Two months after the death of Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, who once declared himself the “richest man on earth”, heartbreaking pictures emerge of his destitute former spouse.
He was known as “Mr Fixit”, the Saudi arms dealer with all the right connections and clients with limitless funds. She was one of the most beautiful women in the world, who rose from humble beginnings in the UK to diamond-clad femme fatale who shared his life of unimaginable luxury.
When the flamboyant Middle Eastern businessman, Adnan Khashoggi, met the 19-year-old British convent girl Sandra Daly, sparks started flying. They met by sheer fluke at the famous Parisian hotel George V, for which the Dalys from Leicester had won a holiday and Adnan Khashoggi stayed in habitually. The families got on famously, and a year later Adnan and Sandra got married. She changed her name to Soraya – Persian for “the light that comes from the stars” – and began a life the complete opposite to her humble upbringing. Her billionaire husband showered her in jewellery and furs, they had 17 residences around the world, including luxury flats in London and New York as well as ranches in Kenya, and three private jets fitted with bedrooms. The couple had five children together, but it wasn’t to last. Adnan’s constant infidelities led to a bitter divorce battle, during which Soraya always insisted she wanted the children, not his money.
Fast forward to 2017, the former society girl cut a sad and lonely figure as she walks to a bus stop in West London, as snapped by paparazzi for UK tabloid Daily Mail. Soraya is no longer. Today, she has adopted the name Sara Kay,runs a flower shop and lives in a modest flat in West London. Her son, Sean Daly, is said to help her run the business, perhaps in an attempt to rebuild his life: he was born Hussein Khashoggi who, according to French press, was the head of an underage prostitution ring in France. In the UK, Hussein appears to be involved in a company called Al Nasr Europe with his half-brother Ali Khashoggi.
Perhaps one of the reasons for Soraya’s deep fall from the lap of luxury lies in the fact that she did not get on with Adnan’s second wife, Italian-born Lamia, and their son Ali Khashoggi. Nabila Khashoggi, who is Soraya and Adnan’s daughter, is also said to have fallen out with Lamia, perhaps due to the Italian’s close connection to the so-called Church of Scientology, for which she recruited some of Adnan’s children. But should this spat between a first and second wife be the sole reason for Soraya’s downfall?
The loyalties in this family are anything but clear, and to complicate matters, Soraya has four further children. Soraya regularly visited Adnan when he was terminally ill and dying in a London hospital. She would sit with him and reminisce about their glory day. How Lamia, who has been to the Scientology centre in Clearwater, Florida, and is close to fellow Scientologist Tom Cruise, feels about his disappearance, whether she was instrumental in it, and whether she knew about Soraya’s visits to her husband, is unclear. What is clear, however, is that Adnan’s first wife lives an extremely modest life today and does not receive financial help from any of her children. Particularly her estranged daughter Nabila Khashoggi would be able to: she is married to James Cox Chambers, billionaire heir or the American business family.
What is clear – abundantly so – is that Soraya’s heydays as a beguiling socialite are over. Heartbroken after the death of Adnan, she cut a sorry figure on the way to a bus stop. Whether running a flower shop together with her disgraced son is her dream come true, only she will know.