THE ODETTA FILES:
MURDER SUSPECT MEDICH’S EX- WIFE HAS LIFE OF RICHES A chauffeur- driven pooch and a salmon pink apartment on the French Riviera
THE former wife of Sydney property tycoon and murder accused Ron Medich is living a glamorous life on the French Riviera where she plays tennis, indulges in luxury beauty treatments, and sends her dog on 1200km round trip chauffeur-driven visits to her former lover.
Odetta Medich, who goes by the name Odetta Chtouikite, has exchanged Harbourside Sydney for a classic salmon pink apartment in the ritzy town of Beaulieu-sur-Mer on the shores of the Mediterranean.
While Ron Medich is crying poor and facing a new trial, neighbours revealed Ms Chtouikite spent “a fortune” on a six-month-long renovation of her 270sqm apartment which had every room soundproofed and clad in black lacquer.
Her neighbours on the main street of Beaulieu-sur-Mer have told how Ms Chtouikite, a stunning 49year-old, browses the shops for homewares, plants for the garden and expensive chocolates, and took a handsome Italian lover who owned a private island off the coast of Italy.
He gave her the prized Braque Francais dog, a rare and expensive breed, as a gift, but they eventually split up.
Ms Chtouikite now shares custody of the dog with her former lover, her neighbours revealed.
She has her chauffeur drive the pet in her Mercedes the 600km to his private island home so the dog can be with him.
“He just came from time to time, he would come for a weekend,’’ a neighbour said of her former beau.
“I know he spoiled her. I know he was very rich. I know he had an island that belonged to him, he lived on the island. She sends the chauffeur to get the dog from the island in Italy.’’
Neighbours said Ms Chtouikite does not work, but has a housekeeper and occasionally a personal assistant.
Her new life has been built far away from Australia and her ex-husband, who is on bail awaiting a retrial on allegations he solicited the murder of his former business partner Michael McGurk. Ron Medich, worth an estimated $73 million in 2010, denies the charges.
Medich told The NSW Supreme Court he was out of money, earned no income, was “approaching” $1 million in debt and that he was locked in a court assets battle with Ms Chtouikite who “won’t give me a red cent”.
The court case to decide how the Medich assets will be carved up after the couple split is logjammed by a series of other cases. It is understood the matter will return to court in August where Mr Medich will attempt to have money released to pay for the second run of his murder trial, which he is set to fight in the NSW Supreme Court.
Approached in Sydney yesterday, Mr Medich said: “I’d tell you something if I could. I never knew there was a dog.”
Ms Chtouikite refused to comment when approached to describe her new life as she left a Beaulieu-surMer beauty salon after a manicure.
She was also spotted heading home from an early morning game of tennis but again refused to speak and complained of harassment.
Beaulieu-sur-Mer, meaning “beautiful place’’ in French, is a glamorous village on the Cote d’Azur between Monaco and Nice, which attracts A-list celebrities and Russian oligarchs, and whose streets are lined with luxury cars by Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, Bentley and Ferrari. It was the inspiration for a fictional town in the 1988 hit movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, featuring Steve Martin and Michael Caine, and many scenes were filmed here.
While Ms Chtouikite first bought the apartment with her then-husband Mr Medich in 2008, she appears to have moved there fulltime some years ago. Her now-adult sons do not live with her.
A Sunday Telegraph investigation has revealed the Lithuanian-born Ms Chtouikite and the Croatian-born Ronald Edward Medich in July 2008 established a French legal entity known as a Société Civile Immobilière (SCI).
SCIs are commonly used by foreigners to buy property in France because they are tax-efficient, make it easier to buy properties in dual names, and help avoid problems down the track under French inheritance tax laws. They are also used to protect family homes from business creditors.
The documents obtained from public records show the pair are equal partners in the company, with 500 shares each, worth €500 each, although Ms Chtouikite is the main director.
SCI Royal, the name of their entity, seems to be used entirely for the purchase of the property which is in a Belle Époque building. It was so lavishly re-decorated in the style of a New York loft by Ms Chtouikite in 2010 that it landed on the front cover of the World of Interiors magazine.
The renovation of the 270sqm apartment was handled by an Italian company and ran for six months.
“She spent a fortune re-doing the apartment,’’ the neighbour said.
“She had every room soundproofed. It’s all in black lacquer. It’s like a hearse. It was an enormous amount of work.’’
A price for the apartment is not known, but it would be worth several millions of euros, even before the multi-million renovation.
The estranged Medichs sold their waterfront mansion in Sydney’s Point Piper in 2014 for $37 million.
But for all her apparent wealth, Ms Chtouikite keeps a low profile around the French town.
She has several social media accounts across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, all set to private, under various names including Odeta Rose and Odeta Suikys Rose.
She frequents the cheerful neighbourhood Italian place near her apartment, the Restaurant Les Vents D’Anges, with male and female friends, including a man aged in his 30s noticed by staff as being muscled.
A jury was last month discharged after being unable to reach a verdict on charges her former husband solicited the murder of Michael McGurk, his former business associate with whom he was mired in legal disputes relating to millions of dollars in property deals.
During the trial, it was revealed Mr Medich had, for several months in 2010, been paying to have his then-wife spied upon, when their marriage was going through diffi- culties. This included Mr Medich asking his former friend and close associate Fortunato “Lucky’’ Gattallari to “find something’’ out about his then-wife, who was a socialite and patron of the arts scene in Sydney.
She is thought to have a new love interest, described as a man with “rust-coloured hair’’ but details on him are scarce.
“She is very quiet,’’ the neighbour said. The neighbour said Ms Chtouikite had “aubiane’’ — a French word that roughly translates as a windfall or opportunity.
“She married a rich man.’’
The town of Beaulieu-Sur-Mer on the French Riviera where Odetta Chtouikite, the estranged wife of Ron Medich, lives in a multi-million apartment (below).
How we reported the story of Ron Medich claiming poverty.
Odetta keeps in shape, and (right) a Braque Francais dog.
Ron Medich and d Od Odettatt pictured in happier times