No really, you would have never guessed: She's not even a celebrity.
We read some pretty crazy things from day-to-day but, we have to admit, this one floored us: Vanity Fair's April 2015 issue features an interesting, in-depth look at the life and (shopping) times of Saudi princess Maha bint Mohammed bin Ahmad al-Sudairi, who, well, back in 2009 reportedly dropped $20 million (read: $20 million) in one insane Parisian shopping jaunt. The kicker? The princess allegedly didn't, er, pay for all that she bought at the time. (Ah, to be rich and able to walk out of a store with goods in exchange for just being...rich.)
Yes, the story asserts that Princess Maha left "Payment to follow" notes (as we do...in our dreams) at luxe boutiques in Paris' most exclusive shopping districts.
But having wealth and privilege doesn't mean you don't have to eventually pay up, however: The princess was chased for her debts to the extent that, at one point, at least one of the 30 vendors waiting for payment camped in the lobby of Hotel George V to settle bills, some of which had to be settled in civil court.
The 2009 hubbub didn't stop Princess Maha from exerting her expensive tastes in Paris: Vanity Fair's story begins with an anecdotal account of how, in 2012, she tried to flee a $7 million bill at the famed Shangri-La hotel. (She and her entourage reportedly occupied 41 rooms in the hotel for five months.)
So how did Princess Maha get out of the trouble? Some debts, according to reports, were settled by the Saudi Embassy. Hotel George V is owned by her cousin Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, which doesn't hurt when you're causing a payment-seeking vendor sit-in in the lobby. And once the bills were indeed paid, the collectors became quiet about any wrong-
spendingdoing on Princess Maha's behalf.
And really, if you're as wide-eyed about this tall shopping tale as we are, you have to also give a more critical gaze to the luxury boutiques and hotels that allow the rich to take liberties until, well, they leave a $20 million trail of I.O.U.s.
Vanity Fair's April 2015 issue is on newsstands now.