An old friend of his said he was "always focused on his appearance and how others perceived him."
Billionaire Belgian-Israeli diamond trader Ehud Arye Laniado died at the age of 65 in Paris on March 2 — during a penis enlargement procedure.
The yet unidentified surgeon worked out of a high-class clinic on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Fox News reported. When complications arose mid-operation — as Laniado received an injection into his penis — he suffered a deadly heart attack.
While the deceased’s exact net worth remains uncertain, he did have substantial legal troubles as recently as 2013, when he faced a $5.2 billion tax evasion claim from Belgian officials after illegally importing Congolese and Angolan diamonds.
He reportedly managed to circumvent the corresponding trial and agreed to pay a steep fine. Two courts dismissed the claim for even further payment but an appeals court ordered a new trial.
In an ominous turn of events, the billionaire’s strange death occurred a mere 12 days before his scheduled court appearance on March 14.
Laniado’s company, Omega Diamonds, issued a statement confirming his death. The business is based in the billionaire’s home country of Belgium and in the city that is the heart of Europe’s diamond trade — Antwerp.
“Farewell to a visionary businessman. It is with great sadness that we confirm that our founder Ehud Arye Laniado has passed away,” the statement read.
Laniado’s procedure purportedly stemmed from a Napoleon complex due to his comparatively short stature, which may have pushed him toward decisions like getting a penis enlargement at the age of 65. An old friend of his said Laniado was “always focused on his appearance and how others perceived him.”
Several friends of the billionaire said his Napoleon complex was so debilitating that the only time he could take his mind off of his perceived inferiorities was when his accountant obliged to read his bank statement out loud. This reportedly happened multiple times per day.
Laniado owned the single-most expensive penthouse in Monaco — a haven for the new rich — which reportedly cost well over $39 million. He also owned a house in the famous Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel Air and had a penchant for Chateau Margeaux, models, and celebrities.
Impressively, the late billionaire seemed to be a self-made man. He started off as a masseuse at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel. Laniado didn’t go to college, but once he met and impressed the right people in Belgium — they noticed he wasn’t without natural-born skills.
“In Antwerp, it turned out that he did have some talents,” a friend said. “Internationally, he was one of the biggest experts in valuing raw diamonds.”
Laniado’s talents weren’t just lauded by friends and co-workers — he sold the world’s most expensive diamond, the Blue Moon of Josephine, for ca. $48.4 million to a Hong Kong businessman in 2015.
— Forbes (@Forbes) November 16, 2015
“After living an exceptional life Ehud will be brought back home to Israel as his final resting place,” Omega Diamonds said. “He will be dearly missed by us all.”
After reading about Ehud Arye Laniado, the billionaire who died during a penis enlargement procedure, learn about the man who claimed to have the world’s biggest penis, only for it to be exposed as average. Then, read about Mao Sugiyama, the artist who made a meal of his own genitals.