Well good, I’m glad you’re all enjoying this story because there’s more.
It’s arrived at the point now where the initial feeling of stunned surprise has died down and the nation sort of leans back and observes the two camps going at it like wild beasts. Everybody’s demanding an investigation into everyone else, everyone is threatening to sue everyone else, everyone’s trying to smear as much dirt on everyone else as they possibly can.
HELL HATH NO FURY, ETC.
Some of the more juicy e-mails appearing in this weekend’s revelations are those written by Jónína Benediktsdóttir, an ex-girlfriend of Jóhannes Jónsson, the founder of Baugur Group. She was a fairly prominent businesswoman in her own right before they got together, operated a handful of fitness studios. JJ and JB were together a couple of years I reckon, then split. Soon afterwards she started going around spitting venom, threatening to write a book what dirty rotten bastards the Baugur camp were, etc. Incidentally, she’s a member of the Independence Party.
The other key player in this weekend’s drama is one Jón Gerald Sullenberger, a former business associate of Baugur’s, who lived – and lives – in the US. They had substantial dealings around the time that Baugur was trying to get established in the US but something happened. Something BIG. Don’t know what – but enough that Sullenberger reportedly threatened to kill Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson [Baugur CEO] on two separate occasions. There was some serious bad blood and big-assed lawsuits on both sides, that ended – as Morgunblaðið reports today – with Baugur paying Sullenberger a grand total of 120 million kronur [USD 1.85 million / GBP 1 million] for a reason that nobody is allowed to talk about because they signed a gag order.
Now, Sullenberger evidently had information that could ‘bring Baugur down’. And Sullenberger and Benediktsdóttir were an explosive combination. What the e-mails that Fréttablaðið published this weekend reveal is that JB was working overtime, a veritable Lady MacBeth behind the scenes, holding secret meetings with her powerful friends [Morgunblaðið editor, Managing Director of the Independence Party, etc.] orchestrating the best ways to use Sullenberger’s information to get the police to launch the large-scale investigation that they then did launch. One of the things was to get a notorious attorney who is a close personal friend of the previously mentioned [see Monday post] Davíð Oddsson to take Sullenberger’s case. In one e-mail, the Morgunblaðið editor says about the attorney: “His loyalty to an unnamed individual is set in stone and absolutely solid so you and Jón Gerald need not worry about a thing.” In the end, it was this attorney who contacted the Commissioner of Police.
Meanwhile, e-mail’s from JB reveal that she was demanding – for whatever reason – that JJ pay her ISK 75 million. Her business was on the verge of bankruptcy, and it did go bust in the end. One e-mail from her to the Mbl editor reads: “You need to interview Jón Gerald in Morgunblaðið and get him to talk. Don’t do it until I’ve got the money for my apartment. Please [in English, sic], that will be next week… I think. Jón is best at describing what these men are like, how they only cash in for themselves and don’t care about anyone else. Now a new price survey has to show that Europris [a Bónus competitor] is lower [Bónus promises always to be lowest on the Icelandic market].”
Sordid. Titillating. And infinitely entertaining.
AND WE STILL HAVE FREEZING COLD WEATHER…
On account of the wind. It’s 1°C right now and still all blustery. S’posed to stay like this until the weekend, sez the weatherman. I really, really dislike the wind. When there isn’t wind, the weather in Iceland is always perfect. No matter what the temps. Daybreak was at 06.40 and nightfall at 19.54.