The Queen of Versailles

Queen of Versailles

I don’t think I know one person that wasn’t effected by the recession. My parents were thrown into a tailspin that included massive debt, my college friends suddenly found their endless well of mommy and daddy’s money suddenly empty, and upon graduating I have found the job market not to be quite what it was when I went into the wonder world that is college. From poor people becoming even more poor to rich people suddenly falling from grace seemingly over night, everyone was scared out of their wits. It has been a slow and maddening climb up to something like it was ever since. It has been an even slower climb back up for David Siegel and his beautiful wife Jackie.

David Siegel is a timeshare mogul who sold timeshare vacations to middle-income families that definitely could not afford them. This bit him in the butt when he decided to keeping expanding his company into Las Vegas. He  built a grandiose tower complex on the strip that went bottom up when the economy hit the floor. Not only did he build this tower, but he was also in the middle of building the biggest house in the country in the style of the Versailles palace. This was a place to not only house all eight of their children but also to have place to gather with other über rich people and develop schemes to rule the world.

David is a despicable human being. He not only profited off of middle-income people’s dreams, he abandoned his first family, and elected the worst president in our lifetimes through illegal means (hanging chads anyone?). But his wife is a different story. On the surface she looks like just another Real Housewife (how I hate that show) with her fake tan and her augmented breasts. She seemed to be all trophy and no wife. The first part of the documentary portrays her buying expensive clothing, going on private jet rides, and having a bastion of maids whirling around her. But I was wrong. She is a woman who could not only care for a family of nine but also start a thrift store for all of the people who her husband put out of work.

This film is not only the story of one family falling from grace, but a whole country doing the same thing. We were once on top of the world, now we are underneath more sensible countries. We once had money pouring out of the fountains, now we have one of the largest unemployment rates ever. We took for granted our ability to always afford anything that we wanted, and we learned a harsh lesson. No one was immune. Not even the richest timeshare mogul in the country. He will probably never forget the hardship that he has gone through. Neither will Jackie. That is a good thing.