There’s something deliciously satisfying about seeing arrogance and a sense of entitlement being brought to its knees.
“The Queen of Versailles” is a riches-to-rags documentary that follows the extravagant lives of David and Jackie Siegel, who were on the verge of building the largest mansion in America, but were bitten by the 2008 economic bug that saw their empire and dreams crumble.
David Siegel made his fortune through the time-share world. His two-dozen-plus five-star Westgate Resorts are scattered across the country, from Park City to Orlando, Fla., and from Branson, Mo., to Las Vegas.
The couple became so wealthy that they decided to build a 90,000-square-foot Florida home patterned after the palace in Versailles, France — only theirs would have 30 bathrooms, a bowling alley and an indoor skating rink.
They claimed their 27,000-square-foot home with 17 bathrooms was too cramped for them and their eight children.
Now, I realize it’s not nice to wish ill on others, and I don’t on the Siegels. It’s just shocking to see how high and mighty they once were and how they still don’t have any clue how the rest of the world lives.
When the family has to fly by commercial jet because the company had to sell its private one, the kids asked, “What are all these strangers doing on our airplane?” Wow.
Jackie says she is happy with less, but when forced to go with a basic car rental company at an airport, she asked the stunned counter guy, “So what’s my driver’s name?” She is equally stunned when the guy responds, “Sorry ma’am, you have to drive your own car.”
That’s just the tip of the iceberg in this riveting story of privilege versus reality.