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Queen of Versailles

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01:40:50   |   May 10, 2019

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Queen of Versailles
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  • ( piano music playing )
  • ( camera clicking )
  • Woman: Wanna do one on his lap?
  • Oh. Oh. I'm in pain.
  • - Is this Santa Claus? - I'm in pain.
  • We've been doing this for four hours.
  • - Woman: Three. - David Siegel: Three hours.
  • ( woman laughs )
  • Jacqueline Siegel: My husband, when I got married to him,
  • all I wanted was love from him.
  • And he always said, "Trust me,"
  • and I put my trust into him.
  • So if-- so...
  • we'll see what happens.
  • - Yeah. - Okay.
  • ( baby crying )
  • In the breakfast room, the lock--
  • if you pull on it, it comes out,
  • but I'll be there in two minutes.
  • I'll show them when I come in.
  • Goddamn, our house is falling apart.
  • - No-- - Why do you think she's trying to block you?
  • You said you-- you don't care what I do.
  • Daniel: I said I don't care what you think.
  • David: We're home.
  • Jacqueline: There's no place like home.
  • There's no place like home.
  • It's always nice to be home.
  • And no place like your own bed.
  • Through these hallowed gates.
  • Mrs. Florida '93.
  • ( Jackie laughs )
  • Aw, look.
  • Look at her.
  • She's worn out.
  • Look at me, I got to come home in my socks...
  • 'cause my children took my shoes.
  • My name is Jacqueline Siegel.
  • I am in Orlando, Florida.
  • I'm a 43-year-old mother of eight.
  • I am from Binghamton, New York.
  • I'm not a city girl, I'm a small-town girl.
  • Tell me when you're ready.
  • My name is David Siegel.
  • I'm 74 years old.
  • I am the founder, president,
  • CEO of Westgate Resorts,
  • the largest privately owned
  • time-share company in the world.
  • When I grew up in Binghamton, New York,
  • pretty much the only place to work
  • and make money was IBM.
  • And I figured I could either be
  • a secretary and work for an engineer
  • or I could be an engineer.
  • So I got my computer engineering degree,
  • and then I worked at IBM.
  • I had this little cubicle,
  • but there's hundreds of other people,
  • engineers in their own cubicles.
  • And then I came into the office early one day
  • and I asked my manager,
  • "Which project are you working on?"
  • He says, "I wrote my own program
  • to count down
  • the years, days, months, weeks,
  • minutes, down to the second
  • of when I retire."
  • And I said, "Well, why would you do that?"
  • He said, "Because that's when I'm going to start living my life."
  • And I said, "Wow."
  • I put in my resignation.
  • I was out of there in a week.
  • I packed my bags and I moved to New York City
  • and started modeling.
  • Then I met a man on Wall Street.
  • I got married.
  • He moved me to the Everglades.
  • - ( music playing ) - And while I was down there,
  • I saw an ad in the newspaper to win Mrs. Florida.
  • I entered it.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, I give you
  • your brand-new Mrs. Florida.
  • Here is Jacqueline Solomon.
  • Jacqueline: And then I ended up getting a divorce.
  • And I met my current husband
  • through Mrs. World.
  • Mrs. Florida '95 invited me
  • to her husband's 40th birthday party.
  • And being a bachelor
  • that had just gotten out of a 27-year marriage,
  • first person I saw was Jackie,
  • and I was smitten.
  • I thought she was the most beautiful girl in the world.
  • Jacqueline: It took me a while to fall in love with him.
  • It just really felt wonderful to be so adored.
  • That's what attracted me.
  • There's 30 years between us.
  • I tell you, he doesn't need Viagra.
  • But at least there is that option if he does, like--
  • I don't know, 10 years from now--
  • but at least there's that option.
  • It's show-and-tell today,
  • so I got to get them to school.
  • - Bye. - Bye.
  • All right, let's hurry. Come on.
  • Let's go this way so China doesn't bite us.
  • Bye. Have a nice day.
  • David's voice: Can't see what she sees in me,
  • but we have a great relationship.
  • What she lacks in being a housekeeper,
  • she makes up in-- she loves people,
  • has more friends, she's a big extrovert,
  • but a good person, a good heart,
  • and a good mother.
  • Okay, tilt your head. There we go.
  • - Girl: Mommy. - What?
  • Oh, lookit, the doggy's eating a cockroach.
  • Ugh.
  • I grew up in a one-bathroom,
  • three-bedroom house, and I can remember
  • I would have to wait in line to use the bathroom.
  • In this house we have, I think, 17 bathrooms.
  • In our new house we have 30 bathrooms,
  • so you won't have to keep your legs crossed
  • very long.
  • The reason why we really want the bigger home--
  • for one thing, I think my husband deserves it.
  • I think it'd be a lot like a lifetime achievement.
  • I think he's worked so hard.
  • And even though this house,
  • which is 26,000 square feet, is so big,
  • we're bursting out at the seams.
  • - Woman: Bye, girls. - I'm going to go look at our new house, okay?
  • Look at this thing. Oh, my God!
  • We went to France and we saw Versailles,
  • and we were inspired by the French architecture.
  • David: I drew it on the back of an envelope
  • on my way to Las Vegas.
  • In Las Vegas, we looked out our window and we kind of copied
  • the top three floors of the Paris Hotel.
  • Probably should have used smaller envelopes
  • because it turned out to be the largest home in America.
  • Jacqueline: We never sought out to build
  • the biggest house in America.
  • It's just-- it, like, kind of happened.
  • This is so beautiful.
  • This is our grand ballroom.
  • We have the grand staircase on each end.
  • Mm-hmm. This is a palace.
  • Can you imagine, like, the dances and the parties?
  • I said, "Well, I'd like to have a bowling alley."
  • And then he says, "I want a health spa."
  • And then I said, "We need maid's quarters."
  • I forgot how many kitchens.
  • 10 kitchens. We have a sushi bar.
  • David: Two tennis courts-- one will be a stadium court--
  • a full-sized baseball field
  • which will double as the parking lot
  • when we have parties.
  • This is our ice-skating slash roller rink.
  • David: The children have their own wing.
  • They have their playroom with a stage
  • where they can perform
  • and do their-- whatever they do.
  • Okay, this is the staircase that I would come up
  • if I was going to visit the children.
  • We wanted to put everything
  • that we could dream of in this home.
  • And we're going to have, like, an orchestra up here...
  • - Uh-huh. - ...for black-tie affairs.
  • David: The house will be filled with Louis XIV-type
  • antique furniture.
  • Jacqueline: That's our observation deck.
  • Every night we go up there
  • to watch the Disney fireworks.
  • So, by the time we both got what we wanted,
  • now it's 90,000 square feet.
  • Jackie, is this your room?
  • No, that's not my room.
  • - Where's your room? - That's my closet.
  • Oh, no way! No way!
  • Where's David's closet?
  • - Oh, that's his closet. - ( laughs )
  • - That's my husband's closet. - All right, this is it.
  • ( laughs )
  • My husband filled the garages up
  • with our marble from China.
  • This is what $5 million worth of marble looks like.
  • I gotta go kiss my dog.
  • My husband knew how special Chanel was to me,
  • so he had her stuffed for me, and now she's upstairs.
  • - ( barks ) - And this one, a staff member
  • ran over him in the driveway,
  • but now he's on my piano.
  • So, you ask me why I'm building
  • the largest home in America.
  • And my answer is because I could.
  • Interviewer: You mentioned being a kingmaker
  • and having a big role in the 2000 election.
  • David: I sure did.
  • I got George W. elected president.
  • Personally got him elected president.
  • George W. Bush: It is nice to be here with so many good folks
  • - from the great state of Florida. - Yeah!
  • Reporter: Businessman David Siegel says America owes a lot to him.
  • I think we are responsible
  • for George Bush becoming president.
  • Now, had I not stuck my big nose into it,
  • there probably wouldn't have been an Iraqi war,
  • and maybe we might have been better off-- I don't know.
  • Interviewer: How were you personally responsible
  • for the reelection of George Bush?
  • I-- I'd rather not say it,
  • 'cause it may not necessarily have been legal.
  • ( woman laughs )
  • Jackie, can you imagine falling down these stairs?
  • Jacqueline: ♪ Here she is, Miss America... ♪
  • Woman: This is so pretty!
  • This is, like, the nicest, grandest house
  • in all of the United States.
  • Right here.
  • What I have today is what I worked hard for.
  • A fellow came to me in 1980,
  • and he said he wanted to buy 10 acres of my orange grove.
  • He said, "I'm going to time-share it."
  • I said, "What's that?"
  • He explained the concept to me.
  • I fell in love with the concept.
  • I didn't sell him the land,
  • and I decided to build a time-share resort
  • in the back of my orange grove.
  • I started building 16 units,
  • which I thought was more than I'd ever need,
  • and people started buying them.
  • We now have 28 resorts in 11 states.
  • The three largest time-share resorts
  • in the world are all Westgate Resorts.
  • We are considered the Rolls-Royce
  • of the time-share industry.
  • They call me the time-share king.
  • I have built one of the icon properties in Las Vegas.
  • It's 52 stories of beautiful blue glass.
  • At the last Miss USA, Donald Trump, he said,
  • "Congratulations on your new tower."
  • He said, "Got one problem with it."
  • He says, "When I stay in my penthouse suite,
  • I look out the window, all I see is Westgate."
  • He said, "Can you turn your sign down a little bit?"
  • I have the brightest sign on the strip.
  • Well, we want to go to this and we want to go tonight.
  • Concierge: Well, then we can set you up for the presentation
  • tomorrow morning at 10:00.
  • We're going to do a walk-through of the building,
  • and then we'll have a light breakfast or a lunch.
  • In return, we give you guys show tickets
  • to any of the shows listed here.
  • You guys make over 60,000?
  • - Yeah. - Yes?
  • - Are you married? - Both: No.
  • Are you guys-- you're a couple, though, right?
  • - Of course. - Oh, yeah.
  • Salesman: Now, the top five floors of our building
  • are like penthouse condominiums, full ownership.
  • Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis,
  • the Rock, Usher-- those are some of the celebrities that own upstairs.
  • This isn't just a celebrity wall of fame of who's who,
  • this is David Siegel, our developer and owner.
  • A lot of these are different charity events he donates
  • a lot of time and money to.
  • So that's a good thing.
  • Let's go on out in the hallway.
  • Salesman: This is South Beach, Miami.
  • This is the Lakes, which is in Orlando.
  • This is Park City, Utah. This is where you guys are going to learn to ski.
  • - Man: Okay. - ( all laugh )
  • David: You know, the typical time-share family
  • will stay in a motel with two queen size beds,
  • small TV on the dresser, and one bathroom.
  • When they walk into the room,
  • the kids want to turn on their cartoons,
  • the wife wants to watch her soap operas,
  • and the husband wants to watch
  • his football game or sporting event.
  • They get up in the morning,
  • they go in the bathroom,
  • the wife goes in, steams up the mirror
  • so the husband can't shave.
  • They go out and we have a booth,
  • and we say, "Well, if you'll spend 90 minutes
  • and see what we have to offer,
  • you can get free Disney tickets."
  • And at 7:00 in the morning,
  • they're lined up at my resort.
  • As they're getting out of their car,
  • the wife is saying to the husband,
  • "Don't you dare buy anything."
  • And he says, "Oh, don't you worry,
  • they won't sell me anything."
  • - You guys ready for the wow factor? - Yeah.
  • All right, this is our four-bedroom.
  • - This is 2,382 square feet. - Woman: Okay.
  • Salesman: This accommodates 14 people comfortably.
  • You much of a sports fan?
  • You've got the choice of watching it on the flat screen
  • or-- this is where the projector screen comes down.
  • David: And it just blows them away.
  • That motel-- if it looked bad before they came,
  • it looks twice as bad after,
  • and all they do is dream about
  • coming back the next year and staying at Westgate.
  • We show them how what they're going to spend on motels
  • over the next 10 or 15 years,
  • they can afford this time-share.
  • Salesman: Let me ask you guys this:
  • - Do you like the units? - Yeah.
  • Could you see yourself going back to renting
  • regular hotel rooms and giving this up?
  • - No. - Absolutely not. ( laughs )
  • All right, if it were affordable,
  • is it something you guys would consider owning today?
  • - Both: Yes. - Let's go downstairs.
  • Let me show you what it looks like on paper.
  • David: Everyone wants to vacation like a Rockefeller.
  • We show people how they can.
  • Everyone wants to be rich.
  • If they can't be rich,
  • the next best thing is to feel rich.
  • And if they don't want to feel rich,
  • then they're probably dead.
  • Jacqueline: In my heyday of my shopping,
  • I probably spent over a million dollars a year.
  • I have a $17,000 pair of Gucci crocodile boots.
  • I have ostrich feather Gucci pants
  • that are probably $10,000.
  • I have a ton of purses.
  • I think purses are a good investment.
  • If you ever get into a bind,
  • you can always sell them on eBay.
  • Of course, I'm just the opposite.
  • I could care less about clothes
  • or material things.
  • Marissa Gaspay: Mr. David is a real disciplined man.
  • He's my idol.
  • He exactly knows what's going on in this house,
  • every corner of this house.
  • He monitors our bills for water and electric.
  • Even if he earns billions of dollars,
  • he knows exactly what-- where his money goes.
  • - Jacqueline: Hi, Ricky. - Hi.
  • - Drew: Hey, Ricky. - Debbie: Hi, Ricky.
  • - Hi. - Jacqueline: Hi, Ricky.
  • Hi.
  • - Gaspay: Hi, Ricky. - Hi.
  • - Ready? - Oh, yeah.
  • Gaspay: These kids,
  • they're the king and queen of the house.
  • Jacqueline: I have eight children--
  • seven by birth and one that I inherited.
  • Having my children fulfill me.
  • When I was going through my modeling career,
  • I didn't want children.
  • First of all, I thought it would destroy my body.
  • Then I couldn't stop having them.
  • It was like an addiction. ( laughs )
  • Or maybe it's because I finally found a husband that would make love to me.
  • I changed a lot of people's lives.
  • A lot of people are better off for knowing me.
  • I certainly changed my three wives' lives.
  • I brought wonderful children into the world.
  • You know, I have seven under 12.
  • I have six grown children.
  • I think everybody is better off
  • for being either my child or my employee.
  • Rise and shine, Drew.
  • We're leaving in 15 minutes.
  • Rise and shine.
  • Come on, rise and shine, Drew.
  • Drew likes to stay in my room.
  • Maybe he feels comfortable and safe in a small room.
  • It's like my teddy bear at night.
  • I hug him and he gives me-- like I'm a mom.
  • Even though I'm not the real mom,
  • I'm not the biological mother,
  • but I feel like I'm a mom.
  • I'm not their--
  • are you done, Drew?
  • Flush the toilet. Come on.
  • - Man: You're at ISO 320? - Man #2: Yeah.
  • Ricky: My name's Victoria Siegel,
  • but I like to be called Ricky,
  • and I'm 12 years old.
  • I'm the oldest out of seven kids, plus my cousin Jonquil.
  • She's 16.
  • Jacqueline: Jonquil is actually my niece,
  • my brother's daughter.
  • She was estranged from him for many years
  • and her mother passed away.
  • Jonquil grew up in kind of a broken environment.
  • When we got Jonquil down here, she had no clothes.
  • She came down with one little suitcase
  • filled up with these filthy, dirty stuffed animals
  • that had never been washed and dirty underwear.
  • I said, "Tell me what your room's like
  • so I can, you know, kind of decorate your room."
  • And she said, "Well, my room's, uh..."
  • You know how she talks-- like, "The dirt room."
  • I said, "What do you mean, the dirt room?"
  • "Well, it's in the basement and it's got a dirt floor."
  • I remember one time she told me, like,
  • she got kicked out of her house or something.
  • She had to sleep on the streets one time with her mom
  • in a playground or something.
  • Now that I've got a taste of it--
  • like I've had a taste of dirt-poor
  • and a taste of filthy rich, yeah, I like it.
  • I mean, who wouldn't? Getting everything you want?
  • But at the same time, I still want to, you know,
  • be the old me in a way.
  • I don't want to be, like, totally changed.
  • You know, I don't want to be spoiled.
  • Ricky: We used to be kind of snobby.
  • Like, at my birthday parties I would get a tiger,
  • and I would brag to my friends
  • that we have a pet tiger and stuff.
  • And then I used to be a brat to my mom,
  • but then Jonquil came here and--
  • I don't know, she's changed a bunch of us.
  • So now we're just like,
  • I don't know, normal, I guess.
  • Nothing's really normal about this life.
  • Like, you know, getting everything you want,
  • having a huge house and another one in construction,
  • having drivers, you know--
  • it's like you don't really have to worry about money,
  • but at the same time you do.
  • - Hey, how are you? - Woman: Hey, haven't seen you.
  • - I need to look like Miss Universe today. - Okay.
  • Do you think purple looks good in my hair?
  • - Jacqueline: I'm in a big rush, so... - Woman: Okay.
  • - We got a Miss America party tonight, so... - Okay.
  • ...if you could make them look pretty for--
  • we have all 50 contestants coming,
  • - and Miss America at our house. - Ooh, nice.
  • - Okay. - So they need to look like pre--
  • like Miss Teen Americas.
  • Get, like, 50 pieces of chicken nuggets.
  • - What do you guys want? - Ricky: A couple Big Macs.
  • - And a Diet Coke. - And a Diet Coke for her.
  • Okay, just get, like, 50 chicken nuggets
  • and we'll share it with everyone in the salon.
  • - No, I don't like chicken nuggets. - With all the sauces.
  • - Wow. - How beautiful.
  • ( chatter )
  • We're proud to present a check for $25,000
  • to the Miss America Foundation.
  • Hey, did my stairs get shorter or are these girls--
  • - We only had 38 of them here last year. - Oh.
  • - Man: All of them are here this year. - David: Wow.
  • David's voice: I love beautiful women.
  • I grew up during the Miss America days
  • when Miss America was the most famous woman in the world.
  • I used to actually get tears in my eyes when I watched
  • "Here She Comes, Miss America."
  • And I'm trying to do what I can
  • to bring it back to where it was.
  • Photographer: Okay, ready, David? Here we go.
  • Jacqueline, here we go. Big smiles.
  • Katie Stam: I got to talk with Mrs. Siegel,
  • and she was telling me a little bit about her background,
  • and it's kind of similar how my background parallels to her
  • 'cause we kind of came from not very much,
  • but it's something that I'm very proud of.
  • I'm very proud of my background
  • growing up on a dairy farm in a small town in Indiana.
  • And now I'm Miss America.
  • It just goes to show you that anything is possible,
  • but not without hard work and dedication
  • and passion for what you do.
  • She wants to get married and have babies.
  • - ( Stam laughs ) - That's what she wants.
  • Interviewer: And does Miss America allow for that?
  • Does it create opportunities for that?
  • Well, if she accepts my proposal,
  • but she hasn't accepted it yet.
  • ( Stam laughs )
  • He is a hoot.
  • Jacqueline: There's a downside to everything.
  • Of course there is.
  • My husband told me when I turn 40,
  • he's going to trade me in for two 20-year-olds.
  • - Hey, hi! - She's from Oviedo.
  • You're a tall one.
  • - Miss Colorado. - I love Colorado.
  • I love Wisconsin. Wyoming, great state.
  • Hey, Victoria, can I get a picture of you and Miss America?
  • This is Victoria.
  • - Woman: Got it. - Thank you, Victoria.
  • - Thanks. - You're welcome.
  • Oh, what's wrong with being rich?
  • That, too. ( laughs )
  • Now, what would you rather have,
  • a rich guy or a good-looking guy?
  • Have you ever wondered what it was like
  • to be like a fish?
  • - Me? - Yeah.
  • - Um, not really. - Oh!
  • I think we just lost Drew.
  • Richard Siegel: Good morning, Westgate!
  • ( people cheering )
  • - Why are we here? - Staff: To save lives!
  • Richard: To save lives.
  • And you thought you were just selling time-sharing, didn't you?
  • We sell vacations.
  • Vacations are healthy for you.
  • - Do you believe that? - Staff: Yes.
  • Richard: I can show you the articles and the studies.
  • Those who take the fewest amount of vacations
  • are most likely to have a heart attack.
  • You're just like a doctor,
  • a nurse, a fireman,
  • a policeman, a lifeguard.
  • They all save lives and you all do it, too.
  • But we're not just saving lives,
  • we're also saving marriages.
  • Mom's on Facebook catching up
  • with all the friends and relatives and Dad's going through the TV.
  • Where are the kids?
  • Playing video games.
  • So there's a breakdown of the family unit.
  • There's no communication going on anymore.
  • Once a year, folks,
  • take your kids on vacation!
  • Get to know them.
  • Let them get to know you again.
  • Our number one person in Orlando
  • owns several weeks of time-share.
  • You know, you should own at least one week yourselves.
  • And if you don't, lie and say you do!
  • ( laughter )
  • Don't let these people leave here
  • without buying something.
  • Something.
  • Whether it's big or small,
  • make sure they buy something.
  • Today, make a sale, save a life,
  • let's have a great day!
  • ( staff cheering )
  • ( music playing )
  • Oscar Goodman: This is David A. Siegel Day
  • in Las Vegas because he built
  • the new icon on the Las Vegas strip.
  • This is the most expensive,
  • the biggest, and the nicest
  • that's ever been built on the planet.
  • David: I did not grow up
  • with a silver spoon in my mouth.
  • I grew up very meager.
  • I lived in a 1,200-square-foot,
  • two-bedroom, one-bath house
  • in Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • My father wasn't that involved with me
  • as I was growing up because he was in business
  • and had to make a living, you know, for the family.
  • Richard: My grandparents were never wealthy,
  • and the reason is is that they lost their money in Las Vegas.
  • You know, the casinos in Vegas
  • aren't built with the owners' money,
  • it's built with all the losers' money.
  • My grandparents were Mr. and Mrs. Vegas.
  • When they walked into the casino,
  • they were like, "We got your favorite suite all lined up for you.
  • We have those show tickets that you wanted.
  • You wanted to see that new guy Elvis Presley, we got your tickets for him.
  • And Frank Sinatra-- we got you in the front row."
  • So, basically, here's a nobody.
  • But when he's in Vegas, he's a somebody.
  • Man: Please welcome to the stage, ladies and gentlemen,
  • Mr. David Siegel!
  • ( applause and cheering )
  • David: This building-- I'm going to dedicate it
  • to my mother and father.
  • My dad, he's looking down on it.
  • He would be so proud.
  • - Man: Whoo! - ( crowd cheering )
  • Richard: I've set up all of my sales departments
  • to copy what Vegas did for my grandparents years ago.
  • When you walk in, you're like, "Wow, this place is exciting."
  • 100% of the people that we're talking to are--
  • it's not a nice word, but we call them "mooches."
  • They're coming in for a sales presentation
  • on their vacation for a free gift.
  • So we train our salespeople on how to take
  • someone greedy like that and get them to buy today.
  • We do 100% of our sales on the first day.
  • We don't really take many vacations
  • 'cause it's really, really expensive,
  • but if we had something that would make it cheaper...
  • Richard: They will not buy today
  • if they don't get a "great" deal,
  • if they don't believe they're getting a great deal.
  • The total down payment on this is $2,090.
  • - It's a whole lot better than 25,000. - Yeah.
  • Richard: We sell them as low as $8,900
  • for three nights in a studio
  • every other year,
  • all the way up to $149,900,
  • which is a four-bedroom
  • New Year's week every year forever, their entire lives.
  • They pass it on to their kids.
  • Their kids pass it on to their kids.
  • Time-sharing-- typically you sell
  • every unit 52 times because you sell it by the week.
  • May I say, "Welcome to Westgate"?
  • I can't believe we did it.
  • Man: You're changing your life.
  • David: We were in line
  • to do a billion dollars in sales for the year.
  • Everything was great.
  • We were on top of the world.
  • All we were thinking about was adding more resorts
  • and employing more people
  • and growing the company larger,
  • and it came to a screeching halt.
  • We got a big problem.
  • At one point, the market fell over 700 points.
  • The day that left Wall Street reeling.
  • Reporter: Alan Greenspan called it
  • "a once-in-a-century financial crisis."
  • David: September of 2008,
  • when the financial system ground to a halt
  • with the bankruptcy of Lehman
  • and all the banks about to go under--
  • Reporter: Wall Street is tumbling. Main Street is stumbling.
  • Reporter #2: A lot of their customers are freaked out,
  • waiting to see how low the Dow will go.
  • Banks lent hundreds of billions of dollars
  • to home buyers who can't pay them back.
  • Wall Street took the risky debt,
  • dressed it up as fancy securities,
  • and sold them around the world as safe investments.
  • David: My business depends heavily
  • on easy access to cheap money.
  • We sell our product for 10% down
  • and we take back a 90% mortgage.
  • What we used to do was take those mortgages to the banks
  • and they would give us an advance.
  • Well, unless we can turn that mortgage into cash--
  • I can't very well pay my employees
  • with mortgages each week.
  • But the banks are frozen
  • as far as my business is concerned,
  • and it's a struggle trying to find money
  • to finance our sales.
  • I don't think I would rank myself
  • as a billionaire today.
  • I would say it's touch and go right now.
  • So this used to be the employee store?
  • - Yeah, this was the employee store. - Oh, no more store.
  • No more store.
  • Jacqueline: The reason they shut down the telemarketing is because
  • there's no financing for the sales--
  • 'Cause the banks don't want to lend the money.
  • Jacqueline: Yeah, people don't generally pay cash.
  • - It's like buying a car. - Mm-hmm.
  • This whole side was day shift.
  • And then the night shift-- that would be filled up.
  • So it was very lively in here.
  • It was two days prior to Thanksgiving.
  • Very sad.
  • So, you know, spirits were high in here,
  • and then half the people were called up to the front,
  • and those were the people that were going to be let go.
  • And then there was like 20 to 25 of us that were left.
  • I mean, I had never been in a situation or an environment
  • where that many people have lost their jobs at one time.
  • You know, I mean, the crying--
  • you can imagine what it was like in here.
  • It was almost like a funeral procession.
  • Jacqueline: No, it's rough out there.
  • When I looked in that room and to see all those empty cubicles,
  • to think of how full of life that was at one time
  • and all those people that had families,
  • and, like overnight, all those jobs were gone.
  • David: When you have 7,000 people less,
  • you have a lot of empty space.
  • They all had someplace to go to work.
  • So those same people that used to motivate me
  • are now out of work and struggling, and I feel bad.
  • I feel bad for every one of them.
  • I've affected a lot of lives by what's going on.
  • Jacqueline: Everything's for sale.
  • Our planes-- we have an auction company
  • listing everything.
  • We're not selling everything, but we're--
  • everything's available for a price.
  • So, hopefully, we can figure it out.
  • ( laughs )
  • Amy Kaufeldt: Got $100 million
  • just burning a hole in your wallet right now?
  • Then you can buy the palace
  • that time-share mogul David Siegel
  • already wants to sell,
  • even though it's not even complete.
  • The largest single family home
  • under one roof in America.
  • It's bigger than the White House
  • and it could be an entire land
  • at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
  • It's a replica based on
  • the Royal Palace of Louis XIV
  • of the 17th century.
  • David: My dream house that I was building,
  • it's about 50% complete.
  • I finally had to list it
  • and put it on the market
  • to satisfy my banks.
  • It's the jewel of the United States.
  • There's never been anything like this.
  • This is a true visionary,
  • modern-day palace.
  • And we all know that you can't go
  • to France and purchase Versailles,
  • because it's used as a museum.
  • So it's your own Versailles
  • in your version as you see it.
  • Well, we're listing the house finished for $100 million,
  • unfinished for $75 million.
  • We've got over $50 million into it,
  • plus the land and all that,
  • and the bankers want us to unload it
  • for under $15 million.
  • I hope they left a door open for us.
  • Ricky: I can jump through a window, Mom.
  • Don't worry.
  • So, who likes the beautiful window?
  • - I love that. - Yeah, that was over
  • a quarter of a million dollars.
  • Mommy, is that a lake?
  • That's the lake, yes.
  • Look at all those spiders.
  • Wow!
  • So, Marissa, just think of the bright side--
  • you might not have to clean this house.
  • - Hi. How are you? - Barrett: Good. How are you?
  • - Very good. - Wow, this is just incredible.
  • I'll tell you, it gives me goose bumps
  • every time I walk through here.
  • - Me, personally, it's kind of an emotional day. - Oh, of course it is.
  • Jacqueline: This is our dream home, but you can't cry
  • over things that you cannot change.
  • Mom, do you think that
  • somebody's going to buy it?
  • Jacqueline: I don't know.
  • I don't know if they'll buy it or not.
  • Cliff Wright: Not that many people
  • can afford that kind of house.
  • In that $75 million range, there's not too many people.
  • Even the ones that have money,
  • Orlando would have to be the place they want to be.
  • Tiger lives here still,
  • Shaq, and there's a lot of real estate people,
  • orange juice families, and--
  • here it's like feast and famine.
  • I mean, some of these people have so much money,
  • they don't know what to do with it.
  • They're spending it like crazy,
  • and then the other ones can just barely afford to keep what they got.
  • Virginia Nebab: Since I was young,
  • I've been dreaming how I wish I could go to America.
  • Every Filipinos, it's our dream to have our own house.
  • Those Filipinos that was here,
  • they have their families in the Philippines,
  • and they have big houses.
  • I bought a piece of land,
  • so if God permit I can go home,
  • maybe I will build a house
  • for that piece of land that I bought.
  • I need some money to go home.
  • If you go without money, it's not easy.
  • So I need to save some money.
  • - Come on, let's go. - No.
  • - But, Virginia... - What?
  • I have, like-- I still have, like, five more tardies left.
  • - It doesn't matter. - No, they're going...
  • Nebab: It's already 11 years.
  • The children really attached to me.
  • I really love them like my own,
  • since I do not have my family here.
  • It's just that
  • the last time I see my kids,
  • my youngest one, he's only seven years old,
  • and now he's 26.
  • The Siegel kids, they always say,
  • "Nanny, I love you,"
  • one thing that I never heard from my children.
  • So I'm happy for that.
  • I miss them.
  • It's okay.
  • I still have kids,
  • the Siegel kids.
  • Hey, you need to go faster if you wanna burn calories.
  • - You want French fries? - Wright: No, I'll wait.
  • Hey, what's going on with this building?
  • - It looks kind of vacant. - Wright: It's all in foreclosure.
  • It's a shame. This is a nice area.
  • They built a nice thing here.
  • It's a pretty building.
  • I heard there's, like, 65 foreclosures
  • just an hour worth where I live.
  • It's kind of sad, you know?
  • Yep.
  • Wright's voice: It's changed a lot in the last three years.
  • A lot of people don't like to be seen in limos anymore.
  • They think it sends the wrong signal when times are tough.
  • - Are you ready for your cheeseburger in paradise? - ( Wright laughs )
  • I met Jackie and David at a Little League baseball game.
  • Our boys play Little League together.
  • She was volunteering behind the concession stand.
  • A lot of people are afraid to talk to them,
  • you know, 'cause they're very powerful people,
  • but they're just like everybody else.
  • They're down-to-earth.
  • Hey, Drew, do you know which field it's on?
  • - Strike! - ( crowd cheering )
  • You'd have to show me that.
  • I don't follow you.
  • But they're not funding me enough for Vegas.
  • I will-- look, I'm at my son's baseball game,
  • and when it's over, I'll call you back.
  • Man: There you go.
  • - Hey, babe. - Hey.
  • - Come on, Drew, one more strike! - Come on, Drew!
  • David: Is that cute or what?
  • I want to see our house finished so bad.
  • Man: You got this one. Come on.
  • David: What do you think of that dome?
  • Jacqueline: It's like from the Vatican.
  • With the sun shining through,
  • it'll look like jewels up there.
  • David's voice: You know, I paid cash for the house
  • and then put a mortgage on it
  • and put the money in the company,
  • just like with the house that I'm in now.
  • Why have an asset that doesn't have a mortgage on it
  • when you're using money to make money?
  • Jacqueline: I bought you a lottery ticket the other day.
  • - That's a waste of money. - Not if you win.
  • Ugh.
  • ( plane engine roaring )
  • Come on, Drew.
  • How was it flying commercial?
  • Jacqueline's voice: The first time I took the boys on a commercial plane,
  • they said, "Mommy, what are all these people
  • doing on our plane?"
  • Okay, now we got to get a car or something, right?
  • Yeah.
  • Man: From Florida? What brings you here?
  • I'm coming here to visit some friends and family
  • that I haven't seen in, like, over 10 years,
  • some of them maybe 15.
  • You're from here?
  • Binghamton, actually, but it was cheaper to fly here
  • and I'm on a budget now.
  • What's my driver's name?
  • - I'm sorry? - What's my driver's name?
  • Oh, it doesn't come with a driver?
  • - It's included? - There's no driver. No.
  • Sorry.
  • Oh, here's Beth.
  • I've got my kids.
  • - They can't wait to go swimming and stuff. - Oh, good.
  • Oh, I missed you.
  • - Thank you again. - Yeah. Oh, yeah.
  • It's good seeing you.
  • June Downs: Jackie and my granddaughter Beth
  • became very good friends.
  • I think everything that happened to her is unusual.
  • I don't know anybody that married such a wealthy man.
  • Jackie worked at a diner
  • and did very, very well in school.
  • But engineering back then
  • was kind of unusual for a girl to do,
  • but I figured, well, she was smart,
  • so that's what she wanted to do.
  • The first marriage was a big mistake.
  • Not-- of course, at the beginning they didn't think so,
  • but I think as time went on,
  • she had many serious problems.
  • Jacqueline: I was in a marriage to a man
  • that became more and more abusive.
  • He started to hit me and stuff like that,
  • and then he gave me a scar across my face.
  • He says, "Now you can't make your own money."
  • And I went to the hospital and he went to jail that night.
  • And the next morning, I just grabbed
  • as many of my modeling pictures as I could--
  • I mean, that was my whole life--
  • and some clothes and that was it.
  • ( both laughing )
  • ( squealing, laughing )
  • Drew: Now my turn.
  • - ( screams ) - ( splashes )
  • Ricky: Okay, my turn. Now it's my turn.
  • Come on, kids. Come on.
  • Come see where Mommy grew up.
  • - Daniel. - Jacqueline: Come on.
  • I want to show you where I grew up.
  • Oh, my God, look at how big those trees got.
  • There she is.
  • Downs: I knew they were building a house,
  • but that's all I knew about it,
  • and it was unbelievable.
  • I mean, who in heaven's name
  • has a $75 million house they're going to sell?
  • And it isn't even done.
  • My husband had all these Xerox copies made
  • of this news clipping
  • and I gave it to everybody.
  • We went to a party Saturday night,
  • and all my neighbors that were at this party,
  • they now have a Xerox copy of all this info
  • 'cause I thought they'd be interested in it, and they are.
  • Well, the American dream is raising way up above
  • what you started with
  • and achieving something way beyond
  • what anybody would dream that you would achieve,
  • and that is exactly what she has done.
  • Tina Martinez: Typical middle-class America
  • just wasn't going to make her happy.
  • She wanted to do something really exciting and really big.
  • Hi, kids! Come on in!
  • Martinez's voice: I miss Jackie a lot.
  • Everywhere she was, I was.
  • And everywhere I was, she was.
  • Everyone would ask, "Where's your other half?"
  • And that's how it was all through high school.
  • It was supposed to be that way after,
  • but then we made different choices in our life.
  • She decided to go to college
  • and I decided to marry my high school sweetheart.
  • Jacqueline: Tina, no, I am so impressed.
  • - This is a beautiful home. I'm so happy for you. - Thank you.
  • - ( laughing ) - No, it's like a dream come true.
  • I would be lying if I didn't say
  • I envy her life to some extent.
  • I mean, there's a lot of things in the world
  • that I'd like to see, that I'd like to do.
  • I've never owned a new car in my life.
  • If I didn't have cash to buy a car,
  • I didn't have a car.
  • I never had a car payment.
  • I don't own a credit card.
  • So how do you guys think you could do in a house this size?
  • - I like it. - ( laughs ) You like it?
  • Martinez's voice: I would love to have more money,
  • but I don't know that I would want that much,
  • because my dreams don't even go that big.
  • It looks little, but...
  • Richard: What about the "for sale" sign
  • on the front of the building?
  • Have you had a lot of inquiries about that?
  • Woman: From the team members, you mean?
  • - Yes. - No.
  • After they got past the auction--
  • - Yeah. - Woman: That was a little bit scary.
  • The "for sale" sign is...
  • So when we put up the "foreclosure" sign,
  • - that's going to probably-- - ( laughter )
  • We had all of our noncore assets
  • put up for an auction,
  • and we only sold, like, one or two things.
  • You know, a hotel which was valued at 20 million
  • a couple years ago, we sold for 8 1/2 million.
  • And so the auction was a flop.
  • David Siegel, he is spending all of his time
  • looking for money still.
  • Every day, all day long,
  • weekends included, he is looking for money
  • to keep the Vegas project going.
  • He's been to Donald Trump's office
  • a couple times trying to get help.
  • He's gone to Dubai and Switzerland.
  • We're looking for about $400 million.
  • So any of you that want to write a check,
  • we'll pay you back in a few years.
  • ( staff chuckling, chattering )
  • Basically-- basically, we spent 660 million to build it.
  • And right now, we owe about 240 million.
  • So we have over 400 million into it, you know.
  • We don't want to walk away from that money, obviously.
  • He will tell you that the lenders are pushers.
  • They got us addicted to cheap money,
  • and once we were addicted,
  • they took away our money,
  • and now we're addicts.
  • We have to have that money in order
  • to maintain the company that we built.
  • ( speaking Spanish ) ...two-bedroom deluxe.
  • Yes, ma'am, I am aware of that, but...
  • Richard: My father is all about quantity.
  • He wants to take any deal.
  • I don't care if they give us $50, take the deal.
  • Our customer is the Walmart customer,
  • the Johnny Lunchbucket--
  • you know, your $40,000, $50,000 people.
  • David: When this first started,
  • we were taking anybody that was breathing.
  • If they had the down payment, we would write them.
  • Richard: Our lenders basically said,
  • "You're selling subprime
  • to people that really can't afford your product."
  • I was actually calling in reference to your--
  • looks like you were set up at the Westgate Town Center, and your account's on the--
  • obviously it's on the default list.
  • I don't know if you were having a hardship
  • or what happened, but...
  • ( speaking Spanish )
  • ...to see what we could do and be able to help you out
  • with this dilemma that you're going through.
  • Wendy Ponce: One morning, everybody--
  • we walk in and they gave us the bad news.
  • They had to let people go.
  • Altogether, with the nannies,
  • there were 19 people.
  • And now it's just-- with the nannies and myself,
  • it's just four people, and it's very difficult.
  • ( kids chattering )
  • Ponce: The nannies are working more now.
  • They're working around the clock.
  • ( humming )
  • Jacqueline: Okay, here's the school.
  • David: We've cut back everywhere we could.
  • Hi. Hi, children.
  • David: The kids were in private school.
  • They're now in public school.
  • Debbie, get in the back.
  • - Boy: Have a nice day. - Bye.
  • ( speaking accented English )
  • - I don't know. - Jacqueline: I told them that they might
  • have to go to college now.
  • They might have to actually make their own money,
  • and that's kind of like--
  • I mean, they're realizing that now,
  • that there might not be money there for them,
  • you know?
  • So I said, "Start thinking about what you want to be when you grow up."
  • Have you fed the lizard here?
  • Jonquil: No, 'cause nobody takes me to the pet store.
  • Jacqueline: He hasn't eaten at all?
  • Oh, I feel so bad that he hasn't eaten.
  • Well, I feel so bad nobody takes me to the pet store.
  • Look, he's starving. Look, he doesn't even have water.
  • Okay, but that's because they never take me to the pet store.
  • Like, I always ask Marissa and Richard
  • and they're like, "No, I'm too busy."
  • I'm going to go get a piece of turkey.
  • I can't believe you guys don't feed the lizards.
  • - He's not moving. - He's not moving?
  • I don't know if he's dead.
  • - Jonquil: Debbie. - Did you kill him?
  • You gotta give him water, too.
  • ( gasps ) Oh, you guys killed him.
  • - Jonquil: What? - You killed him.
  • I know. I apologize for being such a horrible person.
  • Oh, Debbie.
  • He's not my pet.
  • David, look.
  • He's dead.
  • I didn't even know we had a lizard.
  • Nobody would take me to the pet store ever.
  • Well, he didn't even have water.
  • It's not like that would have made a difference.
  • Maybe he died of dehydration.
  • Oh, I apologize that I'm a horrible person.
  • I didn't say you're a horrible person.
  • Well, you're making me feel like one.
  • ( door closes )
  • Woman: Yesterday he jumped right in.
  • Richard: My father's first wife is my mother.
  • They were married in 1961
  • and they divorced in 1968.
  • Now, my father was paying my mother child support.
  • But even when he had millions, we were poor.
  • I mean, I even remember getting
  • swamp cabbage for us to eat for dinner.
  • However, we were the best-dressed kids at school,
  • because every year my father would give us money
  • to go clothes shopping.
  • So we always had great clothes,
  • but we had no money.
  • Finally, my father called us one day and he said,
  • "Would you like to come live with me?"
  • That was in 1980. And I said, "Yes."
  • I didn't even think twice. "Yes!"
  • That first year in Orlando
  • was one of the best years of my life.
  • They had a housekeeper and they had a cook
  • and they got a chauffeur.
  • They bought a limousine.
  • That summer, before I went into my junior year,
  • my stepmother said, "I've already raised my kids.
  • I'm not going to worry about your father's kids,
  • so you all need to move out."
  • I never held a grudge against my father
  • because even though I only lived with him for a year,
  • he still paid for me to go to boarding school,
  • he still paid for my college and gave me a car.
  • My father and I aren't close on a personal level
  • because it's always been a business relationship.
  • When we talk, it's all about business.
  • We're father and son, employer, employee,
  • but we're not close.
  • David: Work is my life 24/7,
  • and I don't know any other way to do it.
  • I'm a victim of my own success or failures.
  • The company and myself was the same thing.
  • So whenever the company was signing on the dotted line,
  • they wanted my personal guarantee, my signature.
  • Fine. Everything I had was in the company
  • 'cause I'd never taken anything out of the company.
  • ( sighs )
  • - ( dog barks ) - Wendy, you're the only one working
  • out of, like, 25 people.
  • Okay, I guess I'm the chef now.
  • Okay, now what, Wendy? Now, what's our next step?
  • - Corn? - Almost done-- it's done?
  • No, he likes it, like, crispy.
  • Hey, how was the baseball game?
  • Jacqueline's voice: I never would have had so many children
  • if I couldn't have a nanny.
  • When I grew up, I didn't know there was a such thing as a nanny.
  • So I figured I'd probably have one kid,
  • and then maybe two.
  • But then when I found out I could have nannies,
  • I just kept having the kids.
  • I mean, they're just bundles of joy.
  • Mama! Mama!
  • - Jacqueline: Come on. - Ponce: Come on, girls.
  • Wendy, let's do it like a proper dinner.
  • Can we just sit together like a nice family?
  • - Okay. - Okay.
  • Fine.
  • - Right-- over there. - ( girl crying )
  • Oh, they're crying.
  • Just tell them it's a princess party.
  • ( crying continues )
  • Jacqueline: Drew, come here.
  • We're trying to get Daddy's dinner ready.
  • We're gonna do a surprise for Daddy's birthday.
  • We need everyone. It's Daddy's birthday.
  • ( dog barking )
  • Okay, now could you go get some plates
  • and, like, put them around?
  • Daniel: Hey, you found one?
  • Found another one?
  • ( TV playing )
  • Jacqueline: Oh, is he home?
  • Oh, the TV's on.
  • - Ricky: You just noticed? - Daniel: Yeah.
  • - ( chatter ) - Daniel: Hurry up, Dad.
  • Hey, honey. How long till you're ready?
  • - Ready for what? - To come out.
  • I'm not coming out. I've got work to do.
  • What do you mean come out?
  • Turn the bathroom light out.
  • TV announcer: Please stay tuned for a message from our tyrannical dictator!
  • ( whispering )
  • Daddy's going to be in a better mood
  • in a couple of minutes.
  • - Time-out. - But you touched it.
  • Debbie: I hope Daddy's coming.
  • Let me go wash my dirty, filthy hands--
  • ooh, so I can sit on that dirty, filthy seat.
  • Yuck!
  • Why is this night different than any other night?
  • 'Cause we eat at the table.
  • Nobody is crazy enough
  • to build a building that size and that expensive
  • unless they have a guaranteed market.
  • They just think they're doing us a favor by letting us be there.
  • They don't seem to understand.
  • ♪ Happy birthday to you... ♪
  • David's voice: By not taking any money off the table,
  • I'm at the mercy of the bankers.
  • They say, "Jump," and I say, "How high?"
  • No, no. No, no.
  • Jacqueline's voice: I think he's humbled.
  • My husband's humbled,
  • which I kind of...
  • like it, actually.
  • What would you wish for
  • in the last 25 years of your life?
  • Besides me, of course.
  • David's voice: If I have to live to 150, that's what I'll do.
  • You know, if that's what it's gonna take
  • to get back on top again.
  • Those aren't edible candles.
  • David: Right now I just need to sell it.
  • And, you know, there's not too many buyers
  • for 90,000-square-foot houses
  • at that price.
  • Jacqueline: Oh, my God.
  • Aw. I just want one picture.
  • Can you take a picture with my cell phone?
  • This was going to be in our spa in our big house.
  • David's barber chair.
  • It's a beautiful chair, isn't it?
  • I picked out so much stuff over the years,
  • it's, like, been 10 years in progress.
  • The majority of it is probably French
  • to go with the theme of Versailles.
  • These things over here is all from the genie bottle
  • from the Aladdin Hotel, right here.
  • What do you call it-- the eggs from Russia?
  • Fabergé eggs.
  • But look, I got the giant ones.
  • If we do sell the house, then we probably would auction it off,
  • but we're going to wait and see what happens.
  • You know, I'm fine with it.
  • I married David for richer or poorer.
  • And if we-- I want to use some of the antiques now,
  • so I'm kind of picking some smaller pieces
  • that could fit into our current home.
  • I know there's, like, a superior source
  • or something that's guiding us in the right way.
  • David, Daniel, could you help me
  • get some of your old toys that you don't want anymore
  • so I can donate it?
  • How about stuff like this?
  • I mean, are you guys using this backpack?
  • No. That's a backpack?
  • What time is it now?
  • Well, if I could afford a watch,
  • I would tell you.
  • Wow, but you can afford that jacket and your iPhone.
  • Daniel:
  • - I hope it's not doggie caca. - ( laughs )
  • - Ew! Is it? - Yeah.
  • That's why I hate having so many dogs.
  • I've been up and down my entire life.
  • I mean, I've been married before
  • and I didn't have to worry about anything.
  • I was making tons of money modeling,
  • and then I was poor again.
  • I've been a cocktail waitress.
  • I mean, I even-- in the nursing home,
  • I used to clean dead people
  • and prepare them for the morgue.
  • For $3.35 an hour.
  • Jacqueline: This building used to be an old--
  • like a Home Depot-type of store.
  • My husband bought it years ago,
  • so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity.
  • I could raise money that I could give back to the community.
  • I bought some of the inventory from hotels and stuff,
  • like the old microwaves and things like that.
  • And we get donations.
  • All this and this over here
  • is my personal stuff from the house.
  • It's the stuff that I've donated.
  • With the bankers just not funding
  • the company anymore,
  • we were forced to lay off 6,000 people.
  • The bankers made us do it, so--
  • they're probably going to get mad at me for saying that,
  • but that's what I heard and that's what I understand.
  • Most of the people here are Westgate employees.
  • I just felt it was a way that I could really do something
  • to help people in a desperate situation
  • that don't deserve to be there.
  • $30 brand-new.
  • We got them from the same vendor
  • that Macy's gets them from.
  • $79.99 at Macy's.
  • Here's my dressing rooms.
  • Should I put curtains up or not?
  • Or just leave them like that?
  • Yeah, curtains?
  • I have evolved
  • from being someone who just went out
  • to charity lunches all the time
  • and went shopping to wear something to the charity lunches
  • to actually doing something more in my life
  • to make a difference.
  • Hey, Tina.
  • Martinez over phone: Hi. How are you?
  • Jacqueline: Good. I haven't talked to you in a little bit.
  • I know. It's been a while.
  • But, hey, that money I sent you,
  • was it able to save your house?
  • No, no, it was not.
  • It didn't save your house?
  • No, I-- I talked to the mortgage company
  • and, you know, I was all excited,
  • saying, "Okay, I got the money
  • that you told me I needed to pay you."
  • They run it through their system or whatever
  • and he says, "Nope, sorry, they won't-- they won't take that."
  • Oh, my God.
  • And I only owed them $1,700 to begin with.
  • Jacqueline: Unbelievable.
  • So, you actually lost the house?
  • Well, it's in foreclosure.
  • They're not going to let me stop the foreclosure.
  • ( car beeps )
  • Wright: Jackie's a friend.
  • They help me with a lot of things.
  • You know, occasionally I have a wedding
  • that somebody wants a Rolls-Royce,
  • and I'll borrow that so the bride can go
  • to and from the church in a Rolls-Royce.
  • My wife's working double shifts
  • and I'm doing as much driving as I can.
  • We didn't even put our tree up yet.
  • I got into the limousine business
  • when I saw that real estate wasn't doing that well.
  • And that's the only thing that kept us afloat.
  • I had a good job in New York.
  • I worked for a commercial real estate company.
  • We moved down here
  • for a better life for the kids,
  • and you try to keep going and make more money
  • and buy more houses.
  • Altogether, we had about 19 houses.
  • My net worth? Probably about 3 1/2 million.
  • Now zero.
  • Everything changes.
  • Within a month after the bankruptcy court was finalized,
  • the lawyer told me we had to be out of the house.
  • And then we moved in here.
  • My friend's rental.
  • It happens pretty fast,
  • but, you know, you survive.
  • Hi, Tom.
  • Did you get a donut?
  • It's hard going back to renting.
  • - No? - Yeah, I got one.
  • You can see there's nothing on the walls,
  • so it doesn't really feel like it's your house.
  • It humbles you a lot.
  • Our family and health and the kids
  • are the most important thing, and friends.
  • You know, you can get by without owning a house.
  • You can't get by without friends and family.
  • You know, that's the most important things.
  • Nebab: This is my palace.
  • This used to be the twins' playhouse,
  • but they don't use it, so I use it.
  • Yeah, and it's good to have this.
  • Like when it's too noisy in there,
  • just run here, quiet.
  • I asked Jackie if I can use it,
  • and then she said, "Are you serious?"
  • Yes, I am.
  • This is the bed.
  • I'm using this, but then I folded it,
  • because when you get in, it's all over here.
  • You cannot-- you cannot get in-- through.
  • I love this place.
  • And I'm so glad Jackie gave it to me.
  • ( speaking accented English )
  • I promised him before I left
  • that I'm gonna have money,
  • then we can do that--
  • we can build our own house.
  • Before that happened, he passed away.
  • I'm supporting not just my children--
  • my brothers, my sisters.
  • All the money that I have is--
  • I'm sending it to them.
  • So maybe that's still good for him.
  • David Siegel said, "Do not touch anything in that room.
  • I don't want a chair, a table, a copier, a computer--
  • I don't want anything taken out
  • 'cause we will be reopening."
  • And here we are seven months later.
  • Everything has stayed the same.
  • Well, this was my office.
  • I wish I could turn on the lights,
  • but they shut them off to save money, I guess.
  • The lenders kept trying to get us
  • to stop sales on the building, which we wouldn't do.
  • And finally, they were so mad
  • that he kept doing it when they said not to
  • that they laid the law down
  • and we had to stop sales of this building.
  • This is where we sold at least $100 million a year.
  • And we could do up to $200 million a year.
  • And now it's just empty.
  • The reason that they wanted us to stop sales
  • is that they wanted us not to pay them
  • so that they could go and foreclose on the building,
  • which they have already done.
  • I almost feel like the bankers
  • are like vultures, like, circling around,
  • waiting for the animal to die
  • instead of helping out the situation.
  • Richard: No one knows that this building
  • is being foreclosed upon.
  • If our owners found out,
  • we would have a mass exodus in our hands.
  • They would be stopping payments.
  • All of our people in our company are paid
  • by those monthly payments.
  • So we live and die by those monthly payments.
  • Jacqueline: I really don't understand the financial community,
  • especially when they get all that money from the government.
  • I thought that that rescue money two years ago
  • in September of 2008
  • was supposed to go-- be passed on
  • to the common people or, you know, us.
  • David: She knows we need to cut back,
  • but it's difficult for her.
  • She's still compulsive.
  • Where she slows down one activity,
  • she accelerates another one.
  • Jacqueline: My husband all the time tells me not to spend money.
  • He says if I keep spending,
  • then he's going to shut my credit cards off
  • or just not pay them.
  • And he says he might not have the money to pay them anyway,
  • so it might not be either/or choices.
  • Wait, wait, wait. I got Daniel.
  • Daniel needs a ramp, not that one.
  • He doesn't need this.
  • No, I need the-- all the perfume and stuff
  • for the stocking stuffers.
  • The boys like this for the stockings.
  • For Bear.
  • You know how Bear likes to walk around
  • with something in his mouth.
  • You're taking everything out.
  • - It's too much. - I know.
  • David: My wife collects everything.
  • She can't have one bird, she's got to have a dozen.
  • Can't have one dog, she's got to have a dozen.
  • Can't have one child, she's got to have seven.
  • So... ( laughs )
  • what can I tell you?
  • Whew. Oh, my Lord.
  • - Come on. - Okay.
  • Excuse me, get down.
  • Oh, shit.
  • - It's okay. - Yeah, that's for Drew.
  • Yes.
  • That's too small.
  • Oh, gosh.
  • I can't believe we don't have a bartender.
  • Man: Mr. Siegel, you need a bartender tonight?
  • Then who's coming over to serve the food?
  • - Is there any bartender? - No.
  • - How do you do? - Good, thank you.
  • - Seneel? - Teneel.
  • Teneel, okay.
  • Jacqueline: Get everything organized here.
  • David: Honey, we've got people coming and you're not even ready.
  • They're arriving.
  • - Well, give me five minutes, then. - Hurry up.
  • Jacqueline: I don't want David to buy me any Christmas presents.
  • I don't need it.
  • All I want is, you know, just for us
  • to be happy together, get along,
  • and I want to see our family and our friends
  • with smiles on their faces.
  • - Oh, my God! - How are you?
  • Nothing makes me happy these days.
  • I'll be happy when I find a solution to this.
  • I can't separate business from personal.
  • And here is the hostess with the two mostest.
  • - Here's Grandma. - A great present for Jett.
  • - Here's Grandma! - Grandma!
  • Oh, he's huge! Jett!
  • Richard: Give Grandma hugs and kisses.
  • Richard's voice: If I could have anything that I want for Christmas,
  • I would say $300 million
  • to take care of what we have in Vegas,
  • and I will be just fine after that.
  • Marissa, you need to put the Rudolph costume on.
  • Here, I'll come help you.
  • - Come on. - Okay.
  • - We got to hurry. - I need china.
  • Everyone's arriving.
  • David: I don't know why they didn't set up a bar.
  • - ( dog barking ) - No, no, no, no.
  • All right, should I send my mom in here and help?
  • Because I got to go get some Christmas presents.
  • I have to just-- I don't need help.
  • - Are you sure? - Yeah.
  • All right, 'cause I got too much to do.
  • - I don't have enough help. - This is a pain in the ass.
  • ( laughing )
  • I really miss having a manager
  • that does all this stuff for me.
  • All right.
  • Let me just--
  • Okay, let me just open it.
  • ♪ Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer ♪
  • ♪ Had a very shiny nose ♪
  • ♪ And if you ever saw it ♪
  • ♪ You could even say it glows. ♪
  • Merry Christmas!
  • Jacqueline: Merry Christmas.
  • - Hi. - Merry Christmas.
  • - Hi. - Hi.
  • Oh, Rudolph is here!
  • Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.
  • - David: Hey, you got the key to my Rolls? - No.
  • David: Did you drive it?
  • Yeah, I brought it in
  • and personally handed it to Jackie.
  • I don't know-- I don't--
  • then they came back in and they said the lights were on.
  • Wright: Yeah, and I went back out. I turned them out.
  • I never saw the key again.
  • - Did you use it? - Wright: Yeah.
  • Yeah, we did a quick wedding.
  • - David: Did I get paid? - Absolutely.
  • - David: Who'd you give the money to? - Jackie.
  • David: You didn't give-- I never saw the money.
  • - It's where the key is. - I never saw the money.
  • Well, no, it always drifts off now
  • at this time of year and stuff, but it'll pick up and stuff.
  • - Must've been tricky, yeah. - We're going to sell David's house.
  • - Everything will be fabulous. - Tricky couple of years.
  • ( laughter )
  • David: Now the loan comes due.
  • I'll pay you the interest like I'm doing now.
  • And they said, "No."
  • So now I send a third party to go see
  • how much they'll sell that loan for.
  • They wrote it down-- 11.
  • They sold the loan to the third party.
  • They didn't know I was involved.
  • $3.2 million.
  • - Oh, yeah? - David: Yeah, I'm getting it back.
  • What a bunch of idiots.
  • David: So I'm going from owing 18 million...
  • - ( woman laughing ) - ...for 3.2 million.
  • - I mean, that's-- - I mean, that's why banks are in trouble.
  • Who the hell's making those-- I mean, I'm glad they did,
  • but who's making those decisions?
  • - Love you. - I love you, too.
  • Jacqueline: Merry Christmas.
  • - I'll see you tomorrow. - Okay.
  • Honey, let's go. Everybody out.
  • - It's, you know-- - All right.
  • It's almost-- it's getting late.
  • I love the BB.
  • I love you.
  • Merry Christmas.
  • Okay, that's enough.
  • David's voice: Our life is definitely more challenging today
  • than when we first got married.
  • I try to put blinders on
  • and do my thing, but it's there.
  • Okay, Merry Christmas,
  • and we'll see you in the morning.
  • Jacqueline's voice: The stress has actually made us closer, stronger.
  • And I think, you know what they say--
  • when you're down is when you find out
  • who your true friends are.
  • ( peacock squawking )
  • ( squawking )
  • Where's all the kids clamoring for their toys?
  • Where should I put these?
  • Next to Daddy.
  • Wait, I lost BB's puppies.
  • I need to find it because the python will eat them,
  • eat the puppies.
  • Oh, my God.
  • - David: Are her puppies lost? - Uh, yeah.
  • Puppies!
  • - Jonquil. - Huh?
  • Since it's your snake going around the house,
  • can you help me find the puppies?
  • All right, I'll look for them.
  • Interviewer: Do you get strength from your marriage?
  • No.
  • Not really.
  • I-- it's kind of like
  • having another child.
  • Oh, I found it.
  • - Look. - Drew: Both?
  • Oh, my God, they're like trapped in the corner here.
  • I think they're scared.
  • - I don't know where to pile my presents. - Ricky: Here, I'll help.
  • I'm putting mine over here.
  • Maybe you can put yours right in the center.
  • - I showed Daddy. - I got the crystal growing thing.
  • Jonquil: When I lived in New York
  • and I would see rich people on TV,
  • I'd be like, "Wow, you know, their lifestyle must be nice.
  • Like, if I lived that lifestyle,
  • I would just wake up every day with a smile on my face."
  • But now that I do, it's like I wake up now,
  • and it's just-- I'm used to it.
  • And then it's like you want more and more.
  • I got another Yahtzee.
  • Debbie: I got another baby doll.
  • Good morning, Victoria. Merry Christmas.
  • Ricky: Merry Christmas to you, too.
  • I got... Monopoly?
  • What am I going to do with Monopoly?
  • Well, actually, I gave you these gifts like five years ago,
  • but the kids were too young
  • for you to play with, so I'm regifting.
  • ( both laughing )
  • - 'Cause you never opened it. - Risk? What's Risk?
  • That's a great game.
  • That's when you take over the world.
  • David: We're not the typical family,
  • that's for sure.
  • And, I mean, I don't want you
  • to get the impression that we're penniless,
  • but we're going through a very difficult time.
  • Our lenders-- I mean, they have cut my paycheck.
  • My CFO said, "Well, that's not enough
  • for him to make his mortgage payments on."
  • And so one of them lenders said,
  • "Well, then, let him move into an apartment."
  • Look what I got. It's a present to myself.
  • Oh, I just can't wait to eat my caviar.
  • How much is this? Like $2,000?
  • I don't even know. Aw, this tastes so good.
  • David: Whoever got you that is going to get fired,
  • I'll tell you that.
  • David's voice: If the company fails, they may have to go to work
  • and not be able to go to college
  • or get a college loan.
  • No, I haven't done-- put anything aside.
  • This is for my mother, who isn't here today.
  • When your grandmother was on her honeymoon,
  • she was on a train going to Chicago,
  • and she asked my father
  • if he would buy her the Hershey bar.
  • And he said, "I don't have a nickel."
  • And so ever since, every birthday,
  • I got her a Hershey bar.
  • She said, "If she's not here to eat it,
  • I should eat it for her."
  • So I'm gonna eat it for her.
  • Thank you, Mom.
  • On my wedding day, my father gave a speech,
  • and he looked at my wife and he said,
  • "You will never have anything
  • to worry about in your life."
  • We worry every day.
  • Everyone in this company has had not one pay cut--
  • two pay cuts, three pay cuts.
  • We've all taken big hits.
  • I went to him last week about money.
  • "You have to give me some money.
  • I need money."
  • And he said, "I would give it to you if I had it.
  • I can't give you anything."
  • So right now, I'm applying for a home equity loan
  • and I just upped all the limits
  • on all my credit cards.
  • David: Vegas is what's causing our big problem.
  • And the bank's answer to a solution is,
  • "Just hand us the keys and give up
  • the 390 million that you put in it."
  • And my answer is,
  • "Over my dead body."
  • Richard: I mean, he told me, "I'm not giving it up.
  • If I have to bankrupt it, I'll bankrupt it."
  • That's what David said to me, too.
  • And then Michael said today,
  • "Your dad's gonna go down with the ship."
  • The ship's not going down.
  • He bankrupts that, they're gonna stop
  • funding the rest of the company
  • - and the company goes. - No, they won't.
  • - They have too much to lose. - That's correct.
  • This building is much more important
  • than building the largest house in America.
  • He has built the largest
  • time-share company in the world,
  • and this is the pinnacle of it.
  • It'd be a real shame, though, to actually lose it.
  • David: If they use every method they can
  • to try to get the building back,
  • then at the 11th hour
  • I bankrupt it and buy time.
  • Time is...
  • what I need.
  • If he throws this building into bankruptcy,
  • then he risks the rest of the company
  • because our lenders are financing
  • the rest of the company.
  • They have made it very clear to my father
  • that if he turns over the keys to the building,
  • that his company would become a cash cow.
  • They would continue to finance it.
  • He wouldn't have to worry about anything
  • and he would go back to life as normal.
  • He can go back to building his house,
  • flying in his plane, buying other resorts.
  • He'll have more money than he knows what to do with
  • if he turns over this building.
  • Everyone is against him
  • trying to keep this building.
  • I've had arguments with my own brother
  • who screamed and yelled at me,
  • "What are you doing to this family?
  • What are you doing to this company?
  • How can you support him?"
  • All of his people-- his attorney,
  • his closest friends, his executives--
  • all turning against him.
  • He's the one that made a lot of people a lot of money.
  • If he says he's going to continue to try to keep this project,
  • then I'm going to continue to support him.
  • And right now, him and I are the only ones standing alone.
  • David: It's amazing.
  • I think when you first started filming this,
  • we were on top of the world,
  • building the largest home in America.
  • Everything was wonderful,
  • no worries in the world.
  • If I remember, you said why am I building that large home?
  • And I think I said, "Because I can."
  • A lot of things have changed in the last two years.
  • So this is kind of like a reverse
  • of a rags-to-riches story.
  • This is almost like a riches-to-rags story.
  • ( machine beeping )
  • Woman: Okay, no more texting.
  • - ( laughs ) - Hello?
  • Oh, Jackie.
  • I'm good. I'm at the doctor's.
  • Tell them you'll call them back.
  • Let me give you my-- well, okay, I'll call you.
  • Okay.
  • ( grunts )
  • - Got it? - Yeah.
  • Raise the brows again and then relax them.
  • - Okay, so we're just gonna go-- - Ooh.
  • A little injection.
  • Good, there we go.
  • It's kind of embarrassing
  • for people to see me looking like this.
  • I was just going to go and hide
  • in the bedroom for a few days.
  • I'm having a hot flash right now.
  • My face is burning.
  • Debbie, you got a winner.
  • It's a buck.
  • Well, a dollar is better than nothing.
  • Oh, I'm teaching my kids how to gamble.
  • - That's terrible at such a young age. - It's not gambling.
  • - This is gambling, Debbie. - It's scratching off tickets.
  • - Huh? - It's scratching off tickets.
  • It's gambling that you're going to win.
  • Usually, you lose.
  • So, what do you think? I don't know.
  • - Do you-- - Come on.
  • Maybe I should go with the zebra instead of cheetah.
  • - Good. - What do you think, honey?
  • I-- I love it.
  • BB!
  • BB!
  • David: You know, "If it ain't broken,
  • don't fix it" is my motto.
  • - But it was broken. - It wasn't broken.
  • - I don't want to kiss you. - You told me--
  • I don't want to kiss some old hag.
  • You told me when I turned 40,
  • you'd trade me in for two 20-years-old.
  • And because I had the Fraxel--
  • I'm waiting for you to be 60 so I can get three 20s.
  • I got some good prospects for getting some money.
  • It would probably be my greatest achievement--
  • besides having all these beautiful children--
  • would be finding the money.
  • I'm on a quest.
  • I want to spend all that money...
  • that I'm going to make in Vegas.
  • I'm going to buy my yacht and my plane.
  • But you can't-- never get back
  • the two years that I've lost looking.
  • I feel like-- almost like a guy
  • who is in jail for a couple years.
  • You know, you never get that back.
  • The big house-- you know, I really don't want to sell it,
  • so I don't care if I haven't had any bites.
  • I want to really finish it.
  • If I don't sell it, I'll keep it,
  • finish it.
  • Right, BB?
  • We're going to go live in there someday, aren't we?
  • Hmm?
  • I'll live there and Jackie can stay here, okay?
  • Just you and I in that big house.
  • How about that, BB, huh? Just you and me.
  • David: Every light in the house is on.
  • - I don't know. - Ricky: I've noticed that my dad's been, like,
  • a lot more stressed out lately.
  • I never really spend time with him.
  • Maybe you ought to go look in my office
  • and see all the crap that's on the floor in there.
  • Versailles...
  • is in default with the bank.
  • Interviewer: What does that mean?
  • It means that they started foreclosure.
  • But we'll work it out before we lose it.
  • We'll figure out a way to keep it.
  • ( dog barking )
  • So, do you want to have dinner in the kitchen
  • or you want to have dinner in here, honey?
  • Why are you in such a bad mood?
  • I mean, all of a sudden,
  • I talked about it this--
  • I talked about it this morning and--
  • Is it 'cause the front door was open when you came home?
  • No, no. You know what?
  • I'm gonna-- I'm gonna not pay
  • the electric bill this month.
  • When they shut off the lights,
  • then you'll all appreciate electricity.
  • - Jacqueline: Um-- - You all take everything for granted.
  • I didn't know the front door was open.
  • Honey, maybe you need to get a better,
  • like, hinge on the front door.
  • Maybe you should become aware of your surroundings.
  • Well, we have, like, a hundred doors in this house.
  • You didn't know all the lights were on either.
  • They weren't all on.
  • All right, I'm-- I'm helping Victoria, um--
  • I'm teaching her how to make, like, the shepherd's pie.
  • Do you mind if I do that with her?
  • - Can I at least have a kiss? - No.
  • You're mad at me just from the front door?
  • All right.
  • Here, I'm going to help you make
  • that shepherd's pie, Victoria.
  • I-- why are you going in there?
  • David: Why don't you learn to turn off the lights?
  • Ricky: Um, I was upstairs in my room the whole time.
  • David: How would you like to live without electricity?
  • Ricky: I was in my room the whole time.
  • There's so many people in this house--
  • Ricky: Okay, because that's right when I went down
  • to make the shepherd pie,
  • the dinner that I'm making for you and the family,
  • and you're being rude to everyone.
  • Jacqueline: Do you ever feel like sometimes
  • you just want to spend the whole day in bed?
  • And then when you work and everything, you can't?
  • I think that's probably how he's feeling right now.
  • You know, he just kind of wants to escape.
  • And I don't know what happened yesterday.
  • Victoria, it's not about sticking up to him.
  • When people are mad like Daddy just was--
  • - You know when you're frustrated... - Oh, my gosh.
  • ...it's the people that are closest to you that you take it out on.
  • Ricky: I tell my mom that a lot,
  • that she needs to stick up to him.
  • She thinks that that would just cause a bigger problem,
  • but I think that could, like, resolve the problem,
  • 'cause I think sometimes my dad just needs
  • to be told that-- I don't know--
  • he's not the only one who matters in the house.
  • How you feel when he's mad?
  • How do you deal with that when he's mad?
  • How do you deal? How do you cope up?
  • I know it's nothing that I did.
  • So, I mean, I can deal with it.
  • - I mean, if I'm at fault-- - He's not mad at you.
  • He's just like-- he's like,
  • "Why is this--" you know?
  • He just wants to say something.
  • It wasn't even me, so I know--
  • I wasn't the one that left the door open.
  • I wasn't the one that left the light on.
  • - Oh. - You know?
  • Ricky: I think my dad married my mom
  • as a trophy wife maybe
  • to, like, show her off, 'cause she's really pretty.
  • He doesn't act like he loves her
  • the way he treats her and stuff.
  • No, just tell him how much you love him.
  • He needs to know that.
  • He's-- he had a bad day.
  • Hi, Dad.
  • - Hi, Dad. - David: Hi.
  • I love you, Daddy.
  • Jacqueline: He just wants to say he loves you.
  • - He loves you. - Thank you.
  • If you love me, you'll turn off the lights when you see them on.
  • Jacqueline: Well, we tried, honey.
  • Reporter on TV: Senator DeMint, thank you so much for joining us
  • from South Carolina.
  • And we'll certainly be watching
  • his candidate forum tomorrow.
  • With me today: Michael Gerson,
  • former speechwriter for President George W. Bush...
  • ( dogs barking )
  • - Are we getting near the end? - Interviewer: Yes, we are.
  • David's voice: We need to live within our means.
  • Don't spend money that we don't have.
  • Don't spend money that we think
  • we're going to eventually have.
  • Spend what we do have.
  • You know, get back to reality.
  • I never expected to live here.
  • I never expected Versailles.
  • I never expected a private jet.
  • I hope we can stay here.
  • I'm looking around now, it's like,
  • I'd better start taking pictures, huh?
  • For my memories and-- no, I don't think we're going to lose our house.
  • But who knows?
  • Like, you probably know more than I do.
  • Right? You spent, like, an hour and a half,
  • two hours with my husband this morning.
  • Like, we don't talk about financial problems.
  • I guess I'll have to watch the movie, right,
  • to find out what's going on in my life.
  • David: Well, if I could turn the clock back,
  • there would be a lot of things I would have done differently.
  • Instead of having 28 resorts,
  • I would have had 15 resorts.
  • I kind of wish he never took the mortgage out.
  • I mean, we owned all the land
  • and we just built the house.
  • I guess he was going to use that money for Las Vegas.
  • It's a vicious cycle.
  • No one is without guilt,
  • and I'm the same way.
  • You know, they were giving me cheap money
  • and I was using it to build big buildings and buy more resorts.
  • And then when they stopped giving me the money,
  • I'm suddenly, "Whoa, how do I pay for all this?"
  • Okay, this could go on forever.
  • Can we wind it up, please?
  • I didn't know the house was in foreclosure.
  • I didn't know this whole process was going on.
  • I didn't know we stopped paying the mortgage.
  • This is all news to me. I-- I didn't know.
  • I kind of wish that I was more involved
  • because I'm not a stupid person.
  • But when you don't have the information,
  • it makes you look stupid.
  • And without the information,
  • I mean, what can I do, you know?
  • I guess I'm in this fantasy world, you know?
  • Until reality hits.
  • But I have faith.
  • ( kisses )
  • I'm here through thick and thin
  • till the day we die.
  • And that's the only way that I would ever leave him,
  • is if I died, you know.
  • If we had to buy just a normal house,
  • like $300,000 house,
  • four-bedroom house or--
  • I would--
  • I would be fine with that and make it work.
  • Just get a bunch of bunk beds, you know?
  • I do enjoy this view here.
  • I mean, this is so peaceful.
  • I almost think I would love
  • just to spend the rest of my life here.
  • I think this is wonderful,
  • having my private island.
  • ( instrumental music playing )

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Description

The Queen of Versailles is a character-driven documentary about a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of the economic crisis. With epic proportions of Shakespearean tragedy, the film follows two unique characters, whose rags-to-riches success stories reveal the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream. The film begins with the family triumphantly constructing the largest privately-owned house in America, a 90,000 sq. ft. palace. Over the next two years, their sprawling empire, fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis. Major changes in lifestyle and character ensue within the cross-cultural household of family members and domestic staff.