I’m so happy for that child,” said Jacqueline Onassis at the wedding of her stepdaughter Christina Onassis to millionaire banking heir Alexander Andreadis on July 22, 1975. “She deserves happiness, and at last I think she’s got it.” For one of the world’s richest young women, who last year took over a $500 million empire on the death of her father, marital “happiness” has lasted a scant 14 months. Now both Christina, 25, and Alexander, 31, have filed separate divorce petitions with the Greek Orthodox Church in Athens on the grounds of “mutual incompatibility.”
The match, arranged by the two families, may have been doomed from the outset. “It was as if she were blindfolded,” observes one friend. “But not for long.” Christina told another confidant, “We are just too different. There is no common ground.” Alexander’s threatened finances also played a role. “She saw any suggestion to merge their fortunes as a threat to her independence,” explains an insider. “The Onassis money is part of her.”
Early this year there was talk of Christina flirting during a skiing vacation at St. Moritz. Alexander fumed over the attention paid to his wife by a Norwegian shipowner, a Saudi prince and a French politician. Another Christina-watcher noted: “Imagine the portly Alexander sitting with her two Chihuahuas in his lap. He was hardly the trim Adonis.”
Upon returning to Greece from their ski trip, Christina disclosed that her husband would not be appointed executive manager of the Onassis Foundation as expected. Later there was a public spat in a Paris restaurant. After another and more serious quarrel at home, she packed and took the first plane to New York. In July the couple repaired to the island of Skorpios to discuss their faltering marriage. “Skorpios belongs to Christina and her father’s ghost haunts the place,” says a family friend. “Andreadis didn’t have a chance on Skorpios.”
Following their decision to divorce, Alexander was riding a motorcycle on Skorpios when he lost control and skidded, smashing his leg. Christina signed his cast “Bon voyage, Alexandros, better luck next time,” then boarded her private jet in the company of Constantine Gratsos, 33, yet another shipping man. The destination: her father’s luxury apartment overlooking the harbor in Monte Carlo.
“Being married was like an incurable illness,” Christina told a close friend. “You have to chop it off to get well.”