The royal Palace in Brunei where Prince Jefri kept a harem of women in the grounds. Picture: 60 Minutes.
The royal Palace in Brunei where Prince Jefri kept a harem of women in the grounds. Picture: 60 Minutes.

Brunei sultan’s salacious family secret

Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has a family secret: His sex-obsessed and profligate spending brother, Prince Jefri.

The playboy Prince Jefri Bolkiah led an exorbitantly lavish lifestyle, flying in planeloads of women who he entertained and showered with gifts.

The notoriously extravagant and wanton lifestyle past of Prince Jefri is in stark contrast to his older brother's stringent new laws.

The Sultan of the tiny sovereign gas and oil rich state has introduced a death penalty for gay sex.

Adulterers in the Muslim-majority sultanate blessed with a pleasant climate, excellent roads, golf courses and yacht clubs may now be stoned or whipped.

Convicted robbers face the cutting off of their right hand or left foot.

However, the sultan's brother Prince Jefri once allegedly kept a paid harem of up to 40 women, and was accused of embezzling $14.8 billion.

He entertained women on his luxury yacht called "Tits" which had lifeboat tenders named "Nipple 1" and "Nipple 2".

Until his assets were frozen in 2000, Jefri "has probably gone through more cash than any other human being on earth", Vanity Fair reported.

At one point the diminutive prince, whose full name is Jefri Bolkiah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, allegedly spent $50m a month.

He bought colossal diamonds for his numerous consorts and collected 2300 luxury cars, including Ferraris, Rolls Royces and Bentleys.

Prince Jefri in London. Picture: Paul Grover/REX
Prince Jefri in London. Picture: Paul Grover/REX

One girlfriend later auctioned off the necklace given to her by the prince for $100,000.

He paid $7 million for a rug woven of gold thread and embroidered with jewels.

Jefri owned a helicopter and eight airplanes including a private Boeing 747, and bought paintings by Renoir, Manet and Degas.

Through his 200 companies, he bought more than 500 properties including a collection of five-star hotels.

He owned the New York Palace, Los Angeles' Hotel Bel-Air, the Plaza Athénée in Paris and bought London's former Playboy Club for $34 million, more than four times its market value.

In 2010, American woman Jillian Lauren published a book about her former experiences as Prince Jefri's "number two girlfriend".

In Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, she said the prince paid for young attractive women for short-term hires of three weeks, and others for stays of up to a year or more.

Prince Jefri Bolkiah, above in New York in 2010, commissioned erotic jewellery and colossal diamonds which he gave as gifts. Picture: Seth Wenig.
Prince Jefri Bolkiah, above in New York in 2010, commissioned erotic jewellery and colossal diamonds which he gave as gifts. Picture: Seth Wenig.

She wrote that Jefri, who liked to be called "Robin", housed the women in luxury digs in the grounds of Brunei's royal estate and paid them around $2000 a week.

The palace is located among the leafy, riverside hills on the banks of the Brunei River, a few kilometres southwest of Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei's capital city.

The women, who were also given jewellery, were required to attend Prince Jefri's parties where he entertained his male friends.

The prince would ultimately depart the function with one particular girl of his choice.

The harem allegedly included a Penthouse Pet of the Year, and a TV actress.

Now aged 64, for his 50th birthday in 2004 Prince Jefri paid Michael Jackson $17m to perform at a custom-built stadium.

He commissioned artist J. Seward Johnson to create an $800,000 sexually explicit statue.

Le Plaza Athenee, Paris, bought by Prince Jefri and one of nine hotels boycotted by stars George Clooney and Ellen DeGeneres. Picture: Thibault Camus.
Le Plaza Athenee, Paris, bought by Prince Jefri and one of nine hotels boycotted by stars George Clooney and Ellen DeGeneres. Picture: Thibault Camus.

After buying Asprey, London jeweller to the Queen for $385m, he commissioned erotic fountain pens and jewel encrusted watches depicting couples having sex, each worth $1.3m.

Jefri is married to three wives, divorced from two others and has eighteen children, aged around 15 to 47.

He once imported US grid iron stars Joe Montana and Herschel Walker, who he paid at least $1m each, to teach one of his sons football.

Jefri also paid $1.5 million for a badminton coach.

The finance minister of his oil-rich country from 1986 to 1998, Jefri also was chairman of the Brunei Investment Agency.

The BIA invested much of the country's wealth, but after the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 was audited by the Brunei Government resulting in allegations Jefri had embezzled $14.8b.

He denied the charges, but in 2000 agreed to relinquish his assets and avoided prosecution.

The polo playing playboy Prince Jefri in Cirencester, UK in 1997. Picture: David Hartley/REX.
The polo playing playboy Prince Jefri in Cirencester, UK in 1997. Picture: David Hartley/REX.

Following the audit of his spending, Jefri was forced to surrender five diamonds worth $200 million.

He also gave up his cars, aircraft, 100 paintings, five boats and thousands of other possessions.

Legal issues forced Prince Jefri from Brunei, and litigation in the British High Court resulted in a warrant being issued for alleged contempt of court.

However, since 2009, his 72-year-old older brother, His Royal Highness the Sultan, who also has multiple wives, has forgiven Jefri.

The prince has been allowed to return to Brunei and has made public appearances with members of the royal family.

The Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah offers a prayer in 2000 with two of his wives at a royal birthday investiture in Nurul Iman Palace.
The Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah offers a prayer in 2000 with two of his wives at a royal birthday investiture in Nurul Iman Palace.

The righteous sultan introduced stringent new sharia laws this week which decree that women who have an abortion or give birth outside of marriage should face prison.

His new penal code also punishes Muslims caught drinking alcohol with whipping.

Even minor infractions can now result in heavy fines and jail sentences.

Unrighteous acts such as adultery or sodomy could warrant amputation of limbs or stoning to death.

Brunei, which comprises 5765 square kilometres on the island of Borneo and around 500ksq more of South China Sea coastline and border territory with Malaysia, has 118 mosques.

candace.sutton@news.com.au

Jillian Lauren, was one of many women kept in a harem by Brunei’s Prince Jefri.
Jillian Lauren, was one of many women kept in a harem by Brunei’s Prince Jefri.
The Sultan of Brunei in 2004 with and his first wife Hajah Saleha. Picture: Christopher Furlong.
The Sultan of Brunei in 2004 with and his first wife Hajah Saleha. Picture: Christopher Furlong.
Jillian Lauren was 18 years old when Jefri wooed her to Brunei.
Jillian Lauren was 18 years old when Jefri wooed her to Brunei.
Her book was published in 2010.
Her book was published in 2010.
Prince Jefri Bolkiah's yacht, called 'Tits'. Picture: Big Pictures
Prince Jefri Bolkiah's yacht, called 'Tits'. Picture: Big Pictures
Prince Jefri Bolkiah's yacht called 'Tits'. Picture: Big Pictures
Prince Jefri Bolkiah's yacht called 'Tits'. Picture: Big Pictures
Prince Jefri flew in planeloads of women to the royal palace.
Prince Jefri flew in planeloads of women to the royal palace.
The royal Palace in Brunei where Prince Jefri kept a harem of women in the grounds in luxury and paid them $2000 a week. Picture: 60 Minutes.
The royal Palace in Brunei where Prince Jefri kept a harem of women in the grounds in luxury and paid them $2000 a week. Picture: 60 Minutes.
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, one of 118 in the tiny oil rich state of Brunei.Picture: Vincent Thian.
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, one of 118 in the tiny oil rich state of Brunei.Picture: Vincent Thian.

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