Alki David: British billionaire’s $1m dare to person who streaks in front of Barack Obama
A British billionaire, Alki David, has offered $1 million to the first person who manages to streak naked in front of Barack Obama.
By Andrew Hough
The billionaire heir to a shipping and bottle-plant empire, currently ranked 45th in the Sunday Times Rich List with an estimated fortune of £1.15 billion, made the pledge as part of a publicity stunt for a new website.
Almost three months ago the Nigerian born businessman, 42, established the Battlecam site, which offers people thousands of pounds if they perform, video and then upload crazy stunts.
As part of the site’s promotion Mr Alki, also an actor, producer and entrepreneur, initially offered $100,000 to the person who successfully streaked in front of the US President.
But on Tuesday, the Filmontv boss dramatically raised the stakes to $1 million (£639,000) after being told the prize money was “not enough” to warrant such a daring prank. The only catch is the person has to have the website’s name scrawled across their stomach.
Mr Alki, who starred in The Bank Job, the British gangster thriller based on the true story of the 1971 Baker Street bank robbery, dismissed suggestions that people would be offended by the prank.
He also defended himself against claims he was creating a security risk for the President. He only urged participants to undertake the challenge in an area where they would not get arrested for indecency.
“I have thought about the Secret Service taking me aside and pulling me behind the White House bicycle shed but this is all in good fun,” he told The Daily Telegraph from Los Angeles where he is currently producing a new movie.
“I find most Americans are able to laugh at themselves. It is not as if there are any negative intentions. It is just a silly, outrageous prank which is not going to hurt anyone.
“There is no threat at all, it is not as if I am challenging someone to hurl an egg at him or do something that could be perceived as violent. This is a classic (prank) act.”
Mr Alki, who is engaged to US swimsuit model Jennifer Stanno, 25, said not one person had “taken the high moral ground” over the prank.
He also said it was not a personal motive against Mr Obama, insisting he respected the President.
“I must stress I really think Obama is doing a good job, although his popularity is waning here in America,” said Mr Alki, a member of the prominent Leventis family.
“I don’t like to get involved in politics but from a personal point of Obama has brought a lot of hope to America’s dignity around the world as well as within the US.”
He added: “I have a huge amount of respect for the man. But in terms of promoting my product what can I say? Wrong president, wrong time.”
He admitted it was a strange dare, given most billionaires are generally happier splashing their cash on yachts, fast cars and football clubs.
But trying to explain how some people would take up the challenge, he said “fame is an incredible narcotic” for some people with “TV cameras having an amazing effect on how people will behave”.
He said that he had already been contacted by about 160 “serious” applicants.
Since its launch the site has broadcast more than 155 million minutes of video registering more than 20,000 hits a day.
Mr Alki divides his time between multi-million pound homes in central London, Los Angeles, a Greek mansion and a ski lodge in Gstaad, Switzerland.
Last year he divorced from his second wife Emma, 30 after the couple had been together for five years.
The White House has not commented on the prank.