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Her name is Jennifer Arcuri, 34, a Californian, blonde, former model, technology entrepreneur and the last woman on the long list of "premier" Boris Johnson. He was regularly visited in his Shoreditch apartment by the then mayor of London, who allegedly traveled with her on at least three official trips and interceded to grant a grant of 100,000 pounds (112,000 euros) from the Ministry of Culture to his company, Hacker House.
The scandal of the American "friend" of Boris has exploded just when the premier was traveling to New York in the company of his last love, Carrie Symonds, with whom he lives in Downing Street after separating a little less than a year ago from his second wife and mother of his four children, Marina Wheeler.
"I am here to speak at the United Nations about our country's commitment to climate change and the loss of biodiversity and the role of our country as a bridge between America and our European allies in the Gulf crisis," Johnson responded to the insistent questions about Jennifer Arcuri, perched on the front pages of British newspapers with the navel in the air and wrapped in two British flags.
The scandal, uncovered by The Sunday Times , has provoked the angry reaction of the opposition over the inevitable political dimension. "Johnson has to respond to accusations of abuse of power and misuse of public funds," said Labor Jeremy Corbyn. "The" premier "has to explain his role in awarding those scholarships and clarify if he did anything wrong," warned Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson.
According to The Sunday Times , Jennifer Arcuri worked for Disney and several televisions and tried to break through as a model and actress in Hollywood. In 2011, he arrived in the United Kingdom as a business student and a year after he joined the campaign for the re-election of Johnson as mayor, as can be seen in the photos with the "Better off with Boris" shirt. Thus began what the newspaper describes as "a personal and professional friendship" that lasted during Johnson's last term as mayor, which culminated in 2016.
Arcuri lived in a bright and spacious apartment in Shoreditch, the technological district of London, for which he paid about 3,000 euros per month and in which he had a pole dance bar installed, like those in strip bars. The then mayor was repeatedly seen entering and leaving the floor, which was just 15 minutes by bike from the City Hall.
Arcuri received during that time a first scholarship of 26,500 pounds (about 29,000 euros) for his first firm, Innotech, while traveling with Johnson on three "trade missions" as mayor to New York, Singapore and Malaysia. Arcuri, which defines itself as "the ethical hacker", received shortly after another grant from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Media of greater amount (100,000 pounds) for its second firm, Hacking House, which remains operational in the United Kingdom, although she returned to the United States more than a year ago.
Johnson maintained a very direct contact with Arcuri, known as The Commodore's nickname among his telephone contacts. She used her proximity to Johnson with photos in public appearances and technology conferences, and hung strictly professional photos on her social media accounts.
So far as the relationship between the two went is a mystery, although an entry in his Facebook account, dated 2013, has given rise to all suspicions: " Today I will celebrate a special night with one of my favorite men of all time. Although I will not give his name. He would not let me reveal it. I am very sure that few know how happy I am to be able to celebrate it with him. "
In another Facebook post, Arcuri poses in a photo with Johnson on his campaign bus for re-election and writes below: "This was the day that Innotech was born." The "start up", created just after finishing his studies at age 27, organized technological "summits" in the Silicon Roundabout (the London version of Silicon Valley), with the occasional sponsorship of London & Partners. Johnson himself intervened for free in one of the events, given his special friendship with the organizer. Innotech failed in the end and closed with red numbers of more than 390,000 euros.
Jennifer Arcuri responded briefly to the article published by The Sunday Times claiming that all the scholarships received by her companies were "purely for my role as a businesswoman." "It is incredibly frustrating that The Sunday Times cannot write about my role as a successful entrepreneur and that it bases its information on leaks from the City Hall."
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