Vicky Ward says in Town & Country, that the Rybolovlev case boils down to a rivalry between two women working for Dmitry Rybolovlev. One is his former confidant, Tania Rappo who just succeeded in having Rybolovlev interviewed by Monaco’s prosecutor for tampering with a recording of her in his case against Yves Bouvier. The other is his current lawyer Tetiana Bersheda:
Tetiana Bersheda warned me that I would find Tania Rappo “captivating.” After I meet her in her lawyer’s office, atop a creaking staircase in a building near the Fairmont Monte Carlo, and later at dinner, accompanied by her husband and her lawyer, at an outdoor French restaurant, I cannot deny it. Dressed casually in a black halter top, jeans, and heels—as well as big pearl earrings—Rappo looks far younger than her years. One of the first things she tells me—then repeats again and again—is that she and Bersheda never got along. Bersheda was always kept away from the art collection, and one senses how much the rivalry between these two women plays a role in the case.
Ward’s article doesn’t do much to back up that assertion. And the story is very much a representation of Rybolovlev’s point of view as made clear in the opening scene where Ward is introduced to Rybolovlev in his apartment in Monaco. But it does contain this section presenting the first meeting of Bouvier and Rybolovlev:
Around 2003 the Rybolovlevs decided to build an art collection—”the best in the world,” Dmitry has been quoted as saying. They had recently moved into a house with light fixtures for art displays, and with the help of Rappo they were making inroads among a Western European elite that spent its considerable wealth on art. Rybolovlev soon settled on his first acquisition: Le Grand Cirque, one of Marc Chagall’s many beloved circus paintings. (The previous owner of the house, who had left the fixtures, owned a Chagall.) He consulted several dealers, and the best price was $8 million, according to Rappo. However, she came up with a way to eliminate the dealers and buy directly from Le Grand Cirque’s owner, lowering the price by more than $2 million—and, pivotally, bringing Rybolovlev into contact with Yves Bouvier. […]
Rappo says that shortly after their encounter at the Geneva free port, Bouvier called her to ask her to arrange a follow-up meeting.
“I think I can be useful,” Rappo says Bouvier told her. Rybolovlev “jumped,” she says. “He was really very happy.” According to her, the oligarch recognized that Bouvier had some of the best art in the world sitting in his Geneva warehouse. Rybolovlev, for his part, says he scarcely remembers his first meeting with Bouvier, and he took the meeting only because Rappo encouraged him to.