Guardian- Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world’s wealthiest businessmen who owns assets including London’s Savoy hotel, has launched a libel action against the business magazine Forbes over claims it underestimated his fortune by $9.6bn. Alwaleed, who is often described as the most influential businessman in the Middle East, vowed to sever ties with Forbes in March when its coveted annual Rich List valued him at $20bn – placing him as the 26th most wealthy billionaire on the planet. The prince insisted he was worth closer to $30bn and accused the respected US magazine of being “demonstrably biased” against Saudi Arabian firms. Now Alwaleed has taken his complaints about the magazine to the high court in London, filing a defamation claim against the Forbes publisher, its editor Randall Lane and two of its journalists, according to court documents seen by the Guardian. Through his Saudi-based investment vehicle, Kingdom Holding, Alwaleed owns large stakes in Apple, Twitter and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and has built a formidable property portfolio, including the Savoy Hotel in London and the Plaza in New York.
In all honesty if I was worth $30 billion dollars I’d probably spend most of it making sure everyone knew how much money I have, so my natural reaction after seeing a story like this is to think it’s just another douchebag Saudi billionaire who got bored of riding around town in a gold plated Lamborghini with his albino pet tiger. But then I took a look at the full list and I think I’m actually on this guy’s side. No offense to Alwaleed and the whole “bad guy from Miami Vice” look he has going on up there, but I’m guessing girls are going after him less for his mustache rides and more for his billions and billions of dollars in oil money. That being said, being ranked below Bloomberg, the nerds from Google and the people that started Wal-Mart is not a good look if if you’re trying to lock down the finest of the billionaire groupies. Forbes don’t lie. Another $10 billion and he’s locked down a spot in the Top 10, which is absolutely huge. I’m pretty sure that’s the only thing you have to live for when you have the net worth of Africa.