The man in the photo enjoys a glass of fine wine surrounded by women in a tipsy mood and relaxes with his wife who is reading a book. He is Carlos Ghosn, 69, former chairman of Nissan Motor Co.
The photo below was taken at an upscale restaurant in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. It is a popular restaurant that has been ranked in the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants,” and Ghosn was very pleased with his meal from start to finish. (In the second photo) Mrs. Carroll, sitting on the sofa, is holding a nonfiction book that was co-authored by the couple in France in 2009 and describes Ghosn’s life in prison in Japan. The title of the book is “Always Together,” and it appeals to the couple’s close relationship,” said an acquaintance of Ghosn.
On June 20, Reuters reported that Ghosn, who continues to live as a fugitive in Lebanon, had filed a lawsuit in a Lebanese court. The lawsuit is against Nissan and others, seeking $1 billion (about 144 billion yen) in damages.
The suit was filed by Hari Nada, senior managing executive officer, and 12 other senior executives. They demanded $1 billion as the total amount of compensation they were to receive from Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi Motors, as well as compensation for emotional distress. Ghosn claims that Nissan fabricated and falsified evidence,” said a reporter from the international section of a national newspaper.
Ghosn’s claim for damages is one of the highest in Lebanon. After fleeing to Lebanon from Kansai Airport in December 2007 while out on bail, Ghosn has been leading an ultra-celebrity lifestyle, utilizing assets said to be worth 7 billion yen.
He has been living a life of super-celebrity, using his assets, which are estimated to be worth 7 billion yen, to support his lifestyle. The fee is a hefty $20,000 (about 2.88 million yen), but it is popular among executive businesspeople who want to hear from lecturers gathered through Ghosn’s personal connections.’ In 2010, he opened an exclusive members-only club in Beirut with an annual membership fee of $10,000 (about 1,440,000 yen), which is also thriving,” he said.
He usually lives in a luxury condominium in the center of Beirut, which Nissan purchased for $17 million (about 2.4 billion yen). He spends his holidays at a villa in a luxury resort area.
In Lebanon, where the national economy has collapsed, there are many people who cannot even make ends meet. Ghosn’s life must seem like a different world.
In June, Ghosn was again placed on the international wanted list.
“France has requested a wanted person from the International Criminal Police Organization for his involvement in corruption with politicians.” This is the third time he has been wanted by Japan in 2008 and by France in ’22 for alleged corruption related to Renault. The allegation is that Ghosn, while chairman of Nissan, illegally paid a bribe of approximately 100 million yen to a former French justice minister. If investigators have solid evidence, he could be extradited to France at short notice. If he enters France, he will be arrested,” said a Lebanese government official.
We asked Nissan Motor (Public Relations Department), which was sued by Ghosn, what it plans to do.
The name of the luxury house in Beirut is still in the name of Nissan Motor Co. We continue to demand that Mr. Ghosn return the residence.
The trial between Ghosn, a celebrity fugitive, and Nissan is scheduled for September 18.
From the July 14-21, 2023 issue of FRIDAY
Interview and text by Masayoshi Katayama (journalist)： Masayoshi Katayama (Journalist)