Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

'I really wanted the Russki's money, but I could see that having to work with his son was going to be trouble'

Victoria and I fled the country this week. We left poor H-F with the Himmlers and flew to Geneva, arriving in Zermatt in time for cocktails. This Swiss town has always been expensive but, since the arrival of the Nouveau Russians, it's totally insane. The main street is packed with billionaires and their fur-clad trophy wives looking for places to spend more money.

We are not just here for the skiing. I have arranged to meet a filthy rich Russian who wants to get into the movies and looks like he is going to throw stupid amounts of money at my production company. We meet in his huge suite in the main hotel, a beautiful old place that even Ben could probably not afford to stay in. The Russki greets us at the door with the slightly annoying bear-hug that they all give you – half gay, half macho-man stuff.



I see him give Victoria an approving up-and-down glance. She's very good for business; classy and well-dressed – unlike the bimbo who was hanging around the suite. She was classic Russian – diamante-studded tight jeans, four-inch heels, slightly too highlighted hair and a really, really tight Versace T-shirt that strained against her magnificent fake breasts. I was tempted to hang my coat on her nipples but I played it cool and stretched out on the couch. The Russki ordered a veritable bucket of caviar and we dug in greedily and washed it down with some great Billecart-Salmon. This was my kind of business meeting.



Victoria was trying desperately to make polite conversation with the bimbo while I tried to seal the deal and get the moolah off the Russki. It was all going very well and he was not even questioning the figures and the basic set-up of the operation. This was too good to be true. And it was. I soon discovered the catch. About half an hour after we arrived the door to the suite opened and this 18-year-old kid walks in. He's all dressed like P Diddy on acid, all beatboy bling, and he looks like a complete moron. He flops down on the sofa next to me but doesn't bother to say hello to anyone. He grabs a bottle of Billecart and pours himself a glass. He puts his feet up and stares at us with a vacant, stoned glare.



"This is Vlado, my son." Says the Russki billionaire, gleaming with pride. "He really wants to get into the movie business." Victoria and I looked at each other nervously. "I want him to work in the company with you."



There was no real question in the Russki's voice. I stared at the bimbo who was now watching some crap soap opera on the huge flat-screen TV that hung like an ugly painting above the roaring fire. I really wanted this guy's money; he was offering a huge investment, but I could see that Vlado was going to be trouble.



"We have deal?" barked the Russian. There wasn't much I could say, so I agreed.



I signed a wonderfully lucrative contract and we found ourselves on a plane back to London two days later with Vlado and his three Louis Vuitton bags in tow. He was even more of a nightmare than we'd first thought. This was a kid who had been given everything he wanted from day one and was never going to listen to anybody. Half an hour into the flight and he was in the washroom smoking a joint. This alarm goes off and all the crew are round the door asking him to come out. He eventually opens the door and a thick cloud of hash smoke pours out into the cabin.



The stewardess comes over to me and tells me that they have called the police and they will want to talk to us when we land. I'm telling her that this has fuck all to do with me. Then we find out that he's only 17, and because he booked in with me, I'm responsible for him. This is a total nightmare. He flops down beside me and starts kicking the seat of this guy in front of us. The guy loses it and starts shouting at me to "control my kid". The stewardess comes again and gives me a formal warning. I'm like, is anyone going to talk to the actual kid, rather than me? But apparently you can get away with anything if you're a teenager. I try to talk to him but he's got an iPod on and is listening to what sounds like particularly violent Gangsta rap. I pull the headphones off his head and try to give him a dressing down.



"Listen kid, if you want to work with me then there's gonna be some basic ground rules here. Firstly you don't behave like a moron, second you listen to me. I'm the boss or I'll send you straight back to your dad..."



"Fuck off, asshole...." replies the youth. There is no way that I can ever work with this kid. I just pray that he wanders off and does his own thing rather than come into the office. The deal with his dad is too good to fuck up, though. I order a large brandy and try to sedate myself from the pitfalls of this business. I open my bag and peer at the sum of money on the contract and feel a little better about everything. Show me the money, show me the money.... that's what it's all about and it's all going to be OK. Cooper Out.



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