Uday's idea of a good party
Among the smouldering ruins of Uday's Baghdad palace, Philip Sherwell discovers evidence of a life which revolved around guns, drugs, women, cars and
The playboy existence enjoyed by Saddam's eldest son Uday has emerged in its full debauchery in a set of photographs recovered last week by The
Telegraph from the smouldering ruins of his riverside Baghdad palace.
Other more sinister pictures had already been recovered by US special forces conducting war crimes investigations into Iraq's deposed elite. In one
album, they found photographs of Uday, a known sadist, beating up women and tearing their clothes off.
"It was sick stuff," said Capt Cary Adams, a marine officer. "It really shows what a bad guy he was."
The pictures published here for the first time were taken during a private party at which Uday, 39, surrounded himself with his customary coterie of
The negatives were found in a large cream envelope adorned by the Iraqi eagle, the government crest. "Highly confidential," the envelope read in
Arabic. "Hand deliver only. For His Excellency Uday Saddam Hussein, may God save him."
The pictures show Uday, wearing a typically garish shirt, passionately kissing a series of women. Laughing and joking, he offers a cigar to one
In others, he is smoking a hubble-bubble or recklessly firing a Kalashnikov on the balcony. Significantly, he is seated while the women dance in front
of him - suggesting that he is still suffering the after-effects of a 1996 assassination attempt that almost paralysed him.
Well-informed reports say that he was also left impotent by the attack. None the less, in the grounds of his wrecked palace, we came upon what he
called his "Tower of Babylon" where he would bring the unfortunate women he had picked - sometimes, according to witnesses, strangers whom he
dragged off the roadside - to please him.
His third-floor bedroom was a tasteless throwback to the 1970s, with a mirrored bed, plastic flowers, heart-shaped cushions and panoramic views of the
private lake where he would go windsurfing.
Some girls welcomed the advances of the rich and powerful Uday. Love letters have also been found, one sealed with a lipstick kiss. "Remember me when
you listen to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, which I heard for the first time with you," reads one.
Uday's reputation as a womaniser, drinker and bully eventually turned even his father against him and he was replaced as heir apparent by his younger
and less profligate brother Qusay. In another letter, Uday wrote: "My father wants to go down in history. There is nothing in my heart towards my
father, not any love or kindness."
Throughout the palace and its grounds, evidence of his self-indulgence could be found. In one corner, we found several portraits and photographs that
the famously vain Uday had collected. Among the remnants of the drive, dozens of weapons - ranging from inscribed swords and ceremonial muskets to
sub-machineguns and Kalashnikovs - were scattered.
In cages outside the faux Babylonian gates, American soldiers came across Uday's beloved pets - a lion and two lionesses - now abandoned and pacing
hungrily up and down. The troops were feeding them with dead donkeys.
Pornographic images downloaded from the internet, bags of heroin, expensive liqueurs and vintage cars were found in the ruins of another home, as were
print-outs from medical websites about cirrhosis of the liver - a sign that he was worried about his love of whisky and cognac. He also had
instructions for a "health diagnostic HIV test".
On our palace tour, our final discovery was his dressing-room, packed with hundreds of flamboyant outfits, many never worn. Most bore designer labels:
Dolce & Gabbana or Yves Saint Laurent.
Closer examination, however, revealed that the items were apparently fakes. One pair of trousers bore labels for both Christian Dior and Dolce &
Gabbana, while the name Yves Sanit Laurent appeared inside a jacket.
The fate of its owner is a mystery. Saddam and his sons have not been seen since they reportedly entered a restaurant in Baghdad's al-Mansur district
which was destroyed in a coalition missile attack.