Athina Onassis

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Athina Onassis
Hessischen Ministerpräsidenten Athina Onassis-de Miranda with Babouch 5 2013.jpg
Athina Onassis (2013)
Athina Hélène Roussel

(1985-01-29) 29 January 1985 (age 37) [1]
OccupationEquestrian athlete
Owner of AD Sport Horses
(m. 2005; div. 2017)
Parent(s)Thierry Roussel
Christina Onassis
Wiesbaden 2013

Athina Hélène Onassis (Greek: Αθηνά Ωνάση; born Athina Hélène Roussel (Greek: Αθηνά Ρουσσέλ), 29 January 1985[1]) is a French-Greek heiress and equestrian, the only surviving descendant of Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, and the only child of Aristotle's daughter Christina Onassis.


Onassis was born at American Hospital of Paris in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, to Christina Onassis (1950–1988) and her fourth husband, Thierry Roussel,[3] a French pharmaceutical heir. Her parents were married from 1984 to 1987.[4] They divorced after Roussel had two children with his mistress, Swedish model Marianne "Gaby" Landhage.[4] Christina Onassis died of pulmonary edema[5] in November 1988, when Athina was three years old. After her mother's death, she was raised by Roussel and Landhage, whom Roussel later married.[4]

For her early education, Onassis attended a school in Lussy-sur-Morges, Switzerland, where the Roussels lived.[6] Following a preparatory course in Brussels, Belgium, she passed her baccalauréat exam in the summer of 2003.[7]

Onassis has three half-siblings, via her father's relationship with Landhage: Erik Christopher Roussel (born July 1985), Sandrine Roussel (born May 1987), and Johanna Roussel (born July 1991).

Equestrian career[edit]

Athina Onassis with AD Crosshill, CSI 5* horse show Hamburg 2011

Onassis is a competitive show jumper[8] in select events of the Global Champions Tour.[9] She began riding as a child, and finished second in an event in Jerez, Spain in 2001. She later chose to compete as a Greek citizen for the Avlona Riding Club in Athens, under the name "Athina Onassis".[7][10] In November 2012, Onassis suffered a spinal injury in a fall from her horse,[11] but represented Greece in the 2013 European Show Jumping Championships and the 2014 World Championships.[8]

Onassis is also a patroness of the Global Champions Tour.[12] The Athina Onassis International Horse Show, a show jumping competition, was established in 2007 in São Paulo and moved to Rio de Janeiro in 2009.[13] In 2014, the competition moved to Pampelonne beach in Saint-Tropez, France.[14] Onassis and her former husband were joint owners of AD Sport Horses, a horse breeding and training business based in Fleurus, Belgium.[15] In February 2014, Onassis paid $12 million for a 2.3-hectare (5.6-acre) estate and barn in Wellington, Florida.[16] She sold the estate in April 2017 for $12.75 million.[17]


Onassis began dating Brazilian professional showjumper and two-time Olympic medalist Álvaro de Miranda Neto in March 2003 and moved to São Paulo. She bought a 10,600-square-foot (980 m2) duplex overlooking Ibirapuera Park for $8.6 million.[7][18]

Miranda and Onassis were married on 3 December 2005. Most guests attending the lavish ceremony were Brazilian VIPs or friends from the equestrian community. The bride's father and stepmother were not present.[18][19][20][21] The couple reportedly asked for their guests to donate to charity.[22] Following her marriage, Onassis assumed the name of Athina Onassis.[21][23][10][8][9]

In 2016, the couple legally separated, following Miranda's alleged infidelity.[24] Divorce negotiations began almost immediately, with Onassis hiring high-profile divorce lawyer Robert Stephan Cohen.[25][26] The divorce caused complicated legal issues in the courts of Antwerp, Belgium, where Onassis had been living.[27] Miranda challenged the prenuptial agreement and demanded alimony payments,[2] and there were custody disputes over jointly owned horses.[28] The divorce was settled in November 2017.[2]


Athina Onassis is the sole heiress of Christina Onassis, who inherited 55% of Aristotle Onassis's fortune. The remaining 45% of Aristotle's fortune (minus $26 million settled upon Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis) was left to the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation, established in honor of Alexander Onassis, Athina's late uncle, who had died in 1973. When Athina Onassis was seven years old, The New York Times cited a report from the Associated Press, naming Onassis one of the year's new billionaires,[29] and even though she is often credited as a "billionaire heiress" throughout the media, the true extent of her wealth remains unknown. There have been several estimates of her inheritance, including the island of Skorpios, which was later sold to trusts connected with Ekaterina Rybolovleva,[30][31] with some accounts claiming that Onassis's net worth is less than $1 billion.[32]

Disputes over Onassis estate[edit]

Onassis's mother Christina never trusted Thierry Roussel completely, which led the family to arrange for a board of administrators to control the family's money until Athina came of age.[23][10] The trustees Christina selected to manage the estate were Stelio Papadimitriou, Paul Ioannidis, Apostolos Zabelas, and Theodore Gabrielides.[33][34] During Athina's childhood and adolescence, all expenditures made on her behalf by her father (using money from the inheritance) had to be approved by the board, which led to her father threatening to move back to France, where the estate would have had to pay much higher income tax.[34]

In 1999, a Vaduz court ordered the management of Athina's inheritance to be transferred to the KPMG Fides auditing firm in Lucerne, Switzerland.[35] At that time, aged 13, Onassis stated that she felt "great aversion to anything Greek". In one of her few interviews, published in Oggi, an Italian magazine, she later stated that she blamed "all the problems" on the Onassis name. Similarly, her stepmother, Gaby Landhage, stated on American television show 20/20 that Athina had told her "if she could burn all the Onassis money, she would do it."[36]

On her 18th birthday, Athina took control of her mother's inheritance.[37] After her 21st birthday in 2006, her lawyers unsuccessfully fought to instate her as President of the Onassis Foundation, as the board claimed she was unqualified and denied that she was an heir to the estate of Aristotle Onassis.[38][39] Invoking her grandfather's legacy in memory of Alexander Onassis, the board's representatives stated that she had no connection with the Greek culture, religion, language or shared experience, that she never went to college and had no work experience.[10]


  1. ^ a b Associated Press, "First Child of Heiress: Christina Onassis Gives Birth to a Girl", LA Times, January 29, 1985
  2. ^ a b c "Athina Onassis Victoriously Finalizes Divorce Against Ex-Husband Gr…". 29 January 2018. Archived from the original on 29 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  3. ^ "First Child of Heiress : Christina Onassis Gives Birth to a Girl". 29 January 1985.
  4. ^ a b c Michelle Green & Cathy Nolan, "Thierry Roussel Tells His Story - of Love for Two Women and Little Athina",, March 20, 1989
  5. ^ "Onassis Insider Paul Ioannidis Tells TNH About Greek Tycoon - The Nat…". 18 December 2018. Archived from the original on 18 December 2018. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  6. ^ Rovira, Ashley. "Athina Onassis in 35 Points". Scribd. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Gage, Nicholas: "The Last Onassis." Vanity Fair, Issue 537. May 2005
  8. ^ a b c "Athina Onassis - GLOBAL CHAMPIONS LEAGUE". 29 January 2018. Archived from the original on 29 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Athina Onassis - LONGINES GLOBAL CHAMPIONS TOUR". 29 January 2018. Archived from the original on 29 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d "The Last Onassis Vanity Fair". 29 January 2018. Archived from the original on 29 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Showjumper Athina Onassis de Miranda has back injury". 14 November 2012.
  12. ^ Letter from Athina Onassis de Miranda, Global Champions Tour official website
  13. ^ "Athina Onassis International Horse Show". Archived from the original on 8 August 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  14. ^ Equnews, March 31, 2014, "2014 Athina Onassis Horse Show to be held in Saint-Tropez"
  15. ^ "Ormsby, Mary: "The horse, the heiress, and the golden hurdle", 3 June 2007". Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  16. ^ Jose Lambiet (17 February 2014). "Heiress Athina Onassis Buys Wellington Horse Barns for $12 Million".
  17. ^ "Athina Onassis Sells Wellington Horse Farm For $12.75 Million!". 7 April 2017.
  18. ^ a b Watson, Jeremy; "O what a wedding... and in Jackie's dress too" News; December 4, 2005
  19. ^ Smith, Helena; "Another Onassis wedding - another drama"; The Guardian December 2, 2005
  20. ^ Zahar, Cristina; "Billionaire Onassis Heiress Weds Brazilian Equestrian Champ"; Reuters/The Washington; December 5, 2005
  21. ^ a b "Athina ties the knot with Doda in lavish style". 29 January 2018. Archived from the original on 29 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  22. ^ [Silverman, Stephen: "Athina Onassis Weds Brazilian Horseman", People Magazine, 3 December 2005]
  23. ^ a b Mantheakis, Alexis (2012). Athina Onassis: In the Eye of the Storm (Kindle ed.). Kiboss Publications. p. 121. ISBN 978-1479304899.
  24. ^ "Athina Onassis se separa por una infidelidad". El País. 25 May 2016.
  25. ^ "Inside the Lonely World of Athina Onassis". 29 January 2018. Archived from the original on 29 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  26. ^ "El divorcio de Athina, la heredera de los Onassis: caballos, dinero e…". 29 January 2018. Archived from the original on 29 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  27. ^ "Divorce: l'héritière Athina Onassis, empêtrée dans une bataille judic…". 29 January 2018. Archived from the original on 29 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  28. ^ "Ownership of Doda de Miranda's Olympic Horse Cornetto K in Question –…". 29 January 2018. Archived from the original on 29 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  29. ^ "Billionaires' Wealth Is Flat - The New York Times". The New York Times. 27 March 2018. Archived from the original on 27 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  30. ^ Morgan Brennan (15 April 2013). "Confirmed: Russian Billionaire Heiress Buys Famed Greek Island Of Skorpios". Forbes. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  31. ^ Busvine, Douglas (13 April 2013). "Russian billionaire's daughter buys Onassis island Skorpios". Reuters. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  32. ^ Goldman, Lea (3 March 2003). "Is Athina Onassis Really a billionaire?". Archived from the original on 13 April 2003.
  33. ^ Stelio Papadimitriou's obituary
  34. ^ a b Klein, Edward (November 1997). "The Battle Over the Golden Girl". Vanity Fair.
  35. ^ Athens News Agency (8 December 1999). "Onassis Foundation not to appeal Swiss court ruling".
  36. ^ "Hostage to fortune";; January 25, 2003
  37. ^ "Heiress Comes of Age (Daryn Kagan interviewing Alexis Mantheakis)". CNN Live Today. 29 January 2003. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  38. ^ The Foundation Estate at
  39. ^ [Smith, Helena: "Legal row taints special day for Onassis heiress Athina", The UK Guardian, 28 January 2006]

Further reading[edit]