In December 2019, Carlos Ghosn, the former executive that headed Renault and Nissan, made a bold escape from Japan while out on bail. While the Japanese authorities accused him of financial misconduct, Carlos vehemently denied those accusations and felt the country’s legal system was rigged. Netflix’s ‘Fugitive: The Curious Case of Carlos Ghosn’ focuses on this very saga and shines a light on Carlos’ wife, Carole Ghosn, who stood by her husband through it all. So, let’s find out more about her then, shall we?
Who is Carole Ghosn?
Carole Nahas was born in 1966 in Beirut, Lebanon but grew up in the United States. After her education, she started her own company selling luxury kaftans in the 2000s. Carole began dating Carlos in 2010, and the couple soon fell in love. By then, both of them had been married once to different people, and Carole had three children from that previous relationship. After a few years of dating, they celebrated their marriage and Carole’s 50th birthday in 2016 at the Palace of Versailles in France.
But in November 2018, Carlos was arrested by the Japanese authorities after being accused of underreporting his salary and using company money for personal gains. Carole, who was the President of Beauty Yachts, was also questioned after they believed that a yacht bought under the company’s name used some of Nissan’s funds. Furthermore, it was reported that Carlos allegedly spent around $57,000 of Renault’s money on his wedding in 2016.
After Carlos’ arrest, Carole remained a vocal supporter and spoke out against Japan’s judicial system. She even wrote to Human Rights Watch. While Carlos received bail in March 2019, he was re-arrested the following month, and the couple’s home in Japan was raided. Carole later said that an officer followed her everywhere in the house, even standing watch when she had to shower. She added, “I think they wanted to intimidate and humiliate us. This woman even handed me the towel.”
Carole left Japan soon after and traveled to France and the United States to bring attention to her husband’s case. She believed that Carlos was arrested because his enemies wanted him ousted from the company; at the time, he proposed a merger between Renault and Nissan. Carole added, “We know it’s a conspiracy. Nissan did not want this merger…. A few people within Nissan decided to get rid of my husband; that was the easiest way not to do the merger.”
Carole called on the French government and the then-United States President, Donald Trump, to help with Carlos’ case. When she returned to Japan in April 2019 to answer questions, she was not charged. Carole said, “I was treated like a criminal even though I am not a suspect, and I have not been charged with anything. The intent of the pre-dawn raid was clear: This was a deliberate, inhumane attempt to humiliate us, invade our privacy, and violate our most basic dignities as human beings.”
Where is Carole Ghosn Today?
Carole Ghosn was disappointed with France, claiming they did not do enough to help Carlos. In October 2019, she said, “I thought France was a country that defended the presumption of innocence. They’ve all forgotten everything Carlos did for France’s economy and for Renault. The message being sent is that, in France, if you’re rich and a corporate boss, then you aren’t defended by your country.” Then, in December, Carlos escaped from Japan when he was smuggled in a music box to Turkey and then to Beirut, Lebanon.
The escape plan was executed with the help of Michael Taylor, a former Green Beret from the United States, and his son, Peter. It had been in motion for months; Carole met with Michael, telling him about Carlos’ alleged mistreatment in Japan. By then, Carole had been living in Beirut. It was reported that the couple spent New Year’s Eve together in Beirut, with Carlos’ arrival being a surprise. Carole said, “It was the most beautiful surprise of my life.”
She added, “We met at my parents’ apartment. I held Carlos very tightly in my arms for at least five whole minutes before I could even speak.” In January 2020, the Japanese authorities released an arrest warrant for Carole, accusing her of perjury. However, since she reportedly remains in Lebanon, which doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Japan, her arrest is unlikely. From what we can tell, Carole lives with Carlos in Beirut in a mansion bought by Nissan.
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