This time the butler really did do it. Vincent Fermin, who worked as a butler for the widow of Dr. Robert Atkins, told RadarOnline.com exclusively that he found a nude photo of a stunning socialite on the camera of Veronica Atkins’ new husband Alexis Mersentes, confirming his earlier suspicions about the groom.
It’s all part of an explosive battle centered around the $400 million fortune of the man who invented the Atkins diet. Veronica married Mersentes in 2007, touching off a battle between her new husband and her money managers.
After Atkins’ death Veronica fell reportedly into a depression and took financial advice from Clive Metz, whom she and her husband had previously met on vacation in Anguilla. Metz teamed her up with accountant John Mezzanotte and lawyer John Corrigan who helped her manage her estimated $25 million a year marital trust. The trio – who were dubbed as “The Three Musketeers” in Palm Beach, Florida – took $250,000 a month in fees and even named themselves as beneficiaries under an insurance policy in her name.
But the lawsuits started flying after Veronica, 72, met wealthy Greek businessman Mersentes in 2006.
He felt the managers were robbing his new wife and he demanded they be cut out of her estate. They countered by saying her new husband was a womanizing grifter who wanted to control the vast fortune himself.
The case took a twist Monday when her former butler Fermin revealed that he saw the photograph of the striking Hungarian blonde Ildiko Varga and that he believed Mersentes’ intentions are far from honorable.
“Look, stories that I downloaded images from Mersentes’ computer are completely false,” Fermin told RadarOnline.com. “I actually discovered the image while I was taking a photograph of the couple but the truth is I saw warning signs much earlier and I wish I had done something sooner.”
Mersentes’ lawyer Bruce Reinhart scoffs at the butler’s allegations, pointing out that Fermin gave a different story under oath and worked with Veronica’s money managers to undermine his client. “Look, Mr Fermin testified under oath that he waited until Mr. Mersentes had gone before downloading these pictures and copying them on to a disc. He also removed information from Mr. Mersentes’ cell phone and passed this on to the money managers,” Reinhart told Radaronline.com.
Fermin says Veronica is a “good person” but can be easily taken advantage of by someone like Mersentes.
“I wouldn’t say she was street smart. She was vulnerable and lonely before she met her new husband and everything changed when he came into her life,” Fermin claims. “Everything was different and she became more distant as a result. I don’t believe that the money managers were swindling her and I think that they were looking out for her best interests. It’s just that Mersentes did not want this.”
Reinhart says Veronica and Mersentes are “happily married” and that Mersentes loves her “very much.”
“Mr. Fermin did not like my client and the way he was treated as a household employee – he’s a friend of Clive Metz and they are paying for his attorney,” he added. “Mr. Fermin was hired to cook and clean, not to give advice to Mrs. Mersentes about her personal life and when he did choose to do so she ignored what he was saying because she wanted to be with her husband.”
A source in Palm Beach has told RadarOnline.com that Vargo has left town after splitting with her husband who helped her create the Vargo crystal company. RadarOnline.com also confirmed that Vargo is suing Mersentes over the release of the images.
Mr. Mersentes has denied these allegations and filed his own third-party complaint in the Judicial Circuit Court in Palm Beach, Florida last Friday.