One of Prince Albert of Monaco’s former chief lieutenants, who was fired by the prince last year, has betrayed his old boss by telling French newspapers about the prince’s finances, including lavish secret gifts to former lovers and illegitimate children.
The stunning allegations were made by Claude Palermo, Albert’s former accountant, and a member of the so-called “Gang of 4”—a group of four powerful individuals who used to controlled much of Monaco’s extraordinarily expensive property market.
This summer, Palermo was dramatically cut loose by the prince after he came under attack in an anonymous Substack, Les Dossiers du Rocher (Monagesques call Monaco “Le Rocher,” which means “The Rock”).
Albert suggested he had lost confidence in Palermo as a result of the disclosures, saying: “When questions arise, you need to know how to change the people who surround you to find the right path again and to write a new page in your history.”
The split was a move that stunned observers given that Palermo was often described as the “keeper of all secrets” with encyclopaedic knowledge not just of government investments, but the prince’s private accounts as well.
Palermo himself obliquely threatened Albert last summer, accusing him of inflaming the “malicious accusations and fallacious insinuations” made by Les Dossiers du Rocher, adding, “I cannot let myself be slandered in this way.’”
Now he appears to have taken his revenge in dramatic fashion.
In interviews with French newspapers including Le Monde, Palmero has disclosed, among other astonishments, that Albert has been paying Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, 31, his illegitimate daughter with an American waitress, $86,000 every three months and bought her a flat in New York worth $3 million.
Per reports in the London Times, and the Daily Mail, Palmero also told Le Monde that Albert pays kidnap and ransom insurance for Alexandre Coste, 20, his son with Nicole Coste, a former air hostess and has bankrolled Coste’s fashion business, including a shop in Knightsbridge.
Two other women in his life, his sisters Princess Stéphanie, 58, and Princess Caroline, 67, are portrayed as taking advantage of his weakness, with the Times and the Mail, citing Le Monde, saying that both “use the crown jewels as personal fashion accessories,” according to Palermo.
The allegations are based on notebooks kept by Palmero, 67, who worked for the Grimaldis for two decades after being hired by his father, Prince Rainier III, the husband of Grace Kelly.
Palermo also gave an interview to Libération, another French newspaper, in which he said, per the Times, that Albert kept a secret account at a French bank, under the name AG for Albert Grimaldi to pay his former mistresses and their children without his wife, Charlene, knowing.
Charlene, however, has also been the beneficiary of her husband’s largesse with her multi-million dollar allowance being regularly topped with extra millions, including €1 million to redecorate her office.
In a statement, Albert said: “The attacks that [Palmero] makes against me and against the state [of Monaco] and its institutions show his true nature and the little respect … he has for the family and the principality.”
Maître Jean-Michel Darrois, Albert’s lawyer, told Le Monde that Albert had done nothing wrong, he also denied another claim made by Palermo that Albert paid an unnamed woman to recover “compromising photographs” Albert and accused Palermo of corruptly enriching himself.
A spokesperson for Monaco’s Princely Palace told The Daily Beast there was nothing further to add to Darrois’ comments.