LONDON, May 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
In its "House of Secrets" feature New Yorker announced that the magazine became aware of the name of the real owner of Witanhurst - the mansion acquired for GBP 50 million in 2008. The buyer's name was kept secret since the date of the purchase. He turned out to be Andrey Guriev, a Russian billionaire, businessman and a former Senator.
For the past 7 years the Witanhurst mansion, the second largest London private residence after Buckingham Palace, has been closely associated with another Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina who moved and transferred her business to London in 2011. That happened after her husband's resignation from the position of Moscow mayor amidst political debates with then-President Dmitry Medvedev, and a sale of a successful construction company that Baturina founded and managed for years.
Since 2008 Baturina has been forced to deny rumors of her ownership, as well as accusations of thoughtless extensive renovation that resulted in public complaints. The information has had such massive circulation in press that the businesswoman had to apply to the court - the proceedings she initiated against The Sunday Times ended in 2011 in favour of the claimant, and resulted in the official refutation and apologies on the newspaper pages.
Despite the court decision, both explicit and implicit references to Baturina in connection to Witanhurst renovation have been appearing regularly. The more remarkable is the fact that the truth became known through an investigation by an American magazine.
Only five days ago, Guriev's spokesman acknowledged the involvement of the family in the property, saying, however, that Andrey Guriev was not the "legal owner" of Witanhurst but a "beneficiary of the company that owns the house".
Gennady Terebkov, a spokesman for Yelena Baturina, said: "Despite the final and just decision of the court back in 2011, all these years we had to defend the truth that Baturina never acquired Witanhurst, conducted reconstruction, or concealed the possession in her declarations. We are glad that the truth is finally out".
Yelena Baturina is an entrepreneur and philanthropist of Russian origin, who currently resides in London. She owns hotel business in Europe, participates in a number of real estate development funds and innovative projects. Baturina is also the founder of the international philanthropic foundation BE OPEN.
Communication & Press office
SOURCE Press Office for Yelena Baturina