Bim Fernandez is a child of divorce. The Nigerian heiress and aspiring pop star (she wants to be the next Rihanna) is the youngest daughter of reclusive Nigerian billionaire (or at least multi-millionaire) and former United Nations ambassador, Antonio Oladeinde Fernandez and his late ex “wife,” Ms Aduke Fernandez. Bim’s parents
divorced parted ways when she was just 14 years old, in 2004.
The divorce was a messy and acrimonious affair filled with soap opera twists and turns, the most dramatic was the revelation that her parents had never been legally married in the 22 or so years they were together. Indeed, her dad was a bigamist having married her mother even though he had not been legally divorced from his first wife at the time that he and Aduke were betrothed. Ambassador Fernandez, by the way, is no stranger to intriguing divorces. Back in the eighties he famously tried to use the diplomatic immunity privilege to block a divorce from one of his wives, the only American of his cache of brides, Barbara Fernandez, who brought suit in Connecticut in 1989. He lost.
But his divorce from Aduke, Bim’s mother, was full of intrigue and was infinitely more interesting just by virtue of the fact that he was already married when he led her to believe that they had a legal marriage. During the divorce process, he lived the entire time at the Ritz Hotel in Paris while his wife stayed with Bim and her sister Atinuke in one of their mansions in Edinburgh Scotland where the girls were enrolled in boarding school.
In the end, it is unclear whether Ms Fernandez was able to secure a decent divorce settlement from Bim’s father, a man with significant assets that included: a château in France once owned by Napoleon Bonaparte; homes in Scotland, Belgium, Majorca, New York and Nigeria; diamond pits, gold mines, oil wells, and aluminum mines all over Africa including in Congo, Central African Republic, Benin, Togo, Angola and Mozambique; horse stables; farms and private jets to name a few.
Aduke, who brought her divorce suit in Scotland had made a lot of demands. The UK Telegraph wrote at the time:
Mrs Fernandez is claiming the Edinburgh house and a nearby flat worth £700,000 as well as their French chateau. The 19th-century Chateau de Bois Feuillette, set in 25 acres in Verberie, Picardy, 40 miles north of Paris, is believed to be worth £1 million. Mrs Fernandez claims the contents of its wine cellar are worth £1 million…Mrs Fernandez says her husband gave her the French chateau. She also owns two plots in Palma, Majorca, worth £600,000. The value of the contents of their Edinburgh home is estimated at £3 million, including her £250,000 book collection and wine worth £25,000. Mr Fernandez also owns a £10 million property on the Premium Point peninsula in New York. His wife is claiming entitlement to half his oil, gold and diamond interests based in the Cayman Islands. She wants an equal share in the proceeds of the sale of shares in companies called Sandcat Petroleum, Sanantonio, Petro-Inett, Sandcat Enterprises, View, Grantdale, Inuola, Sandcat Goldfields, Voguehope, Woods, Goldfields, Voguehope, and Petro-Inett Equatorial Guinea. She said her husband had bank accounts in Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland, France, Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands and the United States. He owned a fleet of cars including two Rolls-Royces. Mrs Fernandez has designer clothes flown to Edinburgh from Paris. The couple’s two joint accounts, set up to pay their “substantial” staff and household expenses, are said to be overdrawn.
But it looks like she did not get a heck of a lot since the judge at the time blocked a disclosure motion by her lawyers on the basis that there was no legal marriage. The budding pop princess’ mom died in 2013 after a valiant battle with colon cancer. No doubt this situation was exacerbated by the difficult divorce battle being waged against her by her now former husband, Ambassador Fernandez. It must have cut to the core for her husband to try to discredit and disinherit her after what she believed was an authentic and loving long-term marriage.
What is remarkable is the high regard Bim still has for her father. She never lets anyone disrespect him. She will quickly correct anyone who calls him “Mr Fernandez” for example. “It’s Ambassador Fernandez,” she will deadpan.
Bim is a girl with very strong family values and a discernible love for her family and for her father in particular. Her allegiance is no doubt due in part to her father’s continuing financial support. Without doubt he supports her emotionally and wishes her well with her music career but it is his financial support, which is significant, that is indispensable. At 24 Bim is no longer entitled to child support from a legal perspective. Still, her father provides for her support with a monthly allowance that allows her to live in the lap of luxury. According to the New York Post, she rents a posh apartment in the Mercedes House in Hell’s Kitchen, a trendy Manhattan neighborhood. On Bim’s Twitter account you can see pictures of the view from her window and it is breathtaking to say the least. This posh dig also boasts original Picasso paintings, as well as high end furniture and memorabilia – and all of this is bankrolled by her dad.
Bim is on a mission to become the next Rihanna. She wants to have a successful music career and pay her own way in this world. She does not want to be a public charge on her dad forever. She does not want to be like “Paris and Kim Kardashian” spoilt little rich girls who, in her own words, are known for living off the largesse of their parents. She is well on her way to distinguishing herself from the socialite pack. At least some of them (Not Paris for sure.) Her first single “Let’s Take it Naked” has already been released and is climbing the charts. She’s got a reality show in the works that apparently has been picked up by a major network. So soon she will not need child support from her daddy. All she will need from him, which apparently she is already getting, is his love.