The rich playboy, his young lover and the JEALOUSY that drove her to pull the TRIGGER

The rich playboy, his young lover and the JEALOUSY that drove her to pull the TRIGGER

FROM the designer labels to the speedboat and the fleet of sports cars in his garage, everything about Andrew Bush screamed money. He called his business Gold Trader and more than one acquaintance remarked that it was completely appropriate for a man who appeared to have the Midas touch.

Once married to a glamorous TV presenter, Bush was a brash playboy who loved flaunting his wealth but also worried it would make him a target for criminals.

However it was his tangled personal life which was to prove fatal. The 48-year-old millionaire was shot dead at his villa in Spain last week in an apparent crime of passion. The killing triggered an international hunt for a jealous ex-girlfriend, lingerie and swimwear model Mayka Kukucova. She was later arrested in her home village in Slovakia and now claims she is expecting the dead tycoon’s baby.

Andrew Bush made his fortune in the jewellery trade but had fingers in many pies.

He cashed in on the rocketing price of gold during the recession and added to his fortune by dealing in expensive watches, costing thousands of pounds apiece. He realised there were rich pickings to be had in pawnbroking and also owned a limousine business and tanning salon.

Bush divided his time between large homes in Chepstow, half an hour’s drive from Bristol where he grew up and had his thriving business empire, and the Costa del Sol. He also loved to combine work with pleasure in some of the Middle East’s most exclusive hot spots and European ski resorts.

His cars included a scarlet Ferrari, a grey Lamborghini and a four-wheel drive Hummer. Recent photographs showed him smiling broadly at the wheel of a speedboat.

The motto “work hard, play hard” could have been designed for the wealthy businessman. Although Bush was nudging 50 he worked out most days and had a physique the envy of many men half his age.

In Spain he was often seen jogging along the roads near his £2,500 a month rented villa. At work he favoured a black designer jacket but at the first opportunity would slip into a vest top to display an all-year round tan and bulging biceps.

His personal trainer and friend Paul Orchard says: “Andrew was the sort of person that not everyone would take to but he had a great sense of humour.”

Investigators are building a profile of a rich man who used his Spanish villa near Estepona as a playground. A neighbour recalls seeing bins overflowing with shopping bags from designer stores.

“He came here to relax and enjoy himself in the sun,” says one source. “He had a weakness for women. He liked them young and beautiful.” In Puerto Banus, where middle-aged millionaires in their high-powered cars block the entrance to the marina and are a magnet for pretty girls, Bush was a regular at trendy haunts La Sala and News Café. He was once married to Sam Mason, 45, a former regional TV and BBC radio presenter in the West Country. The couple had a daughter together and are thought to have split up about six years ago. Bush threw himself wholeheartedly into single life, making the most of the attention generated by his wealth, charm and chiselled good looks. When it came to dating young women there was certainly no shortage of self-confidence, demonstrated by how he met his latest girlfriend 21-year-old Maria Korotaeva.

The Russian, who is studying a business and human resources degree at the University of West England, was sitting in a coffee shop in Bristol last year when Bush happened to stroll in and catch her eye.

Maria says: “He looked at me and I looked back and we looked for longer than we should have. We just met each other’s gaze. It was destiny. Sometimes you just meet one person on one day and that’s it. Everything went crazy very quickly.”

In February they enjoyed a Valentine’s break to Paris and had just arrived to celebrate five months together with a long weekend at his Spanish villa when he was killed. After they arrived Maria was opening a bottle of champagne when she was confronted by Bush’s former lover, who was wearing pyjamas.

Bush remained in the villa to try to placate Kukucova, while Maria went outside and sat in their car. She told police she heard a row and three bangs from inside the house before Kukucova fled.

Police are trying to establish how she managed to travel 2,000 miles to Slovakia without her passport, which was in the villa, and who owned the Italian revolver used in the shooting.

Kukucova’s father, Lubomir, 50, who is suffering from cancer, is reported to have persuaded his daughter to hand herself in to detectives following a three-day hunt. She is due to be extradited to Spain to face questioning.

Police say she is accused of intentional homicide, although Kukucova is said to have told her family that she acted in self-defence and shown detectives bruises on her arms. It’s also been reported that she has told her family she is pregnant with Bush’s child and a row began over maintenance.

Police believe 24-year-old Kukucova had a set of keys and may have been lying in wait for up to a week. The day before the killing she had been seen jogging near the villa at one in the morning.

Friends say Bush dumped her after she became too possessive. “She met Andy when she worked at one of his shops,” says one. “He fell in love with her and took her out of work. She started travelling the world with him and they were together for about two years. In the eyes of Andy’s family she turned out to be someone you could describe as ambitious if you were trying to be diplomatic and a gold-digger if you weren’t.

“She became jealous and controlling, partly perhaps because Andy was a bit of a womaniser and partly because she may have feared losing the man who was helping her turn her dreams of the high life into reality. “There was a row last September when she hid his passport just before he was due to go on a business trip. The following day police were called to a robbery at his property in Chepstow. Mayka was found handcuffed and hooded and claimed three masked man had burst in to rob them. There were suspicions from day one she was involved and Andy came to suspect her as well. He ended it last autumn but she took it very badly and started stalking him.”

It’s emerged that Kukucova had recently recorded a video about her love for Bush in which she begs him to rekindle their doomed romance.

In the video, entitled “for my man”, she describes him as the “love of my life”. One photo is accompanied by the caption, “You are the light in my life and the only star in my personal heaven. Let’s be together for ever”. Another photograph shows the couple kissing passionately.

She also shares intimate text messages from Bush, sent before the split, in which he describes her as “my princess”. Her video, posted online for the world to see, concludes with the words, “You are for me”.

Speaking before Kukucova’s arrest her father said: “My daughter wasn’t capable of hurting a fly. I know Andrew, we went to England to see him and he was here with my daughter. We cannot explain what could have happened. They had a very nice and easy-going relationship.”

The millionaire’s death has left his family shattered.

Last Saturday morning his former wife was called by her hysterical daughter Ellie who works at one of her father’s shops. Ellie screamed down the phone: “Daddy’s dead, he’s been shot.”

They flew out to Spain together and Mason says: “My daughter is only 19 and a real daddy’s girl. Now she has been left without a father. This whole thing is almost like a horror story. We will never get over this as a family.”

Another family friend adds: “Andy was flashy and had a roving eye but behind the loud front he was a really nice guy who doted on his daughter.”

Bush was aware that his business, which included dealing diamonds, and his ostentatious lifestyle made him an easy target for violent crooks.

His home in Chepstow has been described as a “fortress”. Security at the five-bedroom property includes metal shutters on the windows and heavy reinforced gates. According to other shopkeepers there was always a security guard on duty at his jewellery business.

However he appears to have fatally underestimated the wrath of a scorned woman, who snapped when she realised that she had been traded in for an even younger model.

Source: Express

LATEST ARTICLES

Send A Comment