Know Richard Lugner Better – The Austrian Billionaire who married Cathy Schmitz

September 16, 2014 | 0

Richard Mörtel Lugner, the 82 year old billionaire has married Playboy model, Cathy Schmitz, who is 24 years old.  The Austrian billionaire (born October 11, 1932) who has made his megabucks in the construction industry, has got front-page attention like never before, after his marriage to a woman, 57 years younger than him.


Lugner born as Richard Seigfried Lugner started off as a building contractor in 1962, his work chiefly dealt in erecting filing stations and renovating old buildings. By 1979, he built the first mosque in Vienna, on the bank of the River Danube. By 1990, Lugner opened a shopping mall called ‘Lugner City’. He made sure that the mall got enough eyeballs by inviting celebrities beginning with Thomas Gottschalk, who would perform for the public and sign autographs.

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In 1992, Richard Lugner and his then wife Mausi Lugner bought legendary Caribbean-American pop icon Harry Belafonte, to Lugner City., and then invited him for the Vienna Opera Ball.  This is a year Austrian society event that is held in the Vienna State Opera Building, on the Thursday just before ‘Ash Wednesday’. The Opera Ball is one of the highlights of the carnival season in Vienna. The dress code is tails and white tie for men and floor-length gowns for the ladies.

After Harry Belafonte, followed the tradition of inviting every top-ranking celebrity to the shopping center as the guest of honor; followed by another invitation to grace the Vienna Opera Ball.  The celebrities who have been a part of the Lugner City Mall celebration and the Vienna Opera Ball concert include Joan Collins, Ivana Trump, Raquel Welch, Faye Dunaway, Farrah Fawcett, Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock, Geri Halliwell, Carmen Electra, Mira Sorvino, Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner.

Mr. Lugner is both criticized and credited for his move to shop the shopping habits of Austrians. The norm was that all shops should shut doors by 6PM Monday through Fridays with a half day on Saturday.  Richard Lugner encouraged late-night shopping at least one day of the week and extended shopping hours on Saturdays.

By 1990, Mr. Lugner decided to concentrate on politics and gave the control of business to his sons from his earlier wife, Christina ‘Mausi’ Lugner.  He did not have a good run at politics and in the 1998 presidential elections, came 4th with just 9.91 percent votes.  But the good part of this attempt was that Richard Lugner had become a public figure.

Richard Luger Hollywood celebrities

Richard Lugner’s pet interest lies in keeping himself in company with gorgeous women, mostly A-list Hollywood stars. For the last twenty years, he has paid celebrities Sofia Loren,  Paris Hilton, Carmen Electra and Lindsay Lohan, enormous amounts of money to be his date and dance with him at the Vienna’s Opera Ball. He paid a whopping $150,000 for Lindsay Lohan to be his date for an elite event, but she couldn’t make it.

Richard Lugner’s date with Kim Kardashian and why it feel apartRichard Luger Kim Kardashian

Richard Lugner recently paid $500K to Kim Kardashian to be his date at the Vienna Opera Ball. The billionaire however made his ire known in an interview, stating that Kim was ‘annoying’ and didn’t dance with him, despite the flattering amount of money.  He said, “”Kim is annoying me. Because she’s not sticking to the program. She’s filming and so she doesn’t want to have me around. The guest should be with me and not anywhere else that is not agreed upon.”

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Kim on the other hand, reported that she was not angry with Lugner, but her annoyance was directed at a man who had painted his face black, and was miming Kanye.  Kim also stated later that Lugner was too overbearing and had grabbed her and asked her to be alone with her.


Richard Lugner married four times, before Cathy came into his life. One of them apart from Christina, was Sonja Jeanine, an Austrian movie and theater actress. Incidentally, Christina Lugner, born June 2, 1968; is an Austrian TV presenter.  She was also a contestant in the TV reality show in Germay called, ‘Ich bin ein Star – Holt mich hier raus!’ Mr. Luger’s marriage with Christina lasted from 1990 to August 2007.

Richard Lugner Net Worth

Though there has not been a official estimate of his wealth, unofficial estimates quote Richard Lugner to have a net-worth of 2.2 billion dollars.  The man is known to have an extravagant tastes for art, collectibles and invests in upscale reality markets.

Fairy-tale wedding with Cathy Schmitz

Richard Luger Cathy Schmitz

Richard Lugner has now married for the fifth time to Cathy Schmitz, 24 on September 14, 2014 and famously declared, “ Apart from the big age difference, everything fits.” He expressed his optimism stating, “Hopefully, this time it is the right thing.”

Richard Luger Cathy Schmitz wedding photo

The marriage has been a gala affair with the billionaire leaving no stone unturned to ensure that his bride enjoys the best day of her life. The fairy-tale wedding was held at Schonbrunn Palace, with a horse carriage drawn by four pristine looking white Lipizzan horses.  The ushers wore customary outfits blowing crystal flutes filled with champagne. The couple even set free two symbolic doves to announce their matrimonial life.  Cathy Shmitz looked beautiful in her wedding gown made of ornamentally decorated strapless bustier and purple chiffon floor-length skirt.  Cathy said before the ceremony, “ We  did not plan to fall in love, it happened. Love knows no age.”


Richard Lugner has four children,  two sons from his first marriage, daughter Nandine Jeanine Cutter,(born 1985) from her Sonja and daughter Jacqueline (born 1993) from his fourth marriage.

Richard Lugner who has reportedly, had botox done on his face to look younger.  He says that inviting celebrities to his mall and the Opera are just business promotional strategies. He says, “Sometimes with my guest, it becomes impossible to dance because guests are always chased by journalists.” He added,” My daughter actually chooses the ladies, she chose Lindsay, she has picked people for me for the last three years, because she is in touch with what’s happening. I am a businessman, I don’t know these things.” The celebrated businessman however says that the previous lot of celebrities were more amorous and had better flair at dancing.  He says, “ Faye Dunaway and Grace Jones knew their movies. I was able to dance with them.”

Richard Luger wife Cathy Schmitz

The Lugner City Mall  witnesses sea of crowd as people scourge to get an autograph from the mega-star guest. Lugner says,” I invite these famous celebrities for the benefit of the clientele who come shopping at the mall. It is just so that they get autographs. For me, it is just business.”

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