Norma ‘dribbled’ Melusi with ‘soft life’ vibes but she isn’t the first to do so
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Most people, if not all, want to live a beautiful life with first-class travel, gorgeous mansions and shopping sprees.
So when someone who seems to live the high life takes interest in you, it’s easy to fall for them and their riches.
But what happens when the lifestyle they led is not all that it seemed?
Well, that seems to have been the case with former cabinet minister Melusi Gigaba and his estranged wife, Norma Mngoma.
At the state capture inquiry on Thursday, Gigaba told of how he perceived his estranged wife as an IT executive from a wealthy family.
Gigaba’s revelations came after a question on whether Mngoma was telling the truth that it was Dudu Myeni who organised, and the Guptas who paid for, their honeymoon seven years ago.
The former minister said he believed Mngoma had paid for the holiday herself because she led him to believe she had inherited her father’s wealth.
“When I met Miss Mngoma, she projected to me an image of a high-flying individual who was from a well-to-do family,” said Gigaba.
“She had told me that her father was a businessman living in New York City and that she herself regularly visited New York and, on occasion, would win awards from Mark Shuttleworth that would require her to go do some work in New York.
“She would come to see me in different vehicles that she said were hers, including an ML 320, a BMW 120 series and so on,” he added.
While the couple continues to give evidence about each other at the inquiry, their divorce proceedings also continue.
Although not much has been said about a settlement between the two, it’s safe to assume money will be the motivation for how fast or slow things take.
With that in mind, here is a list of other well-known individuals who married people not in the same tax bracket as they were and paid heavily when things went south.
Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky
Reported settlement: $1 million
The late Hollywood icon met her eighth and final husband, a muscle-bound construction worker 20 years her junior, while both were in rehab at the Betty Ford Center.
Eight years later, during their divorce, he asked for $6 million. She gave him a cool mil and sent him packing.
Jennifer Lopez and Chris Judd
Reported settlement: $14 million
The pop icon met Judd on the set of her music video, “Love Don't Cost a Thing”. He was her back-up dancer and choreographer, and she was already on the road to becoming a performing legend when the two married.
Eight months later, however, the two went their separate ways, and he walked away with a small but impressive portion of her fortune.
Anna Faris and Benjamin Indra
Reported settlement: $900 000 plus property and acting royalties
The two actors married in 2004, with Faris' star already on the rise. Within the next three years, the comedienne established a place on Hollywood’s A-list while Indra’s career quickly went nowhere.
Faris eventually left him behind — though not empty-handed.
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline
Reported settlement: $40 000 a month
Even before the divorce, Spears was no stranger to shelling out cash for Federline — his occupation at the time of their marriage was listed as "pizza delivery boy and dancer".
She reportedly even paid for her own five-carat diamond double-banded engagement ring.
Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
Reported settlement: $48.7 million
Paul McCartney's marriage to Heather Mills didn't seem terrible — until they divorced in March 2008. Justice Hugh Bennett, who presided over the split, wasn't impressed with Mills' efforts to get $250 million from the former member of The Beatles.
"I am driven to the conclusion that much of her evidence, both written and oral, was not just inconsistent and inaccurate but also less than candid," Bennett said (according to People), noting that her requests for $400 000 annually for private flights, $80 000 for wine, and $250 000 for clothes were "ridiculous ... unreasonable, indeed exorbitant."