Mystery Woman in Royal Divorce Revealed as Ethiopian Princess

Above: Countess LuAnn de Lesseps and her husband, Count
Alexandre de Lesseps, have separated.

Tadias Magazine
Tadias Staff

Published: Saturday, April 11, 2009

New York (Tadias) – The mystery woman behind a royal divorce in Europe has been identified as Ethiopian Princess Kemeria Abajobir Abajifar, reports New York’s Daily News quoting the Ethiopian website Ethioplanet.com.

Last week we reported that the internet was abuzz with the news that an Ethiopian beauty has wrecked a royal marriage. Countess LuAnn de Lesseps and her husband, Count Alexandre de Lesseps, have been separated after the Royal sent an email informing his wife of 16 years that he is intimately involved with an Ethiopian woman in Geneva.

Alas, the woman is now unmasked as an Ethiopian royal herself. She is the descendant of King Abajifar, the last ruler of a powerful kingdom in the Gibe region of Ethiopia, Ethioplanet said.

Quoting The New York Daily News: “An unnamed source said it was the wish of both the princess and Count Lesseps, 59, that she no longer be identified as ‘the Ethiopian woman’ but rather with her royal credentials.”

Related: ETHIOPIAN PRINCESS FOILS NY HOUSEWIFE’S MARRIAGE: Husband of Countess LuAnn cheated with woman from African royalty. Read more at Eurweb.com

29 Responses to “Mystery Woman in Royal Divorce Revealed as Ethiopian Princess”


  1. 1 Tigist Apr 11th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    I told you so…I said she could be a royal herself. Are you reading this Debre Tabor? If so, please give me credit for getting it right!!

    It is shame they cheated, but happy for them now they are finally open and in love!! I wish them all the best!

    Love and love

  2. 2 ethiopian Apr 11th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    please please please, there is no such Ethiopian princess blah blah

  3. 3 des Apr 11th, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    What does Countess mean? and whose the king?

  4. 4 Ayantu Apr 11th, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Yes, she is an Ethiopian royal. There are many royal families in Ethiopia from different regions and ethnic groups. Her last name may not be Haile Selassie, but she is indeed a Princess. This particular family were powerful rulers in Ethiopia in the region known us Keffa, where coffee originated from. She is from a very powerful Ethiopian family of Oromo origin. Here are few info about her ancestors in wikipidia:

    The Kingdom of Jimma was one of the kingdoms in the Gibe region of Ethiopia that emerged in the 19th century. It shared its western border with Limmu-Ennarea, its eastern border with the Sidamo kingdom of Janjero, and was separated from the Kingdom of Kaffa to the south by the Gojeb River. Jimma was considered the most powerful, militarily, of the Gibe kingdoms.

    -Although the king can be described as a despot, the citizens of Jimma were otherwise considered his equals: all could own property, there was no nobility, and the other citizens addressed him as an equal and not as a superior.

    -In Jimma, Maria Theresa Thalers (MT) and salt blocks called amoleh were used as currency until the reign of Emperor Menelik II.

    -Coffee (Coffea arabica) became a major cash crop in Jimma only in the reign of King Abba Jifar II. Another source of income was the extraction of oil from Civets, which was used to make perfume.[2]

    -It was during the reign of Abba Jifar I that the kingdom of Jimma coalesced, and after this time Jimma was frequently referred to as Jimma Abba Jifar. King Abba Jifar also converted to Islam, and began the long process of also converting his entire kingdom to that religion.[6]

    - It was shortly after his son Abba Jifar II assumed the throne that the power of the neguses of Shewa began to reach into the Gibe region for the first time in centuries. As Lewis notes, “Borrelli, Franzoj and other travellers accorded him little hope of retaining his kingdom for long.”[8] However, heeding the wise advice of his mother Gumiti, he submitted to Menelik II, and agreed to pay tribute to the negus, and counseled his neighboring kings to do the same.

    -However, none followed his example, and King Abba Jifar instead found himself enthusiasticly aiding his Shewan master conquer his neighbors: Kullo in 1889, Walamo in 1894, and Kaffa in 1897. In 1928, the tribute of Jimma amounted to MT 87,000 and an additional MT 15,000 for the army.[9]

    -Following the death of Abba Jifar II, Emperor Haile Selassie seized the opportunity to finally annex Jimma. As Harold Marcus observes, the kingdom’s “autonomy had been undermined by the declining world economy, the deteriorating health of its ruler, the road that slowly advanced from Addis Abeba, the advent of air power, and the transcendent needs of modern, centralized power.”[10] On 5 May 1932, the official newspaper Berhanena Selam editorialized that the kingdom was in danger because her king, Abba Jifar, was old and ill and his grandson and heir longer properly obeyed the central government and was using the kingdom’s revenues to build up an army. Seven days later, on 12 May 400 soldiers and a team of administrators descended upon Jimma and brought the kingdom to an end.[10] During the reorganization of the provinces in 1942, the last administrative traces of the kingdom vanished into Kaffa Province.

  5. 5 harji Apr 11th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Everything has an end. Nothing is hidden it takes time to come out wait…

  6. 6 M_Op Apr 11th, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Ethiopian,

    You seem to be going around to every news site relentlessly trying to refute the irrefutable. Get in contact with the Count himself if you don’t believe it. If on the other hand the issue is accepting the fact that there was in fact such a kingdom in Jimmaa, or if there really was a King named Aba Jifar, then do your own research and you will surely find the proof. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abba_Jifar_II

    You can choose to believe whatever you want about Ethiopian history, just stop going around spewing nonsense!

  7. 7 Zemzem Apr 11th, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Tadias,

    You guys rushed to publish this. You have been duped just like all the other media. On April 7, Us magazine run an article about this and a reader by the name “Pippa” wrote the first account saying the following.

    “7:01 PM Pippa Says:

    Here’s a bit of interesting info: the Count’s Ethiopian lady just so happens to be none other than Princess Kemeria Abajobir Abajifar, the granddaughter of King Abajobir Abajifar, the last King of Jimma, Ethiopia. Seems the Count traded up! His new play thing is not only much younger, more exotic and lovelier than LuAnn, but happens to be bona fide royalty in her own right.

    I pity the children, Victoria and Noel, very much.”

    Here is the URL http://www.usmagazine.com/news/new-york-housewives-countess-luann-split-has-been-really-difficult-200974

    The Ethiopian website ethioplanet posted on its website a comment by anonymous user on Us magazine as a news and other media took that for a real source and run with the story.

    Ethioplanet run the story on April 9, two days after the comment was posted on Us magazine. Anyone who took the time to google would have found this out, but in a rush to ‘report’, juicy story they posted unsubstantiated story.

    All we know is this, the woman is Ethiopian and last we heard she was in Geneva. Apart from that we have no other information. Let’s leave it at that.

  8. 8 loyal Ethiopia Apr 12th, 2009 at 2:19 am

    please don’t try to write another history what ever we have is enough for now.

  9. 9 Ayantu Apr 12th, 2009 at 2:42 am

    Dear Loyal Ethiopia,

    First let me mention that Ethiopia is for all of us, not only for loyal Ethiopia? What does that mean? Really? And who is rewriting history? If you refute the legendary King Aba Jiffar, then present your proof instead of poor sound bites. History is made of real people. And Aba Jiffar was a one such real person. Go search for the 5 May 1932, the official newspaper Berhanena Selam editorial that I cited earlier “kingdom was in danger because her king, Abba Jifar, was old and ill and his grandson and heir longer properly obeyed the central government and was using the kingdom’s revenues to build up an army.” “Seven days later, on 12 May 400 soldiers and a team of administrators descended upon Jimma and brought the kingdom to an end.[10] During the reorganization of the provinces in 1942, the last administrative traces of the kingdom vanished into Kaffa Province.”

    Is this wrong? It is not like I am an expert but I goggled it because I am from Jimma and my parents also have the same blood by marriage. I don’t know her personally and I have never met her because there are many of us, I don’t know if this story is true or not, but I can say for sure that she may not be very rich, but she is well looked after. So stop hating Mr or Mrs “loyal Ethiopia”. Be nice.

    ZemZem, how do you know that the post on People Magazine was not a plant by the Count and the the Princess themselves? That’s a possibility that one can’t discount in this internet driven news age. The New York Daily News is read by 2.5 million people every day. Go figure…if the Count wants to refute the story, I think he will. But I love the fairytale ending worthy of Hollywood movie though. It turns out the mistress is an African Princess. The ending will be even sweeter if the Wife Countess LuAnn de Lesseps also gets the best things in life (the great American way) and gets book deals, tv shows, etc. Then everybody is happy. And most importantly, the father-children relationship must continue. The bond of the family must continue even if the parents are separated. It is very important for the children. That’s just my opinion. Thanks.

    Minnesota

  10. 10 yalewerket Apr 12th, 2009 at 2:54 am

    Ethiopia has a long kingship history for exemple i was born in the carrebean and they told me that i come from a king of ethiopia of the 17TH CENTURY the proof of that statement are in stolen papers in Europe

  11. 11 M_Op Apr 12th, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Zemzem, just because someone apparently knew about this ahead of time and posted it as a comment does not invalidate the story itself (I have reason to believe that “pippa” is the Count himself, the details of whom I won’t disclose). Do not let your utter dullness delude you. You can try to refute the substance of it if you think you can. I assure you, however, you will get nowhere but end up looking like the fool you already sound like. I know Ababiya Abajobir; I also know his niece lives in Geneva. I have personally confirmed this story with the family and there is not a lick of inaccuracy about it….so you can return to your little chauvinistic ethno-bubble and leave this to those who know damned thing.

  12. 12 DOROWET Apr 12th, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Ethiopian Kings are well known. I don’t think she is a prencess, she may think but she is not.
    Few kings Ethiopian I remember are:
    1. King Tewdros
    2. King Yohannes
    3. King Minilik
    4. King Haile Selasse………THE END!

  13. 13 Yebeg Alicha Apr 13th, 2009 at 1:16 am

    Dorowot,

    What where you doing in 4th grade tarik calss:-) You even forgot Empress Zewditu, Lij Eyau, you might as well add Aba Jifar to the list because unlike others (Like Ayantu) for example, Google is not my Ethiopian history source, its my grandmother, who is most definitely pro Haile Selassie. So is there a king called Aba Jifar? I asked my Grandmother? Negusu haile selassie nachew. Aba Jifar ye Jimma Gezi neber. “Haile Selassie was the king. Aba Jifar was the ruler of Jimma.” So is she a princess? Esun Egziabher new Yemiwqew. “Only God knows that.”

    There you go my grandmother confirms that Aba Jifar was the ruler of Jimma.

  14. 14 khrys Apr 13th, 2009 at 2:12 am

    i believe that this may be just bad kharma from when the “countess” called (on the show) a little black girl whom aspired to be a model FAT!!! the nerve of the woman to say to a 12 year old, you have a pretty face and you will get taller, and the weight isn’t hard to lose! i hope she is remembering that when she reflects on her marriage and realizes someone of the same diaspora stole her husband… or maybe she chased him away as she rode around the hamptons and new york city on her high horse!!! if anyone can find a picture of Princess Kemeria Abajobir Abajifar who is indeed royalty, please do not hesitate to post a link- just curious

  15. 15 Mamo Apr 13th, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Talking about Ethiopian Kings, here what I found when I was searching. A letter written by Haile Selassie to someone listing Ethiopian kings. Check it out…

    LIST OF ETHIOPIAN KINGS
    by
    H.I.H. Tafari Makonnen, G.C.B.. G.C.M.G., L.L.D.
    June 19, 1922

    Published in:
    In The Country of The Blue Nile
    by C.F. Rey, F.R.G.S.,
    Commander of the Order of the Star of Ethiopia
    Negro University Press, New York

    Translation of Covering Letter

    “May this reach my honourable friend Mr. Rey. Greetings to you.

    As you ask me to send you the names of the Ethiopian Kings and the history of the Ethiopian Kings of Kings (Emperors), herewith I have taken a copy and send it to you.

    After the date of these, if you want more, I will write to you. I am very glad that you have asked me about the history of Abyssinia. I hope that your thoughts should be successful in future.”

    Written on the 11th day of Sane, 1914 at the town of Addis Ababa

    Seal of Ras Tafari

    See the list at RastaWire.com.

  16. 16 Wossene GA Apr 13th, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Regardless of her royalty, she is taking another woman’s husband and that is wrong !!!

  17. 17 Alem Apr 14th, 2009 at 1:05 am

    Hi! Ethiopia was ruled with kings. The power structure in Ethiopia was that all regions had Kings of their own and the most powerful of them will be king of kings . The power structure was just like today’s Federalism. During Atse Minlik’s time Jimma Abajifar was the king of Jimma region . It is said his wife was the most beautiful and the most kind woman on Earth. The only person who photographed her was a Russian by a name Bultov. Bultove lived in Ethiopia in late eighteen hundreds. It is also written in an old book called Ethiopia wisdom all Ethiopians are descendant of Kings and Prissiness.

  18. 18 Enkunish Apr 14th, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Even if she is Royalty, Does this make it right to destroy someone’s marriage? What happen to loyalty ?

  19. 19 George Apr 15th, 2009 at 3:41 am

    Abba Jifar was only a village ruler nothing else. Don’t give a title of a King. Otherwise every village will produce any Kalicha as their king.

  20. 20 Tenestual Apr 15th, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Lehulachihum egziabher yihunachihu, the fact is Abajifar was the ruler of Jimma I never knew him as king, so does that make her a princess??? by what count I don’t know, but she has a right to claim that, since dynasties are no more in Ethiopia, lemanignawim melkam TENSAE yihunilachiu.

  21. 21 despesd May 4th, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Royalty, Kingship, Monarchy, they are all a dying sport.

  22. 22 Potsy Pink May 13th, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Gimmee a break. Princess? How about decendent of a FORMER and dead king. Why would she have a title of Princess in a defunct lineage? What a joke. Princess. INDEED!

  23. 23 Keebeeki Jun 16th, 2009 at 7:28 am

    KING Abajifar is Oromo’s KING, jimma’s KING. Is there a kingdom more than this? I don’t think so.

  24. 24 lallibela(agawo) Jun 17th, 2009 at 3:21 am

    please!please!…….

  25. 25 tadi Aug 5th, 2009 at 8:38 am

    I remember the history of another Ethiopian girl Bilile. She was born around 1825 .Bilile was little more than ten years old when her life was shattered, apparently as a result of inter-ethnic fighting. Her father and brothers were all killed, and she and a sister fell into the hands of slave-merchants. She was taken first to the then Ethiopian capital, Gondar ; next to Khartoum , in the Sudan ; and finally, to Cairo , site of an internationally famous slave-market.

    There she caught the eye, in 1837, of the eccentric German prince, Hermann von Pückler-Muskau, who, according to his biographer, was “moved by her charm and the pleasantness of her appearance, and purchased her.He immediately fell in love with her.

  26. 26 hanna Dec 7th, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    I just saw this subject. The way I see it, She is a royal cheater, if there is such thing as a royal anyways. Royal is supposed to exemplify moral values, and clearly neither she nor him has any. A cheater is a cheater no matter how you paint her/him. And he is just trying to use her to get his hand at an indirect way to get possessions of some power/money/coffee and she is too simple,selfish, irresponsible and naive to realize it.

  27. 27 Love Jan 11th, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Good for her!

  28. 28 hbic Mar 26th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    All hear this: I am head b in charge.
    I say, the woman is NOT a princess.

  29. 29 K.D: Wara Badi Apr 12th, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Hellow there, why you people bother yourselves for nothing the princess i a legitimate one. Whether you jump up or down you cannot change the truth. Aba Jiffar is the sovereign king of Jimma/Kaffa. He was not less than Haile Selassie, Menelik or Yohannese.

    Dorowott you are really doro or chicken. The man left his wife for the princess is not new. All the other kings did. They had children from diferent women outside marriage(Haile Selassie, Menelik, yohannese)

    Please fight against the common enemy of your country if you have one. Leave the Princess in peace.

    Thank you.

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