraged that I am now told she has spent millions on another property. It is just incredible and the whole story is unbelievable.
‘It is a dirty story as far as I am concerned.’
Today it emerged the Prince’s payout to Virginia Guiffre, a sex trafficking victim of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, could have been as little as £3 million.
Ms Guiffre reached an out-of-court settlement with the Duke of York this year, which could amount to £12 million when her costs and a donation to a charity of her choosing have been taken into account.
Ms de Rouvre added: ‘I thought they didn’t have a penny’.
Ms Ferguson, who described herself as ‘constantly on the edge of bankruptcy’ in 2010, has now bought a £5million house in central London, just a few minutes’ walk from where Ghislaine Maxwell used to reside.
The property is nestled on a quiet cobbled street home to an eatery popular with The Beatles in the 1960s and more recently Prince Harry, Rihanna and stars of the reality series Made In Chelsea.
Fergie has a history of financial woes, losing more than £3.2million in the collapse of Hartmoor, her US ‘lifestyle and wellness’ company, and was later caught in a tabloid sting offering access to Prince Andrew for £500,000.
Although questions are being asked about her ability to afford the property, sources close to the 62-year-old claim her financial status improved after she launched a writing career that secured various book deals.
Most recently, this included a 22-book deal to include at least three novels of young adult fiction.
In 2011 she accepted £15,000 from Jeffrey Epstein, the paedophile financier who introduced Prince Andrew to Virginia Roberts, now Giuffre, to help her avoid bankruptcy.
The property is split into two flats and is said to be a long-term investment for her daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
The duchess is converting the two flats, which boast a bijou terrace, bar, two reception rooms and a parking garage, into one home.
But sources say she has no plans to leave the grace and favor 30-room Windsor mansion she shares with disgraced ex-husband Prince Andrew – and instead plans to rent out the new property.
A spokesman for Prince Andrew said he had no involvement in the purchase of the property.
The large open plan kitchen features a black marble island and worktops with a sky light and large windows to ensure maximum light
The second floor compromises of a principal bedroom suite with a walk-in wardrobe, a second bedroom suite as well as a private roof terrace
Pictured: The property offers a stunning reception room with a cast-iron fireplace, large window and two floor to ceiling bookcases
The Duke and Duchess of York with their daughters Beatrice (left) and Eugenie (right) in Verbier, Switzerland
Fergie is said to have purchased her new home from her friend the Duke of Westminster, 31, who became one of Britain’s wealthiest people when he inherited his father’s £10billion fortune and the Grosvenor property empire in 2016. He is also a close friend of Prince William and Prince Harry.
People on the street said the Duchess had been spotted viewing the house in the late spring — and seen running into a waiting vehicle. They admitted they were happy to have yet another famous neighbor.
Sources told the Sun that the new Mayfair property is ‘picturesque’ and in ‘one of the very smartest areas of London.’
They added: ‘It had previously been a couple of flats but has been converted to a single property.
‘If the girls are going to inherit it at some stage they’re extremely lucky.
It’s a short walk from the best bars and restaurants in the city, beautiful parks and other hot spots. But God knows where the money has come from — everyone thought they were totally skint.’
The Duke of York has put the Swiss chalet up for sale amid financial worries, in part due to the costly legal battle and eventual settlement with Ms Guiffre over her claims she was a victim of sex trafficking who was forced to have sex with the prince on three separate occasions.
But he has been dealt multiple blows in trying to find a buyer after multiple old debts led to the chalet being frozen as an asset several times.
Ms de Rouvre previously branded the prince a ‘fool’ after the chalet was frozen again in June of this year, after a couple claimed he owed them £1.6 million.
She previously said she pities the couple, whose identity is being kept secret, knowing the stress she experienced trying to recover the money owed to her after she sold Chalet Helora in Verbier to Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson in 2014.
She said: ‘It was a horrible experience. I do not understand how he operates and I feel very sorry for people who are involved with him in business.
It’s really rather unbelievable. He caused me such stress and now it’s claimed other people are owed money too.
‘They [Andrew and Sarah] are so crazy. Hey [Andrew] is an absolute fool and I just cannot understand how he goes about his life.’
A source close to Miss de Rouvre previously said her aggressive court action has ‘severely tarnished’ her friendship with Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, both now 60.
“Isabelle always loved having the Yorks to stay in their chalet and was particularly fond of their two children,” the source said.
‘So she was thrilled that the chalet, which has given her so many happy memories, was being bought by friends. Unfortunately this dispute has ruined everything. Isabelle is deeply upset that it has come to this.’