The veteran playboy who has blown millions persuading A-list VIPs to join him for Austria‘s lavish Vienna Opera Ball has confessed he has debts of more than GBP 34 million.

Richard Lugner speaks in undated footage. His debts amount to 40 million euros. (Newsflash)

Shopping centre tycoon Richard Lugner, 91, has paid out huge sums to get stars like Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and Priscilla Presley to join him.

Now it has emerged that the self-styled Austrian billionaire is actually massively in the red.

Just weeks ago Lugner was bragging about inviting Elvis’s widow to join him in his box at the high society ball at Vienna State Opera Theatre.

But his secret debts were revealed during a press conference when local media suggested that next year he should invite Pretty Woman actress Julia Roberts.

The retail boss admitted he owes a fortune in Euros saying: “With my 40 million in debt, that will be difficult.”

He added: “I will try to reduce the debt as long as I live. I don’t want my heirs to suffocate because of it.”

Kugner had called the conference to thank 78-year-old Priscilla Presley for being his guest last month.

Richard Lugner, 89, got engaged to his girlfriend Simone Reilander, 39, on 11th October, in Vienna, Austria. (Newsflash)

Photos from the event showed a delighted Lugner in white tie and tails dancing a waltz with the star.

He said: “She told us that she had spent wonderful hours with us and that the opera ball was really a fairytale ball with the wonderful floral decorations.”

Lugner, holding up a glamorous publicity photo of the star, had previously thanked Priscilla for “not causing any issues” in their negotiations.

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The five-times wed bachelor told local media: “My daughter Jaqueline held the talks. I was involved though.

“In contrast to previous years, there were no major issues.”

He added: “The weeks leading to the Opera Ball are a hectic time for me. It’s not easy.

“I don’t know many of today’s most famous actors. But I do know Priscilla Presley.”

Richard Lugner, 89, got engaged to his girlfriend Simone Reilander, 39, on 11th October, in Vienna, Austria. (Newsflash)

Lugner, famous for his love of glamorous women, has previously invited stars Pamela Anderson, Kim Kardashian, the Duchess of York, and Paris Hilton to escort him to the event.

Not all of them seemed happy to be there.

He once described former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell as “the most difficult guest of all of them.”

The entrepreneur also made headlines by claiming that Grace Jones had sex with her boyfriend in his box.

Lugner reportedly pays each of his celebrity guests a six-figure sum for attending the event with him.

They are also contracted to take part in autograph signing sessions for fans at his Lugner City shopping centre.

Richard Lugner, 89, got engaged to his girlfriend Simone Reilander, 39. On 11th October, in Vienna, Austria. (Newsflash)

The tradition-rich Vienna Opera Ball is one of the high society highlights of the year and has been running since 1814, drawing blue bloods and VIPs from all around the world.

Even the cheapest ticket for the event costs EUR 385 (GBP 331).


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