Throughout the 1980s, Christopher Skase could do no wrong. The Australian businessman had the golden touch, turning a pot of $20,000 into a global development, tourism and media conglomerate worth billions.
His award-winning Mirage resorts on the Gold Coast and Port Douglas set international benchmarks in design, luxury and style; his media interests grew to include a television network spanning the nation; his eye for a business bargain with hidden potential never seemed to fail him.
With glamorous wife Pixie by his side, the French champagne flowed. Yachts, parties, Rolls-Royces, jets, the world was the coupleâ€™s oyster, and they were rarely out of the headlines.
Then it all came crashing down. Quickly. And hard. A series of commercial and national events combined to strike like an economic tsunami and suddenly the name Qintex was being washed away forever.
The next decade was spent on the Spanish island of Mallorca, the cash and the high life long gone, as they tried to recover their losses and start afresh.
But illness began to dog him and ultimately, imprisoned in a hospital gaol ward, life was reduced to fighting off orders to extradite him back to Australia.
How did it all happen? Where did it all go wrong for the man dubbed â€˜SeÃ±or Skaseâ€™? What was the mysterious lung disease that created such intrigue and prevented him from returning home? Did it really? Was he putting it on? What did he really die of?
And, when the smoke cleared, where did all the money go?
Tony Larkins knows all the answers.
Married to Pixieâ€™s oldest daughter, Tony Larkins spent nearly eleven years on Mallorca working side by side with Christopher Skase as he tried to re-establish his life, his business and his credibility.
Trials, punch-ups, projects, drink, drugs, breakdowns, madness, threats, gaols, extraditions, guns, gun-runners, movie stars and a hacienda full of huskies, it was a dramatic saga that a constantly marauding media pack ensured was rarely out of the headlines.
Now, the truth. By the man who lived through it all.
Skase, Spain and Me.
Never a dull day.
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