Beyoncé, Usher and Mariah Carey were paid millions to perform for Mutassim Gadhafi. The son of Col. Muammar Gadhafi and the Libyan national security adviser believed to be coordinating the bloody crackdown that has killed hundreds this week.
That according to confidential State Dept cables leaked by WikiLeaks and published by the New York Times. The intelligence describes the Gadhafi sons as ruthless, "hard-partying, womanizing" and obscenely extravagant, spending millions in petrodollars as the country starves and heads into a bloody civil war.
After New Year’s Day 2009, Western media reported that Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, a son of the Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, had paid Mariah Carey $1 million to sing just four songs at a bash on the Caribbean island of St. Barts.
Seif indignantly denied the report — the big spender, he said, was his brother, Muatassim, Libya’s national security adviser, according to an American diplomatic cable from the capital, Tripoli. It was Muatassim, too, the cable said, who had demanded $1.2 billion in 2008 from the chairman of Libya’s national oil corporation, reportedly to establish his own militia. That would let him keep up with yet another brother, Khamis, commander of a special-forces group that "effectively serves as a regime protection unit." [...]
A year ago, a cable reported that proliferating scandals had sent the clan into a "tailspin" and “provided local observers with enough dirt for a Libyan soap opera." Muatassim had repeated his St. Barts New Year’s fest, this time hiring the pop singers Beyoncé and Usher. An unnamed "local political observer" in Tripoli told American diplomats that Muatassim’s "carousing and extravagance angered some locals, who viewed his activities as impious and embarrassing to the nation."
Beyoncé was reportedly paid $2 million for her private performance.
Days before the 2010 concert, another brother, Hannibal, fled London after being accused of brutally abusing his wife. Libyan diplomat advised the wife to tell "police that she had been hurt in an 'accident'," cables show.
Only two years before in 2008, Hannibal and his wife were arrested in Geneva for allegedly beating several servants at a luxury hotel. The Gadhafi were released two days later but the Libyan leader was "so enraged by his son's two-day detention" that he "had two Swiss businessmen arrested, cancelled most flights between the two states and withdrew about $5bn from his Swiss bank accounts," reports The Guardian.
Why should pop stars care if they're partying with dictators who order soldiers to spray crowds of unarmed people with machine guns? "They're getting paid," right?