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The Pan-Arabia Enquirer

“All I seek is justice. And for Forbes to give me my $9.6 billion back”


“All I seek is justice. And for Forbes to give me my $9.6 billion back”

Exclusive column by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal

“There comes a time in every man’s life when he must stand up and fight for what he believes in, when he must take a stance against his oppressors and say ‘no, enough is enough’. We have seen it happen throughout time. Spartacus, Martin Luther King, that man who got in the way of the Chinese tanks with his shopping bags; there are countless names etched into the pages of history of ordinary people have faced up to those in power and brought about change.

“The time for me to join that esteemed list is now. When Forbes magazine calculated my worth at $20 billion, using a myriad of illegitimate accusations and fraudulent methods to arrive at a figure some $9.6 billion short of the estimations drawn up by my own experienced accountants, I knew I had to fight. My battleground, not Tiananmen Square, not the Sierra Maestra or the Bastille, but the United Kingdom’s libel courts. My weapon: a simple team of humble lawyers.

“To suggest my life has been turned upside down by the villainous activities of Forbes would be a monstrous understatement. It has been a living nightmare from the moment the ink began to dry on its so-called ‘Rich List’, or what I like to call ‘That’s Rich, List’. I have been refused entry at events held for those worth more than $20 billion, turned away from parties to celebrate the world’s richest 25 people. Wrongly placed at 26, I have been made to feel like an outsider in the business world I love so dearly.

“To be incorrectly told that I am worth less than the annual GDP of Zambia has been an indescribable psychological blow. Being a self-made man, I remember what it felt like to be a poor Prince, before I was the Arab world’s richest and most influential man, before I could travel while sat in a golden throne on my own private 747 or aboard a 590ft superyacht equipped with two helipads. But back then I had pride and dignity. This feels far worse.

“All I ask for is justice, to be rightfully placed where I belong in the top ten of the world’s richest people with a wealth of $29.6 billion. Till then, I shall not rest in my battle against oppression, even if I am forced to sell one of my palaces or hotels or a fleet of diamond-encrusted supercars to see it through.

“As Martin Luther King once said: ‘Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.’ I am suffering and am passionate in my struggle for justice. And for Forbes to give me $9.6 billion back.”

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