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Inside Politics

Bush brother's divorce reveals sex romps


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HOUSTON, Texas (Reuters) -- Neil Bush, younger brother of President Bush, detailed lucrative business deals and admitted to engaging in sex romps with women in Asia in a deposition taken in March as part of his divorce from now ex-wife Sharon Bush.

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According to legal documents disclosed Tuesday, Sharon Bush's lawyers questioned Neil Bush closely about the deals, especially a contract with Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., a firm backed by Jiang Mianheng, the son of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, that would pay him $2 million in stock over five years.

Marshall Davis Brown, lawyer for Sharon Bush, expressed bewilderment at why Grace would want Bush and at such a high price since he knew little about the semiconductor business.

"You have absolutely no educational background in semiconductors do you?" asked Brown.

"That's correct," Bush, 48, responded in the March 4 deposition, a transcript of which was read by Reuters after the Houston Chronicle first reported on the documents.

"And you have absolutely over the last 10, 15, 20 years not a lot of demonstrable business experience that would bring about a company investing $2 million in you?"

"I personally would object to the assumption that they're investing $2 million in me," said Bush, who went on to explain that he knew a lot about business and had been working in Asia for years.

Bush, who inked the Grace deal in August 2002, said he had not yet received any stock from the company, which built a plant in Shanghai that began production in September. He is supposed to consult for the company and be on the board of directors, he said.

He said he joined the Grace board at the request of Winston Wong, a co-founder of the company and the son of Wang Yung-ching, the chairman of Taiwan's largest business group, Formosa Plastics Corp. Bush never mentioned Jiang Mianheng in the deposition.

Wong, he said, also is an investor in his latest venture, Ignite!, an Austin, Texas, educational software firm.

A representative at Grace's U.S. office in California had no comment on the Bush contract.

Brown questioned Bush about numerous other business ventures that paid him well to be a consultant and fundraiser, and, in at least one case, for little work.

Bush said he was co-chairman of Crest Investment Corporation, but worked only an average of three to four hours a week. For that, he received $15,000 every three months.

Bush said he provided Crest "miscellaneous consulting services."

"Such as?" asked Brown.

"Such as answering phone calls when Jamail Daniel, the other co-chairman, called and asked for advice," Bush said.

Bush did not return calls to his Ignite! office and his divorce lawyer, Rick Flowers, was not available for comment.

Bush is the third of five children in the family of former President Bush and wife Barbara.

He was involved in a business controversy in the late 1980s when he was director of Denver, Colorado-based Silverado Savings & Loan, which collapsed at a cost to taxpayers of $1 billion.

He denied any wrongdoing, but was sanctioned by the federal government for his part in the failure.

The Bush divorce, completed in April after 23 years of marriage, was prompted in part by Bush's relationship with another woman. He admitted in the deposition that he previously had sex with several other women while on trips to Thailand and Hong Kong at least five years ago.

The women, he said, simply knocked on the door of his hotel room, entered and had sex with him. He said he did not know if they were prostitutes because they never asked for money and he did not pay them.

"Mr. Bush, you have to admit it's a pretty remarkable thing for a man just to go to a hotel room door and open it and have a woman standing there and have sex with her," Brown said.

"It was very unusual," Bush said.

Other presidential siblings of the past have generated controversy, among them Billy Carter, who marketed "Billy Beer" to cash in on brother Jimmy's presidency, and more recently Roger Clinton, who was accused of trying to broker pardons at the end of President Clinton's administration.



Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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