Frank Giustra is a Canadian billionaire, philanthropist, and mining financier with ties to the Clintons. Giustra serves on the board of the Clinton Foundation and was involved in controversies about the Clintons and uranium.
In a tweet, Giustra flatly denied owning the house, writing, “I was disappointed to read this morning’s error-filled article about me in @nypost. I do not own a home in, or near, Victoria, BC. I have never been contacted by a member of the British Royal family, by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, or by any of their representatives.”
Harry and Meghan have declined to reveal who owns the $14.1 million waterfront mansion where they stayed and whether they paid anything for their time there. However, Page Six claimed that “multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told Page Six that the owner is Giustra, 62.” Page Six never revealed its sources. The home is called Mille Fleurs, and its owner’s identity has been a mystery, with public records not providing it. Daily Mail reported that the claim is at odds with a source previously saying the owner wasn’t Canadian.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Giustra, Who Made a Fortune in Mining, Serves on the Clinton Foundation’s Board
Frank Giustra is on the board of directors of the Clinton Foundation.
His Clinton Foundation bio says “Frank Giustra is president and chief executive officer of Fiore Financial Corporation, a private firm managing a broad portfolio of private equity investments. Frank has an established track record of building natural resource companies through access to capital and creative deal-making.”
The Foundation bio adds, “In 2007, Frank and President Bill Clinton launched the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, with the focus of creating social and economic development programs in parts of the world where poverty is widespread, including Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and Haiti.”
The New York Times described Giustra as making a “fortune in mining ventures as a broker on the Vancouver Stock Exchange.” The Times added that Giustra invested “in mines in Argentina, Australia and Mexico” and turned a shell company into Canada’s “second-largest gold company” after a merger.
2. Giustra Controversially Traveled With Bill Clinton to Kazakhstan & Gave Millions of Dollars to Bill’s Foundation
A New York Times article describes how “Russian acquisition of American uranium deposits” could be traced back to a trip Frank Giustra and Bill Clinton took to Kazakhstan in 2005. The Times reported that this was where “Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra orchestrated his first big uranium deal,” and Bill Clinton as at his side.
The Times reported that Bill and Giustra had flown on Guistra’s private plane to Almaty, Kazakhstan and had dinner “with the authoritarian president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev.” According to the newspaper, this visit was a “propaganda coup” for the Kazakh president that had the result of “undercutting American foreign policy” and criticisms of “Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record.”
The Times further reported that Giustra ran a company called UrAsia Energy Lt., and “signed a preliminary deal giving it stakes in three uranium mines.” These mines were “controlled by the state-run uranium agency Kazatomprom.” That company merged with Uranium One, but Giustra sold his stake in 2007, The Times reported.
Uranium One was the company that bought up uranium in the United States, a fact that conservatives have used to hammer Hillary Clinton.
The New York Times, in another story, reported that just months after that all went down, Giustra donated $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation and pledged to give the Foundation $100 million more.
According to Page Six, in 2016, the hacked emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta caused more controversy for Giustra during the presidential election. They showed that “Giustra and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim gave an endowment of $20 million in 2010 to the Clinton Foundation to set up the for-profit Haiti Development Fund,” says Page Six, but added that there was very little available showing what happened to that money.
3. Giustra Founded Liongate Entertainment
Giustra has also ventured into the world of entertainment.
According to the Clinton Foundation, “Frank’s entrepreneurial successes also include the founding of Lionsgate Entertainment, now one of the world’s largest independent film companies. Frank is a strong believer in philanthropy, and devotes much of his time to a variety of causes.”
Giustra sold much of his stake in Lionsgate but serves on the board of directors, according to Celebrity Net Worth, which adds that he also founded Sea to Sky Entertainment in 2012 and is an investor in Thunderbird Films.
4. Giustra, Who Was Born in Ontario, Has a Net Worth of $1 Billion
Giustra can certainly afford a mansion as luxurious as the one where Harry and Meghan landed to plot their escape from the British Royal Family. He’s worth a billion dollars, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Frank Giustra “was born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada in 1957. He has been successful in the industries of filmmaking and mining,” the site reports.
In 1979, Giustra graduated from Douglas College. “He started his career working as an assistant trader and stockbroker for Merrill Lynch,” it adds.
He turned Yorkton Securities into a “major force in the world of international mining finance,” according to Celebrity Net Worth.
5. Music Producer David Foster Linked Meghan & Harry With the Canadian House
According to Daily Mail, it was music producer David Foster who suggested that Meghan and Harry use the mansion for their six-week holiday break.
The couple famously returned to Britain (Meghan only briefly before returning to the mansion) and announced that they are stepping back from service as senior royals to forge a private life and that they will divide their time between the UK and North America. They haven’t said where. This has caused a firestorm in Great Britain, especially as the Queen was reportedly only alerted a few minutes before the Sussexes’ statement went live on their new flashy website. They also made it clear that they want the ability to make money, which has raised concerns that their royal connections could be exploited commercially, cheapening the monarchy, especially if they keep their titles (which isn’t yet clear.)
Katherine McPhee, Meghan’s old school friend, is Foster’s wife. He wouldn’t name the owner but told Daily Mail, “I felt honored that I was able to help Meghan there, because I’m a Canadian and we’re a commonwealth country, we’re the Crown’s. It’s important to us, so I grew up with that kind of sentiment.”
Foster said he didn’t know if the couple played rent.
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