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GREEK NEWS

Athina Onassis Today: Heiress Unrecognizable at Monte Carlo Wedding

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Athina Onassis during an appearance in an equestrian competition in 2013. Credit: Michael Kramer / CC BY 3.0

Athina Onassis, the granddaughter of Aristotle Onassis, made a rare public appearance at the wedding of Sammy Zane and Lauren Van Berkel in Monte Carlo.

The 36-year-old equestrian was practically unrecognizable in the crowd of over 700 guests attending the social event of the season.

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The photo of Onassis at the wedding was posted by Gianna Darili, a Greek-American who attended the celebration with her husband.

The lavish wedding featured dancers, orchestras, and elaborate fireworks that filled the Monte Carlo sky for ten minutes.

The Zane family is a prominent family in the shipping industry that owns Naftomar Shipping & Trading. Naftomar was established in 1972 in Beirut and moved to Athens in 1991 where it climbed to the top of the LPG market.

The Onassis family’s tragic history

Onassis is the last surviving descendant of Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, and the daughter of Christina Onassis, who died at the age of 37 after a life filled with excesses of every kind.

The sole surviving Onassis (her uncle Alexandros having died in an airplane accident in 1973), she seems, like her grandfather and her mother, to have been singled out for a life of difficulty despite her riches.

Her father, the French pharmaceutical heir Thierry Roussel, was never trusted by her mother, and their marriage was brief and rocky, ending after only eight months. The $800 million that Athina would come to inherit from her mother’s estate would only be paid to her upon her 18th birthday.

Christina had reportedly been addicted to sleeping pills and was known for taking part in wild parties at her father’s home on the Greek island of Skorpios.

After her stepmother Jackie Kennedy Onassis stopped going to the island in the 1980s, Christina erased every memory of her on Skorpios and hosted huge parties there for the world’s jet set.

Her daughter Athina Onassis was born on January 29, 1985, and was later baptized on Skorpios. Nightlife on the island calmed down after that point, and Christina and Roussel started divorce proceedings just eight months later.

Athina Onassis suffers the loss of her mother, shuttling off to father, stepmother

The lights went out on Skorpios, however, when Christina Onassis was found dead on November 19, 1988 in the bathtub of a friend’s house in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Athina was only three years of age when her mother Christina passed away from pulmonary edema.

She was then shuttled off to live with her father and his girlfriend – with whom he had been having an affair during the time he was married to her mother.

At Christmastime in 1988, a third tomb was opened next to those of Aristotle and Alexandros Onassis on Skorpios. Athina, the heiress of the Onassis fortune, returned to the island ten years later to lay flowers on her mother’s grave.

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