A woman who loaned her younger lover £500,000 to purchase an apartment is now fighting to get it back.
66-year-old Christiane Shellard, from Surrey, lent 29-year-old Cristian Mihalea the sizeable sum to buy a flat under her name at Brentford Dock, West London.
It was reportedly agreed the Romanian toyboy could live at the flat until he was able to afford a mortgage; in the hope this generosity would help him turn his life around.
The wealthy divorcee also gave Mihalea a luxury Porsche Panamera – worth nearly £68,000 – and loaned him a further £160,000 to cover his father’s medical bills.
‘Man with a van’ turned hair and beauty salon owner, Mihalea has now admitted to blowing the lot via online gambling, expensive cars, and high end watches.
However, according to The Sun, he doesn’t believe he has to pay anything back, viewing the money as a ‘gift’.
The pair had been together for 18 months, in a relationship Mihalea has since described as ‘full, loving and intimate’.
Christiane met Mihalea three years after divorcing the boss of a head-hunting firm for financial markets. She’s now taking legal action, suing Mihalea for cash in London’s High Court.
Regarding legal proceedings, she told The Sun:
Karma is a b*tch and it is waiting for him.
Christiane’s barrister, Ross Fentem, has claimed the former removal man ‘salted away’ the loan in Romanian bank accounts and also bought a £42,000 GLS Mercedes for his sister, Mirela.
Judge Nicholas Cooke has frozen all of Mihalea’s global assets while Christiane’s legal team investigate the money trail.
Judge Cooke advised Mihalea:
You’re not going to get away from the juggernaut that’s approaching by saying, ‘It’s too late, I have spent all the money’.
They will find whether you still have the money. The claim is… that you are telling a pack of lies.
However, Mihalea has continued to state his only assets as being a Lloyds account containing £7,444 and a Cartier watch worth £4,000.
The watch is believed to be a gift from Christiane.
Two years before meeting Christiane, Mihalea featured in an article in The Sun, where he portrayed himself as a successful businessman who splashed out £37,000 on £250-a-time sex workers.
Speaking to The Sun at the time, Mihalea bragged:
I’m young, I’m good-looking and successful — so why shouldn’t I be allowed to enjoy my freedom?
If I were to have a girlfriend, she would have to be very independent and willing to stand on her own two feet.
Mihalea currently shares a riverside flat in Battersea, south-west London – purchased under his sister’s name – and runs the Fulham based Vos hair and beauty salon.
A source has now told The Sun:
He claimed his cash came from a relative who had sold a field.
He fancies himself as a big shot, swaggering around claiming he is going to be the next Richard Branson. In reality he is a fantasist.
Christiane had reportedly been unaware of these boasts when their relationship began.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.