Most expensive private revenge

Talking of revenges, which can be contrued to have been the most expensive? It has to be a private revenge ie non governmental, not one country blasting another country to smithereens.

I don’t know how you can find this out. However I did read about two American sisters who fought over who would inherit the family villa in Italy, for many years. When finally one was awarded it, she went to Italy and burned it to the ground.

This story always seemed to me to be kind of the epitome of revenge stories.

I eagerly await Dopers finding great examples but my first thought went to spite houses.

I’ve seen 1/3 of the houses on the list. I don’t know how much any of them cost though.

In 2006, Dr. Nicholas Bartha blew up his multimillion dollar Manhattan townhouse, with him inside, rather than allow his wife to get it in the divorce.

The Bingham family owned the Louisville Courier Journal for three generations and had built it to into a giant media company. The son and daughter who represented the next generation of ownership got involved in constant fights over the paper, and their father eventually gave up and sold the whole enterprise for $300 million. Not that any member of the family got screwed in the deal, but it’s a rather extreme example of a parent saying, “This is why we can’t have nice things!”

Vinod Khosla bought an entire beach village that he has never visited and regrets buying, but is willing to spend as much of his 3 billion dollar fortune defending his right to block an easement to access the beach.


My nanna painted her house a hideous shade of purple, but only because she liked it, not out of spite.

Does this count as private?

Saddam Hussein got mad at his son Uday for being too reckless, so he had his son’s private car collection torched.

So hundreds of exotic and luxury cars destroyed, probably valued in the tens of millions of dollars, possibly worth 9 figures.

Being rich must be nice.

A brilliant article. Thanks

The Dassler feud between the Adidas and Puma brothers may count - a feud between the Dassler brothers split Adidas into Adidas and Puma, and afterwards they were bitter competitors.

They’ve been split for ~70 years - for the last 5 or so, Puma has been doing ~$200M a year in revenue. So that’s 1 billion, and then let’s just say the previous 65 years add up to a billion.

So a sibling rivalry led to Adidas foregoing ~$2 billion in revenue over the last 70 years. That would probably end up about $200 million net, so we can chalk up a $200 million expense in the revenge column.

Still, there’s got to be some better example out there among royals or emperors - I’m sure petty revenge or rivalry has literally cost kingdoms somewhere down the line.

Due to a long-standing dispute with his aunt, Lina Astor, William Waldorf Astor had his father’s house, next door to hers, torn down and built the first Waldorf Hotel on the site. The hotel was specifically designed to overshadow Mrs. Astor’s mansion and William Waldorf hoped that the heavy hotel traffic would destroy his aunt’s peaceful environs.

So, what’s the name of these people, so I can look their story up?

At that point, is it still private revenge? One would have to stick to instances of royals or emperors exacting vengeance at the cost of their kingdom but without significant effects on the country. Otherwise, you have cases like the Shah of Khwarezmia pissing off Genghis Khan. And I’m not sure where an event like the Nepalese Royal Massacre fits in as there was already a civil war.

I believe they based an episode of Law & Order in that.

How many people are aware that Dante Alighieri Wrote The Divine Comedy as a Literary Fuck You (#4)?

I remember a story about a wealthy man who in his will left his remaining gold bullion, silver certificates and his yacht to some relative he actually despised.

Thing is, he didn’t actually have any of those things and the relative went nuts spending a considerable amount of time, money, and other resources trying to find them.

This is my vote for best revenge.

Probably back in the historical era when a white elephant was a real concept instead of a phrase?

In terms of relative wealth destroyed/given away, not absolute, the potlatches of the coastal Pacific Northwest people’s were infamous. Wikipedia has a quote:

So if a cheiftain had an enemy with the same or lesser wealth than him, invite him to a potlatch and give/destroy everything, forcing the enemy to give/destroy all his wealth.

Canada banned them for a while due to the anti-Christian nature of the system. You just don’t give your stuff away! Right.