The Queen of Versailles

I’m sick. So, I decided to catch up on some movie watching. I started with the documentary that I have been meaning to watch since 2012, The Queen of Versailles. Its about Jackie and David Siegel, owners of the Westgate Resort time share. 

I was torn the entire film of feeling sorry and rolling my eyes. Basically what happens is they show how rich and fabulous their life is. I mean, they are like ROLLING in money and they started to build the largest house in America that was based off the palace in Versailles. Like, 17 bathrooms, a bowling ally, skating rink, can watch the Disney fireworks off their porch. 

Then, the economy starts to fall. No one wants to buy time share. No one has money for it. So boo- hoo, they start to go bankrupt. 

Yes, I feel sorry that they are going through a difficult time. But no, I’m not sorry that you now have to live like the rest of us. Sorry you can’t have 25 nanny’s, and a chef, and a bartender, and a driver. Sorry you have to pick up your dogs poop. Its like you have a beautiful house already…why is it so hard for 7 kids and 2 adults and a nanny to pick up after yourselves? You watch the current house they have go from being a nice house to like, a shit hole. Stuffed animals everywhere, animals dying because they forgot they had a lizard! Basic household responsibilities its like they don’t know how to do!

David is 30 years older then Jackie. We watch as the money falls, so does their marriage. He says Jackie is almost like another kid. And she is trying to find a new way to live her life without the money she used to have. Having to rent a car…with no driver…making dinner for her kids. Having to explain to her kids that they are going to have to get jobs, and go to college, and get college loans! Oh geeze. 

They start filming for a span of a couple years. What I found most amazing is one of their daughters, Victoria was 12 when they started…when we see her at 14 she looks like a completely different. And she acts like an adult more then her mother. She says “I think my Dad married my mom as a trophy wife because she’s really pretty… I don’t think he really loves her.”  She loves him. She says “I married for richer or poorer. I didn’t expect any of this.” 

That’s sad. And it’s awkward. You can see how Jackie is just like without a clue. Still buying the kids millions of gifts for Christmas. The kids opening them and saying “another baby doll!?” 

I will say though, you know…when it came down to it, they opened up a “thrift mart” to give back to the community. To sell some of their things, collecting old toys to give away. But it’s like, why weren’t you doing that before you started to go broke?

The moral of the story is, you can’t spend money you don’t have! That people see this “””American Dream”””  that everyone seems to crave is built on money and wanting more then what you have and greed. And trying to work your way from the bottom. Once you reach the top you have no where to go but to fall. They were careless with their money and their investors. 

I wanted to feel bad for them, I did. But they did this to themselves. And its just hard to have sympathy for someone who is complaining about having to live a normal life. Having money is nice, but it isn’t everything. 

I’ve stayed at Westgate in Orlando. My family has timeshare. Honestly, time share is great! It is worth the money you spend for it. To be able to go on vacation for a week and able to switch your time share over to another affiliate, I’ve been able to travel alot of places and stay in nice hotels. With my own kitchen and bedroom and a living room and space! It is an investment, something that eventually will be passed down from my Mom to my sister and I. I learned how spoiled I was with time share properties when I had to stay in a Fairfield Inn and I was like… I don’t understand how a family stays in this ONE room, with 2 beds, 1 TV and 1 bathroom. We ended up checking out early. So, sure…going from living your life without a care, to having to put yourself on a budget is hard. But, thats LIFE. 

You know, the economy will eventually go back up, they will eventually get money back and will they have learned anything from this? Maybe. Will they just resort back to their old way of life? Probably. They are back up and running, and “Westgate Resorts is currently financially sound and very profitable. The loan on Versailles has been paid off and construction has resumed.” is what they said as of April of this year. Not to mention, I’m sure having a documentary shot over 3 years is now helping them restore all the money they lost. Then David goes on to try and sue the movie company and Sundance ” for defamation over promotional language stating that his empire had collapse.”

The American Dream. Gatsby would be so proud. 


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