A woman accused of posing as a Saudi Arabian princess to hide her past as a penniless Ethiopian prostitute has triumphed in her High Court battle against two London property tycoons.
Sara Al Amoudi dubbed the ‘vamp in the veil’ was accused by property developers Ian Paton and Amanda Clutterbuck of telling them she was a Saudi princess with ‘limitless wealth’, and that she was keen to join a property venture they planned in the hope of making profits of £100million.
After she claimed she had millions ready to invest, they ‘temporarily’ transferred ownership of six flats worth £14million in Knightsbridge and Mayfair into her name.
They say it was an attempt to speed up the deal. However, she then refused to give them back.
MsAl Amoudi, also nicknamed ‘Princess Moody’, says the flats are rightfully hers.
She denies posing as a princess – yet was driven to court in a Rolls Royce with HRH plates, and entered the building in a veil surrounded by bodyguards.
Ms Al Amoudi, whose age is thought to be between 31 and 45, maintained throughout a month-long High Court hearing that she was the runaway daughter of a billionaire Saudi sheik.
She insisted she had received ‘millions of pounds in suitcases’ from her mother.
Today Mrs Justice Asplin found that the properties were legally transferred into Ms Al Amoudi’s name by Mr Paton to pay off ‘loans’ she made to him whilst the pair were enjoying a ‘clandestine relationship’.
Property developers Ms Clutterbuck and Mr Paton insisted Ms Al Amoudi used her royal guise to win their trust and fleece them of exclusive flats in Knightsbridge and Belgravia.
Ms Al Amoudi maintained throughout a month-long High Court hearing that she was the runaway daughter of a billionaire Saudi sheik.
Ms Al Amoudi, whose age is thought to be between 31 and 45, arrives at court ahead of the decision.
She insisted she had received ‘millions of pounds in suitcases’ from her mother, whilst facing claims that she was in fact ‘a penniless prostitute from the Yemen’ masquerading as royalty.
But Ms Al Amoudi insisted it was she who was the victim of a con.
Her barrister, Jonathan Seitler QC, argued that the properties were ‘rightfully her’s’, she having been handed the keys by Mr Paton in repayment a loan.
But Stuart Cakebread, for Ms Clutterbuck and Mr Paton, called Ms Al Amoudi’s case ‘a farrago of lies’ and ‘the most preposterous nonsense’ and slammed her ‘absurd performance where she pretends to be a Saudi Princess.’
Sara Al Amoudi dubbed the ‘Vamp in the veil’ was accused of being a one-time penniless Ethiopian prostitute who posed as a princess to swindle London property developers Amanda Clutterbuck, right, and Ian Paton, left, out of luxury flats worth £14million.
Sara al Amoudi’s property portfolio includes a flat in Hans Crescent, Knightsbridge.
Miss Al-Amoudi owns 13 apartments in exclusive London areas including Knightsbridge and Chelsea.
He argued that the property tycoons had been the victims of ‘a very accomplished fraud’ during which they were induced to enter into a number of ‘joint venture’ property deals with Ms Al Amoudi.
They said they did that in the belief that she was the daughter of Saudi sheik, Mohammed Hussein al Amoudi, who was said to be worth $6.9 billion. (£4.1 billion).
They transferred six properties into Ms Al Amoudi’s name at a fraction of their true worth, thinking they were providing security for a bigger property deal which would be funded by Ms Al Amoudi’s family, Mr Cakebread said.
The colourful trial saw Ms Al Amoudi claim she had a ‘spending addiction’ which was funded by her royal connections and spent £1 million on perfume in 8 weeks.
She was supported in court by 82-year-old peer, Lord Dominick Browne, who gave evidence on her behalf, declaring her ‘perfectly honest.’
She also told Mrs Justice Asplin that she had trusted Mr Paton because they had been lovers, despite him at the time being Ms Clutterbuck’s partner, a claim he vehemently denied.
Mrs Justice Asplin accepted evidence that Mr Paton and Ms Al-Amoudi were ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’ and that £2.28 million in cash, as well as the right to the valuable properties, were legally handed to Ms Al-Amoudi as ‘repayment of sums loaned by Ms Al-Amoudi to Mr Paton.’
Above, from left: Maha Al-Mutawakel-Ramsden, a less-modestly dressed Sara Al Amoudi, former table dancer Diana Langer and Samera ‘Amani’ Al-Mutawakel, pictured at a Mayfair nightclub
However, despite finding that Ms Al Amoudi was indeed a woman of means with a connection to Saudi Arabia, the identity remains a mystery.
The judge said she had found it ‘unnecessary to determine whether the alleged representations as to her identity, status and source of wealth were false.’
Ms Al Amoudi insisted that she had never called herself a princess, and the judge said: ‘Had it been necessary, I would have found that her father is not the person stated in the documents.’
She went on however: ‘I would have accepted that Ms Al-Amoudi is from, or at least connected with Saudi Arabia…(and) is a woman of some wealth.’
Ms Al Amoudi’s counter-claim for return of cash and jewellery she said she had given Mr Paton for safe-keeping failed, although he was ordered to hand over certain “documentation” in his possession.
In court Ms Al Amoudi angrily denied any involvement in the sex industry, speaking of the strict rules of her Islamic faith.
She was even reluctant to remove her full face veil while giving evidence.
But photos published in the Daily Mail last month show Miss Al Amoudi at the Mayfair nightclub No 5 Cavendish with other glamorous women dressed in slinky outfits.
The court previously heard allegations that as part of Al Amoudi’s alleged scam, two of the women pictured – Samera ‘Amani’ Al-Mutawakel, 30, and 36-year-old Maha Al-Mutawakel-Ramsden – were represented as her sisters and fellow Saudi princesses.
The developers claim the pair are no such thing but are, like her, prostitutes.
Al Amoudi has denied any suggestion that she or her ‘Saudi princess’ companions were prostitutes.
Her solicitor has told the court that the allegations meant she could be beheaded if she set foot in Saudi Arabia.
Cynics however suggest there is no danger of that, since according to her critics, she is not even Saudi, and comes from a poor family in Ethiopia.
There have been claims that the real reason for Al Amoudi wearing a veil is to prevent former clients recognising her. The blonde woman they are pictured with is Diana Langer, 46, who has intimate links to the sex industry.
She has been identified in a previous court case as a ‘table dancer’, and her 60-year-old husband Simon Langer is the owner of London ‘hostess’, ‘table dancing’ and strip clubs.