Cyprus Mail

Bill Gates – unsurprisingly – denies Cyprus islet buy

Bill Gates to finance small nuclear reactors with advanced storage

Billionaire Bill Gates on Friday denied claims by Italian-bases realtor Proto Enterprises that he had bought an islet off Cyprus.

In an email to the Cyprus Mail, following a query on Thursday, Naomi Zeitlin, Communications Manager in Bill Gates’ private office said: “There is no truth to this rumour”.

Proto Enterprises contacted the Cyprus Mail on Thursday claiming the deal had been agreed with the Cyprus government, which also flatly denied it. The company threatened that if the press release, sketchily outlining the deal, was not published by the Cyprus Mail, they would take it to another media outlet. Yet the PR people continued to dodge questions.

The Italian company hit the financial headlines on Monday when it claimed, and insisted to Newsweek, even following official denials, that billionaire Warren Buffett had bought a Greek island.

The man behind the Italian real estate company Alessandro Proto finally admitted by Wednesday that he had fabricated the whole story in an attempt to bring business to Greece by getting Buffett involved. It was a “sociological experiment”, he claimed.

Proto himself claims to be the inspiration for the character Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey and is described as a self-styled property broker to the rich and famous.

It appears Cyprus is just the latest in string of targets for the Italian businessman. He has also attempted in the past to link Tom Cruise to the purchase of a villa in Malta for €12 million.

According to Malta Today, there is no villa on the island worth that much money.

When confronted by the newspaper by phone, Proto questioned the credentials of Cruise’s publicists who had denied the purchase claim.

Last year when Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim became the largest individual shareholder in New York Times, Proto Enterprises issued a statement that it had teamed up with Slim and was part of the deal.

But other than an interview he did with the New York Post, about his part in the life of Fifty Shades author El James, there is little information on the Italian businessman.

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