The Queen of Versailles (2012)
- Summaries (3)
In 2008, the Siegel family was top of the heap with the wealthy and politically influential David Siegel running the successful Westgate Resorts time-share business. To enjoy their good life, he and his engineer turned beauty queen trophy wife, Jackie, were building the largest single family private home in America. Suddenly, both the US economy and Westgate were rocked by the devastating sub-prime mortgage collapse. In the new economic reality with the business teetering on ruin, we follow the Siegels as they struggle to scale down their grotesquely ostentatious lifestyle. For this overprivileged family, accepting that situation proved a dispiriting struggle even as their unfinished dream home became a monument of their superficial values.
Orlando, Florida based married couple, seventy-four year old David Siegel and forty-three year old Jaqueline Siegel, live an opulent life. Both from humble beginnings, they are nouveau riche resulting from his primary business, Westgate Resorts, the largest privately owned time share in the world. Richard, one of David's adult sons from his first marriage, works in an executive position at Westgate specifically at their newly constructed Vegas property - the jewel in the Westgate crown - the two who are more business associates than they are father and son. Beyond his business, David sees himself as a political kingmaker, he believing he being solely responsible for George W. Bush being elected president in 2000. Jackie, a computer engineering graduate and former model/beauty queen, sees herself as mother first, pumping out seven children thus far (with one other minor she "inherited" from a relative living with them), she admits doing so since she knows they can hire the necessary nannies to do the child rearing. As they feel they have outgrown their current 26,000 square foot home, they are in the process of building a 90,000 square foot house inspired by and named after the palace at Versailles. It would be the biggest house in the United States. The Siegels find that they are not immune to the volatility in the financial markets, the stock market decline in September 2008 which would end up negatively affecting David's business. Forced to lay off thousands and sell off the majority of their assets to pay off creditors, those assets including the now only 50% completed Versailles, David, with Richard's help, tries to find solutions to their crumbling business, most specifically keeping the bankers from foreclosing on the Vegas property, while he and Jackie and their family will see if they can readjust to life of the more common folk.
A documentary that follows a billionaire couple as they begin construction on a mansion inspired by Versailles. During the next two years, their empire, fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis.
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