Appearance: Impeccably well-dressed.
Really? He’s not even wearing a tie. Well, he does shop at Dolce Gabbana.
That’s not stylish. That’s naff. It’s a moot point.
Fine. But how do you know where he shops? It was October 2007. The Russian oligarch was perusing threads at DG’s Sloane Street outlet in west London when he spotted his rival Roman Abramovich entering the Hermès shop next door.
Hermès? That’s more like it. Shush. Berezovsky had wanted to serve Abramovich a legal writ for some time, so he dashed over to Hermès to deliver it by hand. “I’ve got a present for you,” Berezovsky reportedly said.
How lovely! What was in the present? The writ, cretin. It set off a chain of legal proceedings culminating in this week’s “Berezovsky vs Abramovich” court case.
What’s their beef? Berezovsky claims the Chelsea FC owner blackmailed him into underselling his shares in Sibneft, the Russian oil company they allegedly bought together in the 90s.
Did Abramovich have some pictures of Berezovsky in a gimp suit? Categorically not. But Berezovsky had angered Russia‘s then-president, Vladimir Putin, and been forced into exile. So Abramovich – Berezovsky claims – tried to kick him while he was down. He threatened – Berezovsky claims – to ask Putin to expropriate Berezovsky’s Sibneft shares unless he sold them to Abramovich at a knockdown price.
What’s does Roman say about it? That Berezovsky never owned any Sibneft shares.
How much cash does Bez – can I call him Bez? – want? More than £3bn. And no.
Bezza? All right then. Bezza.
Poor Bezza! He must be considerably out of pocket. Hardly. Bezza made a fortune in the 90s through the controversial privatisation of various Russian industries. He’s worth £500m.
Do say: “I’m going to make you an offer …”
Don’t say: “… that you may or may not be able to refuse, depending on the outcome of protracted legal proceedings in London in several years’ time.”