Time for another peek [Lifestyle Theme] into the "Lifestyles of the Rich... and Cranky."
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown

"Two wrongs don't make a right, but three left turns do." --Jim Hightower

Time for another peek [Lifestyle Theme] into the “Lifestyles of the Rich… and Cranky.”

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Even if you are rich, the old adage still applies: When you’re hot, you’re hot, when you’re not, you’re not. Dennis Kozlowski was hotter than high school love for a while. The CEO of Tyco International presided over a conglomerate and pocketed more than a quarter of a billion dollars in personal pay. He also got lucky in love.

Dennis, balding and pudgy, is a most unsightly man, but the glow of money and power can put a handsome sheen on anyone. While divorcing his first wife in 2001, he met Karen, a beautiful waitress at Ron’s Beach House in New Hampshire, and they were soon wed. A month later, the lovestruck Dennis threw an opulent 40th birthday party for Karen in Sardinia, Italy.

The party became a perfect snapshot of executive excess. It featured a bacchanalian feast, waiters dressed as Roman servants, and a now-infamous ice sculpture of Michelangelo’s nude statue of David – with vodka streaming from David’s… well, you know what. The infamous part of the party was not merely its raw tackiness, but the fact that Dennis billed half of the bash’s $2 million tab to Tyco Inc.

This was hardly his only dip into the corporate till to finance his lavish lifestyle. Apartments, antiques, and even a $6,000 shower curtain were billed to Tyco. Also, he purchased a 15,000 square-foot, waterfront mansion in Florida with a $30 million interest-free loan from corporate funds.

"The issue isn't just jobs. Even slaves had jobs. The issue is wages." --Jim Hightower

But Dennis got caught and is now doing 8 to 25 years for corporate looting. During the trial, Karen loyally stood by her man. A year later, however, the bloom is off the rose, and Karen has filed for divorce. She also wants half of her husband’s assets, including half of that Florida mansion, and an undisclosed level of monthly alimony.

This is Jim Hightower saying… Everyone loves you when you’re hot – but not when you’re not.

“She stood by her man-until now,” USA Today, August 17, 2006.
“Wife files to divorce jailed ex-Tyco CEO,”, August 16, 2006.
“Dennis Kozlowski’s wife files for divorce,” Reuters, August 16, 2006.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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