Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, whose net worth is estimated at more than $1.0 billion, reportedly gifted South African model Candice Van Der Merwe $16.0 million, among other expensive gifts. The monetary gift in question not only comes at a bad time for Hariri, but also puts Van Der Merwe in the spotlight. She has been embroiled in a legal battle regarding this money for years, though the source of this gift was revealed only this year. Our Candice Van Der Merwe wiki explains this controversy and more.
|About Candice-Jean Van Der Merwe|
|Birth||October 10, 1993|
|Parents||Gary Van Der Merwe, Monique Thorne|
|Hometown||Cape Town, South Africa|
Candice Van Der Merwe Is from South Africa
Candice-Jean Van Der Merwe was born on October 10, 1993 to Monique Thorne and Gary Van Der Merwe. Candice and her sister were raised in the South African capital of Cape Town.
Monique Thorne is a health and wellness coach who invests in and owns wellness franchises. Gary Van Der Merwe is a businessman in Cape Town who once ran the Huey Extreme Club, which offered joyrides in a Vietnam-era Bell UH-1 chopper.
Van Der Merwe Is a Swimwear Model
When she was younger, Van Der Merwe’s sister joined Boss Models in South Africa. The agency then noticed Candice and asked her to join as a model.
She has since had an international career, modeling swimwear for calendars and working in ad campaigns for Samsung, Reebok, AXE. She even featured in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Sports Illustrated.
The now-brunette Candice is also working on her own swimwear brand, LaVita Swim. She shares her modeling pictorials on her Instagram as well.
Van Der Merwe Is Engaged
Candice has been in a relationship with an unnamed gentleman since at least November 2018, when he began making regular appearances on her Instagram. From the looks of it, the couple enjoy similar interests like traveling the globe, sampling the nightlife and culinary delights of each locale.
Candice announced their engagement on the photo-sharing platform in July 2019.
The South African beauty was previously in a relationship with Cape Town native Nick French, a man who looks quite similar to her husband to be.
View this post on Instagram
A year ago today I walked past this bday girl (who at the time despised me) on Bree, grabbed her and gave her the biggest "surprise kiss" of her life! Now, a year has passed and life together is amazing!! Happiest bday to my beautiful girlfriend – can't wait till the next one with you ❤️🐰🎁
French is a marketing professional who was working as the manager of the South African division of the U.K.-based sports media entity Perform Group until 2018.
Van Der Merwe Reportedly Received $16.0 Million from Lebanese PM
Back when she was a 20-year-old modeling upstart and before she met her boyfriend-turned-fiancé, Van Der Merwe was allegedly having an affair with Saad Hariri, now the prime minister of Lebanon. They reportedly met at a private luxury resort in Seychelles.
South African court documents revealed that during their affair, Hariri had gifted the model approximately $15.3 million in one transaction in 2013. The married father of three also helped her out with legal expenses and gifted her two cars worth $250,000, according to the filings.
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Hariri was not Lebanon’s chief of state when the transactions were made. But he was the head of his political party and one of the wealthiest politicians in the world.
However, there’s no indication that the money he gave to Van Der Merwe was anything but his own. And the transactions didn’t violate any South African or Lebanese laws, either.
The sudden increase in Candice’s assets—she was previously earning $5,400 annually—brought this transaction under scrutiny in 2013. Van Der Merwe and her father became embroiled in a legal battle with the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
SARS was investigating the origin of those millions and initially suspected Gary Van Der Merwe of tax evasion by transferring the money into her account. Candice, however, contended that a generous Arab admirer of hers gave her the money as a gift.
“In 2012, I was contracted through Ice Models to travel to Seychelles to the Plantation Club on Mahe Island. The Plantation Club is a private resort in the Seychelles which is owned and frequented by some of the richest private individuals in the world,” Candice stated in court documents.
She met a wealthy person identified as one Muhamad Muhamad Nazih Rawas in old court documents. Her admirer then gave her the money so she could buy a property in Fresnaye, Cape Town that was on the market back then.
Now it has been disclosed that Saad Hariri was the Arab admirer. He hasn’t, however, responded directly to the allegations, nor has he mentioned Candice. The model, on her part, claimed that their affair had long been over.