Firstly Lauren, let me congratulate you on your engagement to Amazon founder, multi-billionaire and the world’s third richest man, Jeff Bezos — and on those fabulous Annie Leibovitz pictures in this month’s American Vogue.
Yes, some people have been unkind about how, shall we say, posed the two of you look together.
You with your arms awkwardly stretched around him, hanging on for dear life, him staring moodily at the camera at the steering wheel of a 4X4, clad in a cowboy hat with one pumped-up bicep on show.
Others have questioned why Vogue is featuring you at all. One bitchy comment on social media ran as follows: ‘Omg, imagine telling your billionaire bf that your dream is to be in Vogue and all it takes is a phone call and a card swipe.’
However, I’m afraid it won’t be the first time people make horrible asides. I know from experience how hard it is to be married to a super-rich man, so I wish you luck.
I met my husband, businessman Ricky Andrade, long before he made his millions working as a day trader, and if he were to lose everything it would be hard on me, but I’d be there for him because I love him.
I hope you’d feel the same way about Jeff although, admittedly, he’d have a way to go to lose a £133 billion fortune.
As the wife of a wealthy man, it can be hard to trust the people around you. One of my closest friends, who I’ve known for six years, messaged my husband saying, ‘I want to be your second wife’.
After I confronted her, she claimed it was a joke, but I wasn’t laughing. When you’re rich, people want a piece of your lifestyle, and while multiple marriages might be the norm in Dubai, that’s not what we’re planning.
It’s no surprise that people lust after my lifestyle. If Jeff is anything like my husband, he’ll be giving you gifts all the time — and I doubt he’s buying them on Amazon.
Ricky showers me with presents; he bought me a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon for £153,000 and my engagement ring — my third — cost him £40,200.
When we have a fight, Ricky will go on a £2,400 shopping spree buying me trinkets to apologise and, one time, he hired out an entire cinema in Dubai, where I ordered all the sweets on the menu. If I upset him, I might treat him to a sandwich as an apology!
He thinks nothing of buying me elaborate jewellery — and he’ll only buy 24 carat gold or brand name diamonds from stores such as Cartier or Boucheron, because he likes to pay for the name.
I get to spend at least £3,200 a month on clothes and up to £12,000 a month on jewellery, shoes and bags. I have so many clothes and accessories now, I had to turn a spare bedroom into a closet.
Date nights with a wealthy husband are great, too. We have three homes — a condo in Orange County, California, a home in Las Vegas and an apartment in Dubai.
Date nights in Dubai are especially fun. We’ve taken helicopter rides over the city and a yacht to the World Islands — private islands set in the shape of a world map with mansions that are open to the public.
We’ve also gone to the top of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower in the world, for dinner. That date night cost about £1,600 because we ordered the seven-course menu at the restaurant.
But while date nights are fun, be warned — they might not be as frequent as you would like. A lot of the time your man will be too busy.
On Valentine’s Day this year, Ricky was working so he gave me £16,000 to go shopping. That upset me because it felt like I was being paid off. Going to the mall to shop by myself wasn’t much fun — I wanted to be with him.
Money may never be an issue with a rich man, but getting to see him is. You just have to take whatever time you can get.
Wealthy men can also be quite controlling, so you may need to get used to that. My husband never lets me drive, for example, even when he’s not feeling 100 per cent.
I believe that your romance with Jeff blossomed after you piloted him on helicopter rides, so you might not have that problem.
Ricky doesn’t like me to swear — he thinks it lacks class — and he doesn’t like things to be messy, so I never leave any stuff lying around. If the maids can’t come to clean the place, I’ll do it myself.
Like Jeff, my husband is a yacht man. He loves the movie The Wolf Of Wall Street, in which the stockbroker Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, buys his wife a yacht and names it after her. Ricky has promised me that he’ll do the same for me and will call the yacht La Linda.
We’ve been married for five years — I’m 24 and he’s 28 — and I’m now six months pregnant with our first child, so I think the yacht will be my future ‘push present’ for giving birth.
We’ve travelled all over the world — to Saudi Arabia, the Turks and Caicos, the Maldives, Europe and the Dominican Republic — and while we only fly first or business class, it can get tiring packing for all the trips and getting to and from airports.
I’ll have to fly to Dubai alone soon as my husband will be working in Las Vegas and I find the prospect scary. Carrying my own bags worries me due to the thought of being robbed.
Our home in California was burgled and they stole about £320,000 of Chanel bags, shoes and my two previous engagement rings, so that threat always preys on my mind.
I’m sure you and Jeff have bodyguards, but you will know that being wealthy comes with its own set of risks.
It also comes with considerable perks, too, like the ability to do crazy things. One time my husband was craving tacos, so he hopped on a flight to Mexico to find the real thing.
Whenever we want to dine at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in Las Vegas, we’ll book a flight and be home in Orange County the same night if we don’t feel like staying over.
Another time, Ricky suddenly felt like pasta and said: ‘Let’s go to Italy — I want some authentic Italian food.’ I thought he was joking but he booked the flights, only for Covid to strike, meaning we had to cancel.
While I enjoy cooking, like you and Jeff we love to go out to eat, and in Dubai the food is lavish.
My husband loves gold, so he’ll order the gold steak — steak encrusted in 24-carat gold leaf which costs £965. I prefer the caviar.
When we go to the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, we’ll order the gold coffee — a coffee sprinkled with gold flakes, which costs £64 a cup. Sometimes though, the opulence is too much and you just want a pizza at home!
While we dine out a lot, I’m lucky I haven’t put on weight in the time we’ve been married.
As you’ll appreciate, Lauren, the pressure to stay beautiful for your wealthy husband is huge. People are always telling me: ‘He will leave you for someone younger’, which would be hard since, at 24, I’m pretty young anyway.
I wonder Lauren if, at 53, you’ve heard the same, too? You clearly work hard on your figure.
To maintain my appearance I spend about £4,000 a month on beauty treatments. Every six weeks I’ll do ‘baby Botox’ and a little filler. I’ll have lymphatic drainage every two weeks, which gets rid of fluids and swelling, and I work out with a personal trainer every other day at a cost of £160 a time.
I never wash my own hair, which sounds crazy I know; I spend about £600 a month on blow dries, scalp massages and hair maintenance.
About £900 will go on skincare and I buy up to 15 perfumes a month, which even my husband, as generous as he is, says is too much.
I also get massages for when I need to relax and have manicures and pedicures every two weeks, which costs £720 a month.
At this level, you need to make sure that your man isn’t bored of you or your appearance, and even when I’m at home I make sure that Ricky sees me at my best.
I like to dress beautifully in robes and what I call my ‘house high heels’ — fluffy black fur Saint Laurent mules.
I have my own weight loss clinic called Flip Your Look, which does fat freezing and skin tightening, among other procedures.
So far, I’ve only had veneers fitted on my teeth — no surgeries. Although you’ve never admitted anything, Lauren, people have speculated that you’ve had a few nips and tucks, including a facelift and boob job.
If true, good for you, because here’s something not many wives of rich men will admit to — we need to raise our game to keep things interesting sexually.
I take dance classes, which are very feminine and sensual and, as I feel beautiful doing them, that also translates to the bedroom.
I don’t believe my husband would leave me, but the fact is that women will be after your man and will be persistent about it. You have to make sure you’re never slacking in any department.
Mostly, Lauren, you have to have confidence in yourself, because people will dismiss your achievements and elevate his. Never forget you are a strong, talented woman.
My husband did help me with my beauty business, but I was the brains behind it.
Like you, I came from humble beginnings — my parents, Fouad and Lulu, moved to Los Angeles from Jordan when I was three and my three brothers, Mum and Dad and me all lived in a one-bedroom apartment until my father was able to expand his business.
When I met Ricky he was a personal trainer and dishwasher technician earning £3,200 a month and now with his eight businesses, he can make £80,400 a day.
So he knows I didn’t marry him for his money, which is why he trusts me and why we had no pre-nup. I don’t know if you’ll get a pre-nup, but just as you need to be careful not to be too financially dependent on him, he’ll need to be careful that you don’t take him for what he’s got.
As I said before, trust is important and gets harder to acquire the more money you have.
I remember as a young girl seeing my mum stressing over bills. She told me: ‘Linda, one day you’re going to stress about bills, too’, but I manifested I would never have to and that has come true for me.
I feel so grateful for how my life has turned out that I’m starting an academy for women to give them guidance on how to attract high quality men — and keep them interested.
Any time you want some tips, I’d be happy to share them, Lauren. And I’m sure you could teach me a few things, too.