Former billionaire Anil Ambani rejected a judge’s comment that he led a “lavish lifestyle” when he was confronted with questions about his fortune by lawyers who worked for three Chinese banks.
Ambani first videolinked testimony from Mumbai in an English lawsuit over a dispute over a defaulted loan. The tycoon, who previously said his net worth was “zero,” was interviewed about his spending and finances, including more than $ 100 million in family loans.
Three state-controlled Chinese banks have prosecuted Ambani in a London court for more than $ 700 million, arguing that they were his Reliance Communications Ltd. 2012 provided financial resources on the condition that he personally guaranteed the debt. After Ambani makes a decision that Ambani must make the payments, the banks have yet to receive funds.
“He’s fighting with all his might to keep us from paying a cent,” said the bank’s lawyer, Bankim Thanki, of Ambani.
Ambani, the younger brother of Asia’s richest man, said a judge wrongly alleged he led a lavish lifestyle and insisted that he was a marathon runner who did not drink, smoke or play.
“I think I have to respectfully put it into perspective,” said Ambani. “My needs are not great and my lifestyle is very disciplined.”
“Any hint of a lavish past, present, and future lifestyle is completely speculative,” he said.
Ambani has been charged with keeping his assets out of the reach of his creditors by transferring ownership of corporate units. The family’s art collection belonged to his wife, he said. The luxury motor yacht used by family members – but not by Ambani himself, who said he suffered from seasickness – is also owned by a company, he said.
Ambani had always said he had never given a personal guarantee – something he dismissed as “an extremely potential personal liability”.
On Friday, Ambani was investigated for credit card spending in luxury stores, including Harrods, which he said were made on his cards by his mother. He was also questioned about a US $ 66 million loan from his mother, Kokilaben Ambani, and a US $ 41 million loan from his son. He said he couldn’t remember the terms of the loans but insisted that they weren’t gifts.
The former billionaire “has always been a simple man with simple taste, contrary to an exaggerated perception of his extravagance and lavish lifestyle,” an Ambani spokesman said in a statement. “He’s also a lifelong vegetarian, tea lover, and non-smoker who would much rather watch a movie at home with his kids than go to town.”
– With the support of PR Sanjai.
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