...and Christina Awaits An Heir

updated 07/23/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/23/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The new Kinski-Moussa scion (see preceding story) may be born with a silver screen in his future, but an heir to more golden assets is on the way. Christina Onassis, 33, one of the world's richest women, is expecting her first child next March, almost a year after her wedding to her latest husband, French pharmaceutical heir Thierry Roussel, 31. It was her mother-in-law who made the breathless announcement: "Our children are delighted to the skies, and our families are drowning in happiness."

Amid the bliss there is good-natured arguing over the sex of the unborn child. Thierry wants a boy, Christina thinks a girl would be preferable. But one thing is certain: If it's a he, the baby will be named Alexander, after Christina's beloved older brother who died in a plane crash in 1973.

While Onassis awaits the big event she is taking no chances. At her doctor's orders she has instructed her chauffeur not to drive over 30 mph to avoid jouncing, and whenever possible she takes trains.

Friends say it's testimony to her new happiness that Christina enters her pregnancy about 33 pounds lighter than she has been for some time. Last year, depressed by loneliness, tax problems with the Greek government and the shrinkage of her shipping fleet, Christina had ballooned to more than 200 pounds. But encouraged by Thierry, she did time before her marriage at a strict diet clinic in Spain. There the regimen is heavy on bouillon, laxatives and hydromassage. She since has managed to keep the weight off.

Such self-discipline is grounded in an affection that matured during a long friendship. Christina and Thierry romanced 12 years ago on her family-owned island of Skorpios. "We almost got married then," Roussel recalls. "We loved each other very deeply." Events intervened, however, and the love was not rekindled until Christina bumped into Thierry's father at a Paris party and decided to give his son a call. It seems a case of opposites attracting. "She's Greek. That means she can be volcanic, expansive and angry sometimes," Thierry has said. "That's what seduced me." Christina has divulged, "His shyness moved me and made me fall in love."

Friends describe Thierry as a serious and creative businessman who has invested his family's $100 million fortune in various companies, including a publishing firm, an advertising firm and a top model agency.

Christina, on the other hand, has turned over her daily duties in the shipping business to advisers who consult her by telex at the couple's homes in Paris, Sologne, St. Moritz and Skorpios. "I want to take care of our home," she has told people, "and have a family like Thierry wants." Greeks had best think about bearing (baby) gifts.

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