Tycoon hosts lavish bash for his daughter at £20m mansion

Inside the billionaire Bat Mitzvah party: Tycoon hosts lavish bash for his daughter at £20m mansion where his wife who ‘lives in a downstairs cupboard’ joined his model girlfriend and guests for Jewish celebration

  • Property Tycoon Robert Tchenguiz held the Jewish celebration at his lavish £20million west London mansion
  • He happily posed next to his estranged wife Heather Bird, 48, at their teenage daughter Violet’s party 
  • He split with Ms Bird ten years ago but still lives downstairs on the first floor of the house with their children
  •  Mr Tchenguiz lives upstairs with his Polish model girlfriend Julia Dybowska, 27, who was also at the party

A property tycoon hosted a lavish Bat Mitzvah for his teenage daughter inside his £20million west London mansion attended by his estranged wife and Polish model girlfriend.

Robert Tchenguiz, 57, held the Jewish celebration at his Kensington pad overlooking the Royal Albert Hall, which has a ballroom, swimming pool and roof terrace.

He happily posed next to his estranged wife Heather Bird, 48, at their teenage daughter Violet’s party, despite the presence of his girlfriend Julia Dybowska, 27.

The couple live on the fourth floor of the luxury townhouse, while socialite Heather and their children live downstairs, ten years after they split. 

Robert Tchenguiz poses next to his glamorous girlfriend Julia Dybowska, left, son Victor Bird Tchenguiz, and sister Lisa Tchenguiz

Heather Bird, right, was dressed all in white at the lavish celebration, and poses next to guest Rasa Bagdonaviciute

Guests at the glitzy bash included gold bullion dealer James Stunt, the ex-husband of Formula One heiress Petra Ecclestone, restaurant tycoon Richard Caring and colourful property developer Bruce Ritchie.

In keeping with the dress code, Heather and Robbie both wore white, with his jacket emblazoned with flowers, changing outfits later. 

One guest said of the Jewish celebration of a girl’s coming of age: ‘It was the most lavish party.’

A BBC documentary Robbie’s War: The Rise And Fall Of A Playboy Billionaire saw Heather living in a small, dark bedroom, where she allegedly had to cook on a camping stove.

Heather, left, with guest Alina Blinova, is separated, although not divorced, from Tchenguiz, (right, with his sister Lisa) and lives on the first floor of the mansion

According to the BBC programme, Heather, who is separated, although not divorced, from Tchenguiz, lived on the first floor and tried to avoid Robbie and his 27-year-old girlfriend who occupy the fourth.

But Mr Tchenguiz later told the Daily Mail: ‘There is no [camping] stove. It would be a fire hazard.

‘This house has two kitchens. Heather has a fully equipped one on the third floor as well as the use of the main kitchen in the basement.

‘The children have a cook to prepare their meals.’

Heather has previously spoken about the difficulty of the living arrangement – which  came about due to Robert’s financial woes – but it seems that she and Julia have bonded, after she told The Times that they ‘get along’.

Heather, left with guest Marina John, and right, has previously spoken about the difficulty of the living arrangement, which came about due to Robert’s financial woes

Ms Dybowska with guest Nazli Hariri. The Polish model lives with Mr Tchenguiz on the fourth floor of the mansion

From left to right: Ella Krasner, Julia Dybowska, Robert Tchenguiz, Anouchka Benhamou, Violet Bird Tchenguiz, Lisa Tchenguiz, Mariam Rafiee, Steve Varsano

Ms Dybowska, left with guest Soha Edrees, is said to visit a Knightsbridge anti-ageing clinic Heather, right, has set up for treatments

She said: ‘I’m really happy for him; he’s found someone. She is very healthy in eating and exercising and encourages him to get out and walk; she’s really good for him like that.’

Julia also visits the Knightsbridge anti-ageing clinic Heather has set up for treatments.

Relations seem to have improved since Heather spoke about her situation to MailOnline earlier this year, saying: ‘It’s a difficult situation to be in, but I don’t really have any choice.

‘Robert and his girlfriend are up on the 4th floor and I am downstairs with the kids. It’s heartbreaking to have to share the family home with his girlfriend – particularly one who is undeniably sexy.

‘She’s the model type, the sort who Instagrams a lot.

From left to right: Steve Varsano, Robert Tchenguiz, Anouchka Benhamou, Lisa Tchenguiz, Shadi Ritchie

Gold Bullion tycoon James Stunt with Ms Dybowska (left) and Ms Bird, right with guest Rhea Elliott-Jones (right)

Guest Liz Brewer with Robert Tchenguiz, left and Steve Varsano, Lisa Tchenguiz boyfriend, poses with Shadi Ritchie


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‘When I see Julia in the lift – she poses for Instagram pictures in there – I am always civil to her.

‘I still have feelings for Robert, who is the father of my children. But I cry at night.

‘For example, I’ve just got back from Courchevel, where we went on a family skiing holiday – the girlfriend came too and I had to put up with it. It’s not that I don’t like her, but how would you feel?’

Robert and his brother Vincent, first came to public notice in the 1980s as two of the West End’s biggest landlords.

Iranian-born, American educated they were classic outsiders whose ostentatious lifestyle soon brought them to prominence.

The party was held in the £20million mansion owned by Mr Tchenguiz, who was pictured on the dancefloor with sister Lisa Tchenguiz, and guest Anouchka Benhamou

Lisa Tchenguiz with her boyfriend Steve Varsano, left, and Ms Bird, right with party organiser to the stars Liz Brewer

Mr Tchenguiz with Simon Halabi and Kam Babaee. In keeping with the dress code, Heather and Robbie both wore white, with his jacket emblazoned with flowers, changing outfits later.

Mr Tchenguiz with his sister Lisa, her boyfriend Steve Varsano and Rishi Sethia

A succession of ever more lucrative property and business deals gave them, at their peak, a portfolio of more than 600 buildings said to have been worth £4.5 billion, though calculating their true wealth was always fraught with difficulty because so much of their capital was borrowed.

Heather and Robert married in 2005, and she would regularly host lavish parties in the ballroom their home.

It was famous in its own right because of its regular appearance in the ITV drama Mr Selfridge.

One event alone, a Sun King-themed soiree for 500 guests, turned the house into a miniature replica of Louis XIV’s Versailles, complete with staff in liveried costumes and wigs, a nine-piece musical ensemble and acrobats from the Cirque du Soleil.

Things started to unravel just three years later, while at the same time Robert’s fortune evaporated in the credit crunch. He became known as the man who lost £1.6 billion in the Icelandic banking crisis.

Then Mr Tchenguiz was sensationally arrested by the Serious Fraud Office in connection with the failure of Iceland’s Kaupthing bank – only to be completely cleared when the investigation into him collapsed. 

Earlier this year, Robert asked her to move back into her former family home. And, still dependent upon him financially, Heather agreed to go along with the request.

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