24th January, 2021
By Mail Online team
Michael Boulos, the Lebanese-Nigerian American will soon be the son-in-law of former U.S. President Donald Trump. Despite the chaos of the last days of Trump in office, Boulos proposed to Tiffany Trump, the youngest daughter of Trump and Marla Maples on 19 January. Here the Mail Online attempts a pen portrait of the 23 year-old Michael Boulous:
Michael Boulos, the young Arab-American entrepreneur destined to become Donald Trump’s son-in-law, comes from an extraordinary family which has enjoyed immense wealth but also suffered unimaginable tragedy, MailOnline can reveal.
The 23-year-old, who proposed to the ex-President’s youngest daughter Tiffany, 27, with a $1.2 million (£880,000) engagement ring on 19 January, is heir to a vast multi-billion pound business empire spanning much of the African continent.
His family’s roots are based in the dusty hills of Northern Lebanon and spread across decades and continents to an opulent lifestyle in Nigeria and the US.
While he and his brother have enjoyed huge wealth – with his aspiring actor sibling even appearing in The Crown – his mother has endured utter heartbreak with the loss of seven members of her family in the space of a few days.
MailOnline has spoken exclusively to Michael’s tycoon father Dr Massad Boulos, an ardent Trump supporter, who told of the family’s history and spoke of his delight at Michael’s forthcoming marriage to Tiffany.
‘It’s great news, it’s been an amazing love story and it will continue to be,’ he said.
A long-time Republican, he praised Trump as ‘The best president in recent US history; and the one with the biggest achievements by far.’
He was overjoyed at the news of the engagement, and said of Tiffany, she’s a beautiful young woman and a very smart one, too. Michael is very lucky.
‘This is just one chapter that they’re starting now on a long journey of hopefully love and prosperity.’
The scion of a Christian Lebanese family with links to Nigeria, France and the US, Michael, 23, was born in Houston, Texas, the second of four siblings.
The Boulos children were largely brought up in Lagos, where the people were shocked to be derided, along with other Africans by President Trump in 2018 as among the ‘s***hole countries’.
But that hasn’t dented Michael’s enthusiasm for his future father-in-law: in several Instagram posts alongside photos of the ex-President, he adds the hashtag: ‘#KeepMakingAmericaGreat’.
Michael and his siblings all went to the exclusive American International School in Lagos, and a childhood photo on Michael’s Instagram shows him (with dummy) and brother Fares lounging in their father’s Rolls Royce.
According to Massad, Fares, now aged 30, inherited his mother’s artistic bent, while Michael was always more likely to take the reins of the family business.
‘He’s always been bright at school and great with people – they both have – but Fares set his heart on acting quite early on,’ he said.
Later, as part of a rich white set, the exclusive district of Ikoyi where their sprawling family home is, gave the Boulos boys a wide variety of upmarket nightspots and chic cocktail bars to choose from.
There are also two younger sisters: Oriane, 20 and eight-year-old Sophie.
Before meeting Tiffany in Summer 2018, he led something of a playboy lifestyle and would spend evenings at various bars around Lagos, becoming a regular at a club called Spice Route, known for its exotic aerial acts.
He and his friends often jetted off to hotspots in the Med such as Cannes and the Greek Islands on private charters. A favourite haunt was Mykonos, and they were also showered with invitations to parties on fabulous yachts in the Aegean and the Mediterranean.
His early Instagram feed shows many jaunts to Nice and St Jean Cap Ferrat, cavorting on jet-skis and powerboats.
Massad Boulos, born in Kfaraakka, near the Lebanese border with Syria a child when his family moved to the US in the 1970s.
He was a student himself when he married glamorous Sarah Fadoul, daughter of tycoon Zouhair Fadoul, who brought his young son-in-law into the family business, Fadoul Group, which now has interests in 13 African countries including construction, and vehicle sales, assembly and servicing from cars to earth-movers and tractors.
Sarah meanwhile, who has French nationality through her mother, settled in Nigeria and founded the Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria (SPAN).
But in 2003, when Michael was aged just six, a devastating double tragedy rocked the family to its roots, claiming seven members of her family.
First her aunt and uncle died in a house fire caused by faulty Christmas tree lights.
Then, on Christmas Day, five of Sarah’s other family members, including her mother and brother, who were flying from Cotonou, Benin to Beirut for the funeral, were also killed when their charter flight crashed on take-off.
‘It was an awful tragedy for the whole family,’ recalled Massad. ‘Michael was six at the time, and in another country, but it hit everyone.’
While such a cataclysmic event might have led some to question their beliefs, Massad said Sarah ‘took much comfort in her religion and became even more devoted after the accident.’
Sarah’s father Zouhair, now retired, lives in France.
Michael left Lagos soon after he finished school to begin studying at the private Regent’s University, London for three years, where he lived in a plush $1.2 million £1m ‘student flat’ with a hefty £3,000-a-month rent near Regent’s Park.
The block is a favourite with wealthy overseas students attending the London Business School or Regent’s University and is a short walk from the trendy cafes and Cosmopolitan shops of St John’s Wood.
Neighbours included Tom Ford, Damien Hirst and Sasha Baron Cohen.
One former neighbour said: ‘He was typical of kids from rich families staying here. I would sometimes hear loud music coming from the apartment.’
Michael obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Global Business Management from Regent’s, before later getting a master’s degree in Project Management, Finance and Risk at City, University of London.
Michael may have inherited his father and grandfather’s business acumen, but Fares, is a budding actor who fleetingly appeared in The Crown, playing the non-speaking part of film director Ken Russell.
Fares, who lives in central London, also had a small part in Fantastic Beasts.
In an online resumé, he described himself as a ‘White Nigerian actor, trained in LA,’ by drama coach Constance Tillotson.
‘Constance is known to be one of the best acting coaches in L.A. and she is a regular writer for Backstage, he adds. ‘Now that I’m living in London I would like the best representation.’
His London agents, Saffron Group, did not respond to our messages.
Fares also dabbles in his own brand of ‘rap’, posting a YouTube music video in which he apes a Jamaican accent, performing against a backdrop of Caribbean shanty-towns under the stage-name ‘Farastafari’.
As he sings the catchy anti-violence ballad ‘One Day’, he is confusingly filmed next to a large man waving a sword around in a crowded market place.
Michael’s glittering CV is already extensive for such a young man.
He lists four jobs on his LinkedIn profile, two of them linked to his father’s family business, SCOA Nigeria PLC, based in Lagos, where he has been listed as a director for five years at the firm, which handles all manner of sales and servicing of motor vehicles from cars to tractors and earth-moving equipment.
He also has a part-time director’s role at Groupe Fadoul, SCOA’s parent company, and more recently became vice-president of business development at the Connecticut-based KT Corporation, which makes water filters.
Another job is business development manager with Royalton Investment, a ‘luxury holding company’ with operations across Europe and the Middle East, boasting ‘the world’s largest fleet of mega yachts.’
As his father said: ‘He’s involved in various aspects [of the family business] but currently he’s in the United States and he’s working on his own projects lately.’
Would his son eventually bring his new bride back to live in Nigeria?
‘Probably not, I imagine they’ll probably base themselves in Florida for the foreseeable future,’ he said.
As for the wedding venue? ‘I think it will also be in the US, but I don’t know where yet – that’s some way off I think.’
Might father-in-law Donald lend his sumptuous Mar-a-Lago club for the nuptials?
‘That would be amazing, it’s a fantastic place, but of course that’s his decision, not mine.’