One Year After the Plunge, a Very Married Christina O. Celebrates on Her Isle of Joy
By the special, sybaritic standards of Skorpios, where guests leave parties only when the seasons change and huge stereo systems pipe classical music to the cows (it is said to sweeten the milk), the scene was positively un-splashy. Following orders, all 22 guests at the first-anniversary party of Christina Onassis, 28 (in a white dress), and third husband Sergei Kauzov, 38 (in white shirt and slacks), came in whites. So did the dinner. In the white living room of the Hill Villa (most gigantic of her three island mansions), they were served fish in white sauce and salad covered with hard-boiled egg whites, sipped white wine and finished with a snow-white cake (prepared by the French chef Christina whisked away from the fallen Shah of Iran). The color code, alas, was broken for black caviar—a bow to Sergei's mother country—but no matter: Christina, everyone agreed, was happy at last. As one of her guests put it: "Strangely enough, she seems to have found herself with this mysterious but charming Muscovite."
Yet only yesterday it seemed that all was black for the Greek shipping heiress and her former ship-chartering agent. Friends were certain she would find life in Moscow, and thus the marriage, dreary. Fortunately, they proved only half right. Christina indeed grew tired of the Moscow subways and open-air Soviet markets—hence her constant flights to Paris, Monte Carlo, St. Moritz. But then in the middle of last winter's record-breaking 45°-below-zero freeze in Moscow—which claimed the life of the couple's new Mercedes—Sergei's precious traveling visa finally came through. Ever since (except for a two-week stay in June to renew his papers) they have been in Europe and, reportedly, in bliss. "She has become more extraverted," says a close friend. "Though sometimes she may complain that she is not intelligent enough or that she is too fat, she has come out of her shell. She's the Madame now, and people call her that. She's the boss."
Yet Christina's Bolshevik still seems to be somewhat baffled by life on Skorpios, where the day centers on a swollen four-hour siesta between a two-hour lunch in the Pink Villa at 3 and cocktails at 9 at the Hill. Evenings are spent viewing videotapes, which Christina changes until one takes her fancy (a recent favorite: Frank Sinatra in The Detective). Twice a week resident revelers—some of the anniversary guests will stay until autumn—cruise by yacht to a picnic on nearby Lefkada. There, reports one participant, "Servants dressed in white with black ties and trouser cuffs rolled up so they don't get wet serve lunch for 30 on the beach. The scene reminds one of rich Americans around 1900."
Sergei would rather talk business. He has become a trusted adviser to Christina on managing her $500 million empire—and his labors of love are not lost. His present from Christina: a $6.5 million cargo ship of his very own, the Danila. So, when ill at ease amid the Onassis pomp and glitter, "He keeps quiet," a Skorpios guest observes with a wink. "But soon he'll feel right at home."
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