""'Kirk Kerkorian, the legendary deal maker – perhaps the greatest in capitalist history – was being pushed and shoved to an altar against his wishes,' Rempel writes. 'The billionaire was being nickel-and-dimed for nearly $10 million by a girlfriend he'd been trying to dump for four years.' Kerkorian was already twice-divorced and in his 70s when he met five-foot-ten blonde tennis star in 1991. Bonder, who was ranked in the top ten of women's pro tennis and had defeated champ Chris Evert when she was a teenager, was 25 at the time and still married to furniture heir Thomas Kreiss. Kerkorian's friends took a liking to the athlete and were impressed with her moves on the court, but he was more fond of her humor, Rempel writes.'She makes me laugh', he told his sister after meeting the tennis star when a friend brought her along to one of his weekend tennis marathons. Kerkorian lavished her with gifts and trips early on and even offered to financially provide for her and her two-year-old son so she could get a hasty divorce. However, he had no intention of tying the knot since he 'was very happily unmarried' at that point in his life. But Bonder's true intentions were quickly exposed; she had a gained the reputation for having a 'big mouth' and she never gave up talking to Kerkorian's friends about using the billionaire to become the richest woman in the world, Rempel claims.
She confessed to Darrien Iacocca, wife of businessman Lee Iacocca, that 'her dream was to be the 'last Mrs. Kerkorian' so that one day 'it would be all hers.'
At the time, Kerkorian's fortune was growing by tens of millions of dollars a month with Chrysler stock values climbing.
Bonder told her lover she was ready to move across the country but needed some cash to 'start-over' in New York City.
To encourage that, Kerkorian gave her $1 million in bank-wrapped stacks of $100 bills at the same time he was writing a check for $870 million to buy back MGM studios.
Kirk hated paper trails and never carried credit cards. Instead, he used petty cash for all his daily personal expenses and kept rolls of $100 bills in his pants pocket which added up to $5,000 to $10,000.
Bonder never did move east, but she continued to pester Kerkorian with her desire to be married, the author says.
After giving her a five-carat diamond ring for her 30th birthday in 1995, he told her to move on two months later.
But Bonder was desperate to make a husband out of one of the country's richest men. She fretted on the phone with friends and obsessed over how she could win Kerkorian back and even told friends there wasn't much to live for without him.
After another final rejection, she started dating playboy Steve Bing, heir to a Southern California real estate fortune. That fling involved a quick lovemaking session at the Hotel Bel-Air.
'It was around that time that Lisa decided to try a deal-making ploy on one of the greatest deal makers in American business history,' Rempel writes.
This time, she said she'd move on, but needed a stake. The athlete wanted a house that was for sale on Angelo Drive in Beverly Hills but it needed renovation.
'If Kirk would give her $4 million, she would use $1.6 million to buy and renovate the place. The rest would be moving on with my life money,' the book states.
Kerkorian gave her the full $4 million but with a caveat. She was forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement – no talking about his business interests or personal affairs. And then they had one last fling together.
He would finally move on to be with Una Davis, a divorcee, financially independent, and a tennis player. The relationship was soon foiled when Bonder announced she was pregnant and claimed he was the father.
The octogenarian knew his sperm count was too low and had doubts the child was his. Nevertheless, he began sending monthly child support checks to the tune of $20,000.
In those two years between their breakup in 1995 and her pregnancy announcement in the fall of 1997, Kerkorian had given her nearly $5.5 million in gifts and loans and the $1 million in cash for New York.