When your billionaire family gets besieged with lawsuits and public outcry blaming it for a public health crisis, there's really only one thing to do: sell your mansion and escape to the chicest ski resort town in Europe.
It seemed to be the best option, at least, for Mortimer and Jacqueline Sackler, the more society-facing members of the Purdue Pharma-founding family, widely criticized for profiting off of the wave of opioid abuse sparked by the drug Oxycontin. Despite various attempts to keep a toe hold in the New York social scene, the Sacklers have been increasingly blacklisted by the upper crust. Even the Met museum, which boasts a famous wing named for the family, has vowed to stop taking donations from them. Ouch.
Purdue filed for bankruptcy protection in September and this month, Mortimer, the son of the company's late founder, and his wife sold their ritzy Upper East Side townhouse in an off-market deal for $38 million, according to the New York Post. Just a few weeks later, Page Six reported that the couple and their 5-year-old son would be spending the rest of the season (or "winter term," as they put it) in Gstaad, the luxe ski town in Switzerland frequented by the jet set.
They announced their move via email to their friends, saying, "We would love to see you either in Gstaad, if you are here or nearby, or elsewhere in Europe (taking advantage of the ease of travel here vs ours in NYC)."
Switzerland was certainly an interesting choice, especially since the New York Attorney General recently accused the Sacklers of using Swiss bank accounts to transfer millions of dollars from Purdue into their personal accounts. However, a spokesperson for Mortimer told Page Six, "The New York AG has been provided with full information about all family assets, including the family’s townhouse, and any suggestion otherwise is false. To be clear, no proceeds from the recent sale of the townhouse have been transferred out of the US. The Sacklers are spending the winter at a home that has been in their family for generations. They fully intend to return to the US in the near future."
Here's hoping they don't!
[Photo via Getty]