Branson's business empire is owned by a complicated series of offshore trusts and companies. The Sunday Times stated that his wealth is calculated at £3.065 billion; if he were to retire to his Caribbean island and liquidate all of this he would pay relatively little in tax.
His biography points out several humanitarian causes and his label did sign the Sex Pistols, but he is a rich tax avoiding type guy and there may be a message in this. In any case a downer for Kate Winslet. This kind of thing would totally blow my vacation.
British Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet was among the guests who escaped unhurt from a fire which swept through Richard Branson's Caribbean holiday retreat overnight, the billionaire said on Monday.
Branson said the blaze was caused by a lightning strike on The Great House on Necker Island, and that the building was completely destroyed.
Branson, his wife Joan and son Sam were staying in a nearby property, but among those who fled the affected building were 35-year-old Winslet, her boyfriend and family, Branson's mother Eve and his daughter Holly.
"Around 20 people were in the house and they all managed to get out and they are all fine," Branson said in comments released to the British media.
"We had a really bad tropical storm with winds up to 90 miles per hour. A big lightning storm came around 4 a.m. and hit the house.