|'I worked hard for my money'
09:30am 31st May 2006- Daily Mail
LISA VOICE, 52, is a self-made music and property millionaire. Worth around £30 million, she is one of Britain's richest women.
She was the girlfriend of Fifties rock ' n' roll star Billy Fury for 12 years, is divorced and lives in London with her daughter Kimberley, 17, and son Michael, 20.
The best investment I ever made was £7million to pay off my husband of 15 years, the late music producer Steve Voice, when we divorced in 2000. He died of a heart attack in Miami shortly afterwards.
That £7million bought me freedom from a violent marriage, during which he'd tried to shoot me several times. I only stayed for the sake of the children, and as soon as they were old enough to understand, I filed for divorce. I was the breadwinner - Steve didn't have money of his own.
I started work when I left school at 15 and my businessman father gave me my first property, a shop in Godalming, Surrey, worth £6,000, to rent out. I built up my commercial and residential property empire from there.
My home in London is valued at £6million and I have a £3million house in Miami with eight bedrooms and a beautiful pool.
I'm a smart businesswoman, a bit of a workaholic and shrewd with money. I invest a lot in charitable concerns and have spent millions setting up a housing charity for blind and disabled people. We've built eight blocks of self-contained, furnished flats in London which provide independent living for less fortunate people.
'I've worked hard'
But I've worked hard and I have the means to live the high life so, yes, I do indulge in luxuries, too. I spend £250,000 a year flying to Italy, Russia and Paris on private executive jets for business and pleasure.
I recently took my friends, actress Stephanie Beacham and music producer Mike Moran, who co-wrote the song Barcelona with Freddie Mercury, to Paris for the day.
We travelled by private jet, complete with leather seats, canapés and Moet champagne, and had lunch at a fabulous restaurant called Maison Blanche. I can rarely remember how much a meal costs, as I don't look at the price so long as everyone enjoys the food, wine and atmosphere.
After lunch, the driver I'd hired for the day whisked us to the Champs Elysées, where I bought a handbag and make-up in Chanel and platinum charms as gifts for about 20 friends in Cartier.
I'm so busy working that I like to shop in bulk and don't see it as extravagant to spend thousands of pounds in five minutes at Cartier.
I love jewellery and one of my favourite pieces is an 18-carat diamond ring. I will never disclose its value, but let's just say it cost more than Victoria Beckham's engagement ring, which is rumoured to have set David back more than £40,000.
Next stop in Paris was afternoon tea at one of my favourite hotels, the elegant Plaza Athenee, a jet set haunt, where coffee and a cake costs more than a three-course meal in a normal restaurant.
The whole day cost more than £25,000, but I like to enjoy what I've earned. I take several holidays a year, and fly first class and stay in five-star hotels. I buy most of my clothes straight from the catwalk, from the designer Ricci Burns. Twice a year I go to his shop, where I'll spend a couple of hours trying on and choosing my clothes for the next season. It costs tens of thousands, but that's my wardrobe filled.
I buy for business, everyday wear and for events such as the Cannes Film Festival, where I was last week. I stayed at the exclusive Hotel Du Cap and met Keira Knight-ley, who I'm hoping will be in a £15million film about my life that will go into production at the end of the summer.
Yes, my lifestyle is lavish, but I believe I deserve every luxury because I've worked so hard to earn them.