Article by Alexandra Kurti //translation: Sonja Kasten
Oleary: “I’m Athina Onassis father”
* In order to prove what he says to be his fathership, he asks for DNA test
* How the former top model justifies his statements, how he describes his entangled relationship to Cristina Onassis in 1984
* “I don’t care about money. The only thing I want is my daughter to know about me,” says the self called father of Athina Onassis
20 years have passed ever since Cristina Onassis passing – also a member of a myth called family Onassis, which continues even today to trouble the water every now and then. Mr Howard Oleary chose november 18th 2008, one day before the 20th aniversary of her sad death, to arrive to Lefkada in order to pay tribute to her memory. It was his wish, as he told us, to leave some flowers and light a candle in her memory. He asked to be transfered to Skorpios, without him be given permission; flowers and candles staying in the transportation boat of Cristina’s father, Aristotelis Onassis, at the shore of Nidros from where it leaves for Skorpios.
We met Mr Oleary at the shore of Nidros last Tuesday at midday where he told us his own story. A story with real foundation that turns upside down data as given until now if it is not a joke of bad taste: the future will show. We talked to Mr OLeary and took notice of his points of views. On the other hand, what he says is very serious. He believes he is the biological father of Athina. To prove this he asks to make the DNA test.
We share with you the conversation we had with him for you to take your own conclusions.
How he met Cristina Onassis
“I started modeling in 1980. That decade I was among the most famous models. January 1984 I was in Paris and worked as model for First Model Agency, belonging to Thierry Roussel. I participated to a modeling show, concretely January 10th, where I had a great success. After the show followed a party in a very nice apartment.
A duplex in the 88 Av Foch in the centre of Paris with a wonderful view. In this party we were 25 men and only one woman, Cristina. We met and liked each other at once. She was shining like a star. I may say that we fell in love. It was not …
…only her beauty, it was her charm and her humorous intelligence. She gave me her telephone number, she was not yet married to Roussel. Me met several times. She was 33 and I was 28.
Closed doors in Paris and the Official
“It’s true that in spite of my obvious success as model, I didn’t have many work offers. I believed at those times that the girls who arrange the jobs did promote their own boys. The truth is though perhaps that Thierry did not promote me in order for me to be obliged to leave Paris because of the lack of work and he to have a free battle ground in what concerns Cristina. I will refer the following relevant happening to you. One day I fell accidentally in the street on Persi Attwood, director then of the Official magazine who told me that it was a pity I couldn’t be photographed for his magazine due to my constant obligations. I answered that I had no work for the date he was referring to. I contacted the agency and asked them to have a look at my agenda and they confirmed that I actually had no work booked for that day although they have told him the contrary. At the end I got the job only because I had the luck of accidentally falling on the same Attwood, otherwise I wouldn’t even have known about it.
Because of this, I believe now, after so many years, that it was the same Thierry who was behind these happenings. End February 1984 I left Paris because I had no job offers and went to Los Angeles. 2 or 3 weeks later, Cristina got married to Thierry.
With Cristina in Besoldos apartment
I met her again in April the same year, when I went to Paris in order to clear up a certain number of financial issues. I phoned her. I didn’t know though that she had married Thierry. She didn’t tell me either. We met in Paris this time in a small and very simple apartment, if I’m not wrong belonging to a very good and faithful friend of hers, M Belondos. She was worried and stressed, she excused herself for the place we were meeting in but didn’t say why. Perhaps for Thierry not to know, I think today. I think that this meeting resulted in the birth of Athina. Leaving the apartment I took a taxi to drive to the train that would take me to Milan, where I worked with all the main agencies. It was a very successful year for me. I just tell you that I have worked for the best known agencies like Ford Models in New York and Nina Blanchard in Los Angeles. Our destiny plays us strange games. The taxi I took leaving the apartment where I had met Cristina for the train station, crashed another car the very moment we turned to the right and I almost missed the train. I was not injured. What would have happened though if I had got injured, if I had missed the train and if I had gone back to tell Cristina? Nobody will ever know.
I’m ready to make the DNA test
– When did you consider for the first time Athina could be your daughter?
– About 4 years ago after having made an investigation in internet. There was always something deep inside of me that was worrying me. That perhaps a boy or a girl is a child of yours. When I saw a picture of Athina, I realized how much she resembled my mother and that we have the same eyes. I want her but also the world to know the truth. And I’m ready to make the DNA test to prove my fatherhood and to finish up with this once and forever. I think Thierry knows he isn’t the real father. Why otherwise was the name Roussel rejected and kept only the name Onassis, and why did she not invite me to her marriage?
Perhaps my life would have been in danger if I had talked earlier
– Why now? I mean, why didn’t you talk about it before?
– For many reasons. To start with I think Roussel knows it. I wanted to put some order into several things. I had to wait for the right moment as I believed my life could be in danger if I talked earlier. I don’t have to loose anything on this, but perhaps others have. I’m wearing this on my heart now for a long time and I have to take it out.
I don’t care about money
“I don’t care about money. I just want my daughter to know about me. On the other hand, it is too late to correct the mistakes of the past. You see, I’ve had a very successful professional life and whatever I have tried to do, has always gone very well. In my personal life everything is though difficult, whatever I have obtained I have had to fight for heavily. I’m ready to fight with the devil if it were of need to prove through DNA test that I’m Athina’s biological father. Perhaps she wants me to fight for her. Until now though I have found closed doors wherever I went. I think Thierry did not marry Cristina but her money. I live in Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, I have a company that sells ready houses. I have another son of another relationship, Steven, but I never got married. I believe though that time has come for me to talk and I feel I’m not wrong. I came with the hope of whispering her I’m her father and for her to tell me that she knows it and hope does never die.”
During his stay in Greece, Howard Oleary was also interviewed for the national channel ALTER TV, presumably shown January 17th, 2009