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John Paul Getty III: Wikis


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Jean Paul Getty III
Born November 4, 1956 (1956-11-04) (age 53)
Known for Kidnapped
Spouse(s) Gisela Zacher
Children Balthazar Getty
Parents Paul Getty & Abigail Harris
Relatives Jean Paul Getty (grandfather)
Aileen Getty (sister)
Mark Getty (brother)
Ariadne Getty (sister)

Jean Paul Getty III (born 4 November 1956) was the first of four children of Paul Getty and Gail Harris. He is the grandson of oil tycoon Jean Paul Getty, and the father of actor Balthazar Getty.


Early life

Getty spent most of his childhood in Rome, Italy, as his father was the head of the Italian section of his family's oil business. His parents divorced, and his father spent much time in England and Morocco during the 1960s.


At the beginning of 1971 Paul was expelled from St. George's English School (later St George's British International School). When he was 16, after his father had moved to England permanently, on 10 July 1973 in Rome, he was kidnapped and a ransom of $17 million was demanded in a note for his safe return. As Paul III was so rebellious, when the first ransom message arrived, some of the family suspected a ploy by the teenager to extract money from his grandfather. A second demand was delayed by an Italian postal strike.[1]Jean Paul Getty II asked his father for the money, but was refused.[2]Then in November 1973, an envelope containing a lock of hair and a human ear was delivered to a daily newspaper, with a threat of further mutilation unless $3.2 million was paid over: "This is Paul’s ear. If we don’t get some money within 10 days, then the other ear will arrive. In other words, he will arrive in little bits." At this point Jean Paul agreed to pay a ransom, with his son repaying the sum at 4% interest.[1]

Still reluctant to part with the ransom, Getty Sr. negotiated a deal and got his grandson back for about $2.9 million. Getty III was found alive in southern Italy on December 15, 1973, shortly after the ransom was paid.[3]His kidnappers, supposedly linked with the 'Ndrangheta, were never caught.[4]

Later life

Shortly after he regained his freedom, Getty III married Gisela Zacher, having a son named Balthazar, who went on to become an actor. In 1981, a prescription drug overdose resulted in a stroke which left Getty permanently paralyzed and nearly blind.[2]

In 1999 Getty, along with several other members of his family, became citizens of the Republic of Ireland in return for investments in Ireland of approximately £1 million each, under a law which has since been repealed.[4]


External links

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