Six degrees

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 February, 2012, 12:00am

Macau and Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson (below) has emerged as a key player in the battle for the United States presidency. Adelson has donated US$5 million to a political action committee backing family values philanderer Newt Gingrich to be the Republican candidate. Last weekend, Adelson made it known he would also offer financial support to Gingrich rival Mitt Romney if he ended up standing. Adelson can certainly afford it: last year he was ranked the 16th richest person in the world by Forbes magazine, one behind the second richest woman - Liliane Bettencourt ...

The L'Oreal co-owner has known her fair share of political intrigue. She has been accused of hiding her wealth from French tax authorities and was given a generous tax rebate by then budget minister Eric Woerth, to whom she has also been accused of making illegal financial contributions. She has also been accused of doing the same to French President Nicolas Sarkozy - who is married to Italian singer-songwriter, actor and model Carla Bruni ...

Before marrying, Bruni was romantically linked with several fellow musicians, including Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton (she also appears to have a preference for senior officers of state, having also dated former French prime minister Laurent Fabius). Her acting career has been more modest, but she did recently take a small role in the surprisingly good romantic comedy Midnight in Paris, directed by Woody Allen ...

As well as making the same film lots of times, and sometimes remembering to make it good, Allen has appeared as an actor in several films by directors other than himself, giving us an opportunity to see him in roles that don't involve a romantic entanglement with a woman half his age. Among these acting roles was his performance as Howard Prince in 1976 drama The Front, which deals with the Hollywood blacklist and the US anti-communist witch-hunts led by Joseph McCarthy ...

The Wisconsin senator was the figurehead of a movement that saw about half of Hollywood, together with a large part of the State Department and various politicians, accused of being communists at a time when that really wasn't a popular thing to be in the US. Among the entertainment industry figures who supported various left-wing organisations targeted by the committee was a young Frank Sinatra ...

Among his many other achievements, Sinatra managed to make Las Vegas cool, for a while owning a share in classic Rat Pack hangout Sands Hotel and Casino. In 1988, eight years before it was knocked down and replaced with the original Venetian, the Sands became the first casino investment of Sheldon Adelson.


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