Conrad Black and the mysterious cash flows

Well, not that much of a mystery actually. Federal prosecutors are trying to find out more about the "apparent free flow of millions of dollars" to former press baron Conrad Black from his wife Barbara Amiel, according to the latest report

Remember, Black, who has pleaded not guilty to plundering millions of dollars from his Hollinger International media empire, is due to stand trial in March and for all intents and purposes now, he is a man of no apparent means of income.

Questions have already been asked about how he has been paying his bills, including $9000 for someone to do the garden.

So in his latest filing, Black has revealed Amiel lent him $2.3 million from January through to April.

"Essentially, it appears that whenever Black needs money, his wife (or at the very least her corporation) stands ready to provide millions of dollars in cash without so much as a promissory note," they told U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve.

That's on top of the "loans" from friends and the proceeds of sales of mystery shares.

It must be love!

But then Amiel, the jobbing journalist who married Black, is a complicated kind of woman, as revealed by former Toronto Star and Macleans editor Peter Newman in his book Here Be Dragons.

Newman doesn't pull any punches either. And it makes Juicy reading.
Consider this extract from Macleans back in 2004.

"What I didn't count on was the extent to which Barbara would use her striking appearance to further her career. She was the sort of woman who kept spilling out of her dresses, then blamed the dresses. In her private life, she readily confessed that she had "run amok among many lives," but desperately wanted to be taken seriously for her professional attitude. She was often the enemy of her promise. You don't advertise your intellect by sashaying to work in thigh-high boots, a tight sweater tucked into tighter jeans held up by a heavy leather belt dripping with metal studs. She reportedly proclaimed that clothes were her "sexual armour," which didn't really justify her wardrobe, since it was a come-on instead of a deterrent…
"She was Josephine to Conrad Black's Napoleon, a middle-class ethnic girl with matchless ambitions but limited hopes of entering high society, until she captivated a powerful man who would make her his empress, from which heights she could dictate fashions, organize literary salons and influence tastes and ideas. Conversely, he was the tactical genius who became a bumbling nerd when confronted by an alluring woman. Nearly four years older than Conrad, she looked 20 years his junior..
"Why did Conrad marry Barbara? For several reasons, according to his most intimate confidants: for one, she was his intellectual soulmate; for another, she introduced him to the delights of oral sex. To watch them together at the height of their renown was to witness a mesmerizing ballet of sensuality and power. She moved inside Conrad's field of force, trembling like a magnetic compass needle, her high spirits in harmony with his. She had his number; with her, he was reborn."

Obviously real soul-mates there.


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