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WHAT A DIVORCE CAN DO TO A WEALTHY AND A CREATIVE MAN!
BY GERMAINE POITIERS
Maximillien de Lafayette wrote 97 books in almost 40 different fields ranging from art history and comparative civilizations to foreign policies, Milano/Paris fashion and mysteries of parapsychology. All sold out. And almost, all of them are out of print. Several books went gold, meaning international bestsellers with 6 editions, distributed in 85 countries. Unfortunately, this prolific creativity ceased to exist some 9 years ago. Until 2003, one could find more than 5,500 listings for his published work, posted and described by all sorts of organizations, universities, booksellers and books distributors, starting with Barnes & Noble and Encyclopedia Britannica, and ending with the United Nations/Fullbright Commission and The University of Hong Kong. It must be, somewhere, somehow, a reason, an explanation why Maximillien de Lafayette ceased to write books, exactly, in the same way, he ceased to paint.
Some close relatives claimed that his bitter divorce battle in the United States and the greed of his ex-wife were the REASON. Some recorded passages of his life in America could substantiate this claim. A reference was made to a court settlement mentioning this bizarre phrase: "...and fifty per cent of the proceeds of the sales of his books, paintings and performed musicals would go to Mrs.------------ (his ex-wife) for a period of twenty years." De Lafayette was advised by one of his lawyers to do so, because it was the only way -at that time- to stop the fleet of lawsuits filed by his ex-wife against him, wherever he went and which continued on a regular basis for more than 10 consecutive years. His ex-wife's lawsuits crippled him. She got lawyers and big time law firms to file her lawsuits against this great man, pro bono, meaning at no cost, free. While De Lafayette had to pay hundreds of thousands of Dollars to his lawyers for a long period of 10 years. Fortunately to a certain degree, I might say, he turned to journalism and produced approximately 15,000 published articles! Not bad! I will refer you to this INDEX ARTICLES WORTH READING. THE ARCHIVES which lists some of his fabulous articles. Or click on the photo, below. This was taken from www.delafayetteworldmedia.org... . I had the pleasure of working on the Index with Ms. Arlette Lagrange and Mrs. Valerie Constand. The INDEX can be found at: SELECTED COLUMNS, IN-DEPTH ARTICLES AND ART CRITIQUES BY MAXIMILLIEN DE LAFAYETTE. CLICK HERE
Despite the fact, that it has become difficult to get a single copy of any of his 97 books, it is still possible to find one or two copies, if one could afford time, lots of research and enormous patience. De Lafayette's books are amazing. The titles are unusual, like the man himself. And the contents are abundant with wealth of information, humor, imposing knowledge and wisdom. I surfed the web and here is what I found; hundreds of listings for his books on booksellers and bookstores websites, such as Barnes & Noble (They don't have any of his books), and other bookstores stretching from New York to Berlin. Contact them, you might get lucky. I was fortunate. I tried and got 2 fabulous books " ONE HUNDRED REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT MARRY AN AMERICAN WOMAN". It was just fabulous! And "DIVORCE FOR THE HIGHEST BIDDERS" at Ebay. And now it is out of stock again! The book was great and the price was unbelievable; $1 instead of $25.
WHAT OR WHO KILLED MAXIMILLIEN DE LAFAYETTE!?
I did not like that disturbing headline for a brief biography of Maximillien de Lafayette, written by Mr. Mordecai Ben Zvi, a close friend of his, who knew him very well. I was glad, the bio was not published. However, I was saddened to see a large part of it , published by an European magazine on its web. Many letters written by Mr. de Lafayette's friends and associates were sent to the editor of the magazine expressing concerns and discomfort. Thankfully, the magazine agreed to delete the article. Unfortunately, I discovered, later on, that a great number of those who read the article, rushed to copy the article in its entirety and took the liberty to circulate those copies among friends and less friendly persons. Such action created further unpleasant remembrance and mass confusion. I must confess, one particular section of the article was quite revealing and accurate. It described a series of events and a chain of tragedies that hit de Lafayette in America, in an unmerciful way.
TOUGH TIMES...FEW REAL FRIENDS.
According to Mr. Ben Zvi, Penelope de Vassy told him: " Usually, people who want to settle in America for good are those who are looking for a better life. They go to America to have a better job, to make money...they look for a better future. Well, mon cher, with Maximillien, it was not the same story. He went to America with six million Dollars. He was a very rich and very educated man. He did not need a better future, he had already a great one. He did not look for a better job. He opened his own business and employed hundreds of American employees and workers. Alors, the truth is, Maximillien took him long time to understand America. I want to say by that America the materialistic country. So everybody in America who came to work with him or for him used him and took advantage of him. True. I am telling you the truth. The worst scenario is when he married an American gold digger. Quel horreur, mon Dieu! Listen to me, you ask me why he stopped to write music, books and paint? Well mon cher. Every time he created something big, his ex-wife will jump on it with her lawyers and take half of it. So why he has to kill himself for her? She sued him 56 times. He lost his 33 room mansion on 4 acres in Potomac with all the art and furniture in his villa, there in Potomac where all the rich people live. Maximillien lived there on his villa for three years...And before that, she sued him many times and Maximillien lost his million dollars house in Washington, DC. It was a fabulous small chateau on Massachusetts Avenue. And three years later, he lost his Marquis de Rochambeau. This one was the best place in America. What else. Yes, this one...she took all his paintings, his Rolls Royce, all the French antiques from the 17th and 18th centuries we gave him when he got married. We shipped to him on Air France. I helped in this. I shipped 4 containers full of art and antiques to America, to Baltimore. Poor Maximillien lost everything. When you divorce in America, the wife takes everything, not like here in France. Yes, I know, sometimes, the husband takes everything, but this is very rare in America. I am telling you this is why mon Maximillien stopped writing wonderful books and paintings. He left America with a few dollars in his pocket. America ruined him...No, excuse me, I should say bad materialistic friends in America destroyed his life...And something else more tragic destroyed his spirit.
When Maximillien lost his mansion, his penthouse apartments, restaurants, clubs, cars, everything because of his divorce. He was left with $25,000 to live on or do something with it. For the first time in his life, he started looking for a job, I mean working for somebody else. It was fine for him. He did not mind at all. He thought that his experience, credentials, great reputation and contacts in high places will get him a great job offer. Well, it never happened. He contacted everybody he knew. He called all his powerful friends in New York, Washington and California asking for a help. Nobody cared. They would not return his telephone calls or answered his letters. The situation got ugly and difficult for him. He sent 125,000 copies of his resume to employers and recruiters and applied to 9,000 advertised positions....and listen to this: He applied to all kinds of jobs. From the most modest and smallest jobs to the most impressive ones. Nobody would ever hire him or give him an interview. He tried everything to get a job in America but no luck. His students and employees applied to the same jobs he applied to and get hired but not him. America killed Maximillien....The story of Maximillien breaks my heart. He went through hell in America. My God! he spoke 10 languages, wrote close to 100 books, he had impressive academic degrees, a doctorate, he taught in universities, he was world famous, great writer and artist...he owned prestigious businesses and was president of important companies in America and Europe. Everybody wanted to be associated with him. I mean before. When he lost his fortune an businesses in America, and started to send all these stupid copies of his resumes to thousands of people in America...nobody wanted him anymore. It is awful. It is terrible. Nobody would give him a chance...."A bullet in my head is my last and own option", told me once Maximillien.... Every time I think of him...I cry and cry and I can't stop crying...Tough times..."
Mr. Ben Zvi asked Mrs. de Vassy: "So, he was not good in handling money?" Mrs. de Vassy answered: "You must be kidding me? Maximillien made millions. He was brilliant, but he trusted everybody. A man who made millions is a man who knows how to make and handle money. But, I admit he had a very bad and deadly habit: Spending like a crazy. He had four or five checking accounts but he never opened a saving account. This should tell you a lot about his generosity and spending habit... Did you know, Maximillien was the ONLY OWNER OF A FANCY RESTAURANT AND CABARET IN AMERICA WHO WOULD COOK HIMSELF FILET MIGNON AND SHRIMPS AND GIVE IT TO THE HOMELESS AND POOR STAYING OUTSIDE HIS RESTAURANT... staying on the streets of Georgetown...He was the only one! The only one who fed the poor people. Do you understand now who is Maximillien. He was like a legend for the poor and homeless people in Washington. Everybody loved him...Pity, he did not protect himself....."