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Athina Helene Onassis Roussel (born January 29, 1985) is a French-Greek heiress, the only surviving descendant of Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, and the sole heir of Aristotle's daughter Christina Onassis, who inherited 55% of his fortune. The remaining 45%, minus the $26 million left to Onassis' widow Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, was left to the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, established in honor of Alexander Onassis, Aristotle's late son, and Athina's uncle. The two halves of the fortune are separately managed. Despite keen investigation by the media, the extent of Onassis' wealth remains unknown.

Athina Onassis
Hessischen Ministerpräsidenten Athina Onassis-de Miranda with Babouch 5 2013.jpg
Athina Onassis (2013)
Born Athina Helene Onassis Roussel
(1985-01-28) January 28, 1985 (age 33)
Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Education Lussy-sur-Morges
Occupation Equestrian athlete
Owner of AD Sport Horses
Net worth US $720 million (2016)
Spouse(s) Álvaro Affonso de Miranda Neto
(m. 2005; div. 2017)
Parent(s) Thierry Roussel
Christina Onassis
Wiesbaden 2013

Onassis married Brazilian Olympic showjumper Álvaro de Miranda Neto in 2005. The couple legally separated in 2016; divorce negotiations began almost immediately, with Onassis hiring the notorious lawyer Robert Stephan Cohen[2], whose work on behalf of the likes of Ivana Trump and Marla Maples earned him the reputation of being the "pit bull"[3] of divorce lawyers. She is a competitive show jumper[4] in select events of the Global Champions Tour.[5]


Early lifeEdit

Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, Onassis is the only child of Christina Onassis (1950–1988) and her fourth husband, Thierry Roussel, a French pharmaceutical heir and brother of Christine Hélène, the current duchess of Luynes by her marriage with Jean d'Albert, 12th duc de Luynes. Prior to her December 2005 marriage, her legal name was Athina Roussel. There was a period immediately following her marriage to Alvaro Alfonso de Miranda Neto when the press reported that she had assumed the name of "Athina de Miranda".[6] However, in 2006, she changed her name to "Athina Onassis", notably registering herself as such in the Avlona Riding Club in Athens, Greece.[7][8] From that point forward, she is invariably listed in equestrian results as "Athina Onassis" of Greek nationality.[4][5]

Athina's parents were married only briefly, from 1984 to 1987.[9] They divorced after Roussel's mistress, Swedish model Marianne "Gaby" Landhage, became pregnant with their second child.[9] Athina was born 12 years after the death of her uncle Alexander, 11 years after the death of the grandmother after whom she was named, Athina "Tina" Livanos, and ten years after the death of grandfather Aristotle. Athina was just three years old when her mother Christina died of pulmonary edema in November 1988. After her mother's death, she was raised by her father and Landhage, whom Roussel later married.[9]

For her early education, she attended a school in Lussy-sur-Morges (Switzerland), where the Roussels lived in a five-bedroom villa. Following a preparatory course in Brussels, she passed her baccalauréat exam in the summer of 2003.[10]

Onassis has three half-siblings, via her father's relationship with his second wife, Gaby Landhage: Erik Christopher Roussel (born July 1985), Sandrine Roussel (born May 1987), and Johanna Roussel (born July 1991).

Personal fortuneEdit

The extent of Onassis's inheritance is the subject of much argument. Sources do not agree on whether her collective heritage is worth at least $1 billion, even though she is often credited as the "billionaire heiress" throughout the media. There have been several calculations of the assets believed to be part of her inherited portfolio, including the Greek island of Skorpios, which was sold to trusts connected with Ekaterina Rybolovleva.[11][12] Some accounts claim that her collective heritage is less than $1 billion, thus not actually making her a legitimate billionaire.[13] One cause for confusion is the media's tendency to blur the line of distinction between what she owns and what the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation owns.[13]

Legal entanglementsEdit

Christina Onassis never trusted Thierry Roussel completely, which led the family to arrange for a Board of Administrators to control the family's money until Athina came of age.[7][8] The trustees Christina selected to manage Athina's estate in the event of Christina's death were Stelio Papadimitriou, Paul Ioannidis, Apostolos Zabelas, Theodore Gabrielides, and Thierry Roussel.[14] The "four Greeks" (the board members other than Roussel) have frequently been dubbed in the media as the "greybeards."[15] During Athina's childhood and adolescence, all expenditures made on her behalf by her father (using money from the Onassis inheritance) had to be approved by the Board in advance (which led her father to threaten constantly to move back to Paris, France, with the family, where income taxes would cost the estate a "small fortune a year", as he put it).[15] In 1999, a Vaduz court ordered the management of Athina's inheritance transferred from the five trustees selected by her mother to the KPMG Fides auditing firm in Lucerne.[16]

In 1999, at the age of 13, she said in court documents she felt "great aversion to anything Greek", even though her mother was Greek. In one of few public interviews, published in Oggi, an Italian magazine, Athina stated that she blamed "all the problems" on the Onassis name. Similarly, her stepmother, Gaby, stated on 20/20 with Diane Sawyer that Athina had told her "if she could burn all the Onassis money, she would do it."[17]

On Athina's 18th birthday, she was of legal age to take control of half of her inheritance.[18] However, on her 21st birthday in January 2006, she did not take control of the other half or become the president of the Onassis Foundation, as was expected. The Foundation's Board stated that they would not turn over its control to Athina, who they claimed was unqualified, and furthermore denied that she ever was an heir to the estate of Aristotle Onassis.[19] Athina's lawyers unsuccessfully fought to instate her as President of the Foundation.[20]

Stelios Papadimitriou, President of the Foundation, remarked: "We are not going to turn the Onassis Foundation over to someone who has no connection with our culture, our religion, our language or our shared experiences, and who never went to college or worked a day in her life. She can do whatever she wants with what she inherited from her mother, but not with Onassis's legacy to the Greek people in memory of [Athina's uncle], Alexander Onassis."[8]

Her divorce from Miranda was obviously her most recent and itself a rather dramatic legal entanglement in the courts of Antwerp, Belgium, where Onassis has been living.[21] Miranda challenged the prenuptial agreement, wanting to receive Alimony payments.[1] There were custody disputes over the many horses that were jointly owned by the couple during their marriage.[22] The divorce was finally settled in November 2017.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

She began dating Brazilian professional showjumper (and two-time Olympic medalist) Álvaro de Miranda Neto, more commonly known as "Doda", in March 2003, and moved to São Paulo. She paid $8.6 million for a 10,600-square-foot (980 m2) duplex, with space for 15 cars and overlooking Ibirapuera Park.[10][23]

Miranda and Onassis were married on 3 December 2005. The bride's father and stepmother were not at the ceremony, although her half-sister Sandrine Roussel was invited.[23][24][25][26]

According to reports, the wedding guests consumed 1000 bottles of champagne.[6] Most witnesses were Brazilian VIPs or friends of the couple from the equestrian community. Miranda & Onassis decided not to publish photos of the wedding, as previously planned, after a television report aired some days before the wedding about the death of her mother. The couple reportedly asked for no presents and asked their guests to donate to charity.[27]

In 2016, Onassis and Miranda decided to separate, following an infidelity by Miranda in March 2016 in Florida, U.S.[28]

Equestrian careerEdit

Athina Onassis with AD Crosshill, CSI 5* horse show Hamburg 2011

Onassis began her equestrian career as a teenager, when she was still known as Athina Roussel. At an event in Jerez, Spain she finished placed second in a round where Infanta Elena had placed eighth.[7] That was in 2001 and it marked the beginning of the major Greek riding clubs taking notice of her; several years later, after her marriage, she chose the Avlona Riding Club in Athens, expressed an interest in learning Greek and renewed her Greek passport.[10] She also switched her national affiliation from France to Greece for all of her equestrian competitions.[8]

Onassis and her husband had a home base in São Paulo, but they traveled throughout the year with the Global Champions Tour, of which Onassis was official patroness.[29] The Rio de Janeiro leg of the tour is, in fact, named the Athina Onassis International Horse Show; established in 2007, it was initially set in São Paulo, but as of 2009, its venue is a newly renovated center in Rio de Janeiro.[30] Onassis and her husband are also joint owners of AD Sport Horses, based in Fleurus.[31]

In November 2012, Onassis suffered a spinal injury in a fall from her horse, but was reported to be returning to competition in January 2013.[32]

In February 2014, Onassis paid $12 million cash for a 5.6 acre estate and barn in Wellington, a village in Palm Beach County, Florida. Onassis planned to keep and train her horses on the property during the winter.[33] She sold the estate in April 2017 for $12.75 million.[34]

According to the 'fast facts' in her Global Champions Tour bio, she represented Greece in the 2013 European Show Jumping Championships and the 2014 World Championships.[4]



  1. ^ a b c "Athina Onassis Victoriously Finalizes Divorce Against Ex-Husband Gr…". 2018-01-29. Archived from the original on 2018-01-29. 
  2. ^ "Inside the Lonely World of Athina Onassis". 2018-01-29. Archived from the original on 2018-01-29. 
  3. ^ "El divorcio de Athina, la heredera de los Onassis: caballos, dinero e…". 2018-01-29. Archived from the original on 2018-01-29. 
  4. ^ a b c "Athina Onassis - GLOBAL CHAMPIONS LEAGUE". 2018-01-29. Archived from the original on 2018-01-29. 
  5. ^ a b "Athina Onassis - LONGINES GLOBAL CHAMPIONS TOUR". 2018-01-29. Archived from the original on 2018-01-29. 
  6. ^ a b "Athina ties the knot with Doda in lavish style". 2018-01-29. Archived from the original on 2018-01-29. 
  7. ^ a b c Mantheakis, Alexis (2012). Athina Onassis: In the Eye of the Storm (Kindle ed.). Kiboss Publications. p. 121. ISBN 978-1479304899. 
  8. ^ a b c d "The Last Onassis Vanity Fair". 2018-01-29. Archived from the original on 2018-01-29. 
  9. ^ a b c Michelle Green & Cathy Nolan, "Thierry Roussel Tells His Story - of Love for Two Women and Little Athina",, March 20, 1989
  10. ^ a b c Gage, Nicholas: "The Last Onassis." Vanity Fair, Issue 537. May 2005
  11. ^ Morgan Brennan (15 April 2013). "Confirmed: Russian Billionaire Heiress Buys Famed Greek Island Of Skorpios". Forbes. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  12. ^ Busvine, Douglas (13 April 2013). "Russian billionaire's daughter buys Onassis island Skorpios". Reuters. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Goldman, Lea (3 March 2003). "Is Athina Onassis Really a billionaire?". 
  14. ^ Stelio Papadimitriou's obituary
  15. ^ a b Klein, Edward (November 1997). "The Battle Over the Golden Girl". Vanity Fair. 
  16. ^ Athens News Agency (December 8, 1999). "Onassis Foundation not to appeal Swiss court ruling". 
  17. ^ "Hostage to fortune";; January 25, 2003
  18. ^ Daryn Kagan interviewing Alexis Mantheakis (January 29, 2003). "Heiress Comes of Age". CNN LIVE. 
  19. ^ The Foundation Estate at
  20. ^ [Smith, Helena: "Legal row taints special day for Onassis heiress Athina", The UK Guardian, 28 January 2006]
  21. ^ "Divorce: l'héritière Athina Onassis, empêtrée dans une bataille judic…". 2018-01-29. Archived from the original on 2018-01-29. 
  22. ^ "Ownership of Doda de Miranda's Olympic Horse Cornetto K in Question –…". 2018-01-29. Archived from the original on 2018-01-29. 
  23. ^ a b Watson, Jeremy; "O what a wedding... and in Jackie's dress too" News; December 4, 2005
  24. ^ Smith, Helena; "Another Onassis wedding - another drama"; The Guardian December 2, 2005
  25. ^ Zahar, Cristina; "Billionaire Onassis Heiress Weds Brazilian Equestrian Champ"; Reuters/Washington; December 5, 2005
  26. ^ Williams, Alexandra; "Daddy stays away as Onassis heiress weds her playboy"; Daily Mail, December 5, 2005
  27. ^ [Silverman, Stephen: "Athina Onassis Weds Brazilian Horseman", People Magazine, 3 December 2005]
  28. ^
  29. ^ Letter from Athina Onassis de Miranda, Global Champions Tour official website
  30. ^ Athina Onassis International Horse Show
  31. ^ Ormsby, Mary: "The horse, the heiress, and the golden hurdle", 3 June 2007
  32. ^ Waterlow, Lucy (14 January 2013). "Heiress Athina Onassis de Miranda recovers from spinal injury to attend equestrian competition". Daily Mail. London. 
  33. ^ Jose Lambiet (2014-02-17). "Heiress Athina Onassis Buys Wellington Horse Barns for $12 Million". 
  34. ^ "Athina Onassis Sells Wellington Horse Farm For $12.75 Million!". 2017-04-07. 

Further readingEdit