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Are Wanton Women Bleeding Dennis Dry?

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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DID I MENTION THE FREE WINE? Dennis's 2004 book of poetry Why is Felix Dennis—a man who has always refused to be governed by anything but his own whims and desires—suddenly so anxious to sell off his American magazines? That question has been a source of puzzlement in the magazine industry ever since the eccentric British mogul hired investment bank Allen & Co. to explore a sale of Maxim, Stuff, and Blender in April.

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The answer, according to one company insider, has to do with Dennis's legendary weakness for the very source of his empire's success: beautiful women. "Felix feels he's cash-poor," says the source. "He's been talking about it in his U.K. office. He has all of these women he supports, and it's very expensive."

Dennis has never made a secret of his libertine lifestyle; according to a 1995 article in London's Daily Mail, he routinely travels with several female companions, even when vacationing with his mother. Asked whether his girlfriends might be in it for the money, he candidly told the Mail, "If they are, that's human nature. I do shower them with gifts and I enjoy doing it."

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