Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 20, 1975 · Page 116
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 116

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 20, 1975
Page 116
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Page 116 article text (OCR)

who generated sparks of energy. I was calm. He was easily excitable. We were opposites. For years he pleaded with me to marry him. He proposed endlessly. But I was reluctant I had been married twice before. I had caught my first husband in a compromising position with another woman. My second husband, Herman Dedkhen, had run through much of my money, paying his bridge -gambling debts. "It was An who helped me get my divorce from Dedkhen. But I was fearful of marriage to Mamko, which is what I called him. He was insanely jealous, and until he acquired some savoir faire, he was very unsure of himself socially. His manners were not of the best He had been reared in Smyrna without much guidance. He knew little about food, wines, domes, culture. It was I who introduced him to Maxim's in Paris where he later held court But he was intelligent and industrious, and he learned fast, and on occasion, he was generous. 'Don't worry/ he would promise me. 'I will take care of you for life/ Perpetual care "When I took him home to Norway and introduced him to my mother, he quickly endeared himself to her. 'Mama/ he told her. 'I will look after Inge forever.' He assumed that I would marry him one day. When Onassis wanted ' something, he wanted it immediately, and almost always he got what he wanted one way or another. "With him I enjoyed the most beautiful and hellish years of my life. I was five years older than Onassis, and I realized that he was more angel and devil than most men." .: Eventually the Dedichen-Onassis love affair diminished from poetry to prose, and Onassis began cheating on Ingeborg. She understood and tolerated his need for infidelity, his need for social climbing, his need to seduce women of higher social standing than his. Clowning around: Ingeborg Dedichen and Aristotle Onassis in 1938 aboard the ship Ariston. By this time they'd been /overs for four years, fngeborg was taller man Ari, had to slump down for photo-tafa'ng. Ar/ was se/f-con- scibus about his small stature and gagged it up by sticking his tongue out After living with Onassis in Paris, London, Genoa, Monte Carlo, Athens, and New York, Ingebbrg valiantly suggested he marry a young Creek girl he could dominate, a virgin if possible. One day in Paris she received a phone call from Onassis. He announced that he was going to marry a 16-year-old girl, Tina Livanos, daughter of Stavros Livanos the billionaire Greek ship- owner who really wanted Onassis to marry his older daughter, Eugenia. But Onassis wanted Tina, and it was Tina he married. Eugenia went to Niarchos. ' Following his marriage to Tina Livanos, Onassis sent a letter of complaint Ingeborg and Arts sister Artemis (I) in Athens in 1936. Artemis Onassis, wed to Prof. Theodore Carofalidou, was very fond of Ingeborg, urged her to marry her brother, but Ingeborg was afraid they were too "different" to Ingeborg. "You are the only person," he wrote, "who hasn't sent me a wedding gift" Writes Madame Dedichen: "It would have been a total lack of tact on my part to send him a gift I lived with him almost 13 years, and I could just imagine the reaction of his young wife opening a gift of mine." Subsequently, Onassis who had offered Ingeborg as much as $3 million at one time to marry him, told her that he would give her $35,000 to buy a house or an apartment in Europe and that he would send her $800 a month for her support. Madame Dedichen finally settled on the apartment she now occupies in Neuilly-sur-Seine. She thought she owned the apartment Later when she tried to sell ft, she discovered that the apartment had been purchased in the name of an Onassis corporation which, still holds tide to it Her "Mamico" had tricked her again. He was always tricky where money was concerned. Uncertain future When the Onassis will was made public in Athens several weeks ago, I phoned Ingeborg Dedichen to find out if Ari had remembered her financially. "Not yet," she replied. "Its all too vague." She was obviously worried about the continuance of her support allowance. American friends of Ingeborg Dedi- chen were shocked to leam that Onas- sis had not left his first sweetheart "a large packet." Said Mrs. jane Wilson of Beverly Hills who knew Ari and Ingsa in New York and Paris. "If there was ever a woman who deserved generosity from a man, it is Ingsa who deserved it from Ari. Ingsa--that's what we all called her-. really made that man. "In my opinion she deserves to get as much as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis --$250,000 a year, and I am going to write Ari's daughter, Christina, and tell her so." Words from a friend "If Christina only knew," Mrs. Wilson goes on, "how much Ingsa had done for her father--transforming him from this unmannered, uncultured little fellow into an accepted man of the world. It was Ingsa's social contacts Ari used. It was because of Ingsa that Ari became socially acceptable everywhere. It was she who provided the entree. If she only knew how Ingsa, a concert pianist, instilled in her [Christina's] father a taste for good art, good music, and people of merit, if she only knew how Ingsa refined Ari--she would, surely see to it that Ingsa enjoys a comfortable old age. "All Christina need do is to discuss Ingsa with her aunts, with Ari's sisters. They know the whole story. "I hear from Ingsa by letter every few weeks," Mrs. Wilson continues, "and I know she is not well. In Paris these days, $800 a month doesn't carry one very far. Ingsa needs help, and of course, she is too proud to ask. But the Onassis clan owes her much. Those 12 or 13 years "' of her life she devoted to Ari helped mould him into the success he became." 1 Courtship by a 'porter' Ingeborg Dedichen met Onassis in 1934 aboard L'Augusts, an Italian ship ' bound for Genoa from Buenos Aires. He was 28; she was 33. On the long voyage to Europe he pursued her con. stantly and relentlessly. '/His first advances," she recalls, "were like a freshman's." But his courtship was so ardent that by the time the ship reached Venice, Onassis who, Ingeborg had originally thought "looked very much like a porter from Asia Minor," had conquered. From Venice onward, their love affair burgeoned. Onassis introduced Ingeborg to his sister, Artemis, and other members of his family. She took him home to her parents in Norway. As with all lovers, they had their^ quarrels and misunderstandings, but for 12 years a strong physical and mental attraction held them together. In Onassis, Mon Amour, Ingeborg Dedichen tells the story of their hectic relationship without rancor. Her memories are bittersweet She seeks to provoke no scandal, only to reveal Onassis as he really was. She remembers him, of course, in the first full flush of his manhood when he was a far different personality from the one who married Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.

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