Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie have found themselves embroiled in one of their father’s scandals.
Turkish millionaire Nebahat Evyap Isbilen recently filed a lawsuit in the high court against her financial advisor, Selman Turk (35), a former Goldman Sachs banker, to return her missing millions.
The heiress claims she is missing £40 million (R764m) of the £67m (R1,2 billion) with which she entrusted the businessman while fleeing her country. At the time her husband, Ilhan Isbilen, was imprisoned for terrorism.
Turk allegedly paid disgraced royal Prince Andrew more than £1m (R19,1m); his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, a sum of £225 000 (R4,2m); and his daughter, Princess Eugenie, £25 000 (R477 500) in 2019.
Prince Andrew’s share included an amount of £750 000 (R14,3m) paid into his account a few days after Turk won a prize at the royal’s Shark Tank-style Pitch@Palace competition, an initiative set up to support entrepreneurs by providing them with the opportunities to access mentors and advisors, Nebahat says.
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At the time, Nebahat believed she'd paid the prince in return for his assistance with obtaining a new passport after she fled her country, but Andrew and Turk told her bankers that the money was a wedding gift to Princess Beatrice, who married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in 2020.
“Mr Turk told me that he received help from the Duke of York to show or send the picture of my old passport to Turkey and that this service would normally be worth £2 million [R38,2m], but it would cost less if we made the payment by way of a gift,” Nebahat told the high court.
“I have seen an email from Mr Turk to Hampden Bank explaining that this transfer was a wedding gift to Princess Beatrice owing to the close connection between our families. This email is entirely false.”
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie were reportedly not aware of their father’s dealings with the financial adviser and have had no contact with him.
“On 31 March 2022, I received a letter from solicitors Peters & Peters representing their client Nebahat Evyap Isbilen in her claim against a Mr Selman Turk, and various companies,” Princess Eugenie said in a statement.
“I know neither Mrs Isbilen nor Mr Turk (nor any other details of the claim) and I was surprised to receive this letter, which asked me to explain two payments made to my bank account in October 2019, which I understood to be gifts from a long-standing family friend to assist with the cost of a surprise party for my mother, Sarah, Duchess of York's sixtieth birthday.”
Eugenie added that in 2019, she received a phone call from a family friend, saying he wanted to contribute to Fergie’s birthday party. “I suggested that any contribution could be made directly to the caterers, but in the event provided my account details to which two payments were made totalling £25 000, which I then transferred on to the company organising my mother's party.”
Eugenie is now consulting with her lawyers about the matter.
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Fergie has also released a statement regarding the matter, saying she was unaware of the allegations that were brought against Turk.
The Duchess of York started working as a brand ambassador for green energy company Pegasus. The company had allegedly wanted to pay her in instalments, but Fergie wanted to be paid in a lump sum. Unable to pay the duchess the full amount, Turk then agreed to take over the debt from Pegasus and paid the money to her.
“She is naturally concerned by what has been alleged against him,” the statement read.
Buckingham Palace has yet to comment on the matter.
The scandal comes just months after Prince Andrew reached an out-of-court settlement, allegedly worth millions, with Virginia Giuffre, who is one of the victims of convicted sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking ring,
Virginia alleges that Epstein forced her to have sex with Andrew but the royal has denied any wrongdoing.
He has, however, apologised in a statement for being associated with the sex offender. “Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein and commends the bravery of Ms Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.”
Sources: People, International Business Times, The Guardian, Yahoo