The wife of a billionaire timeshare mogul dubbed The Queen Of Versailles after becoming the subject of an award-winning documentary of the same name, has spoken for the first time about her screen debut.
Jackie Siegel, 47, a mother-of-eight from Windermere, Florida, was captured on camera as she and her husband, David, went about building their sprawling 90,000-square-foot mansion modeled after France’s 17th century Palace of Versailles.
While many critics branded the former beauty queen ‘tacky’ and ‘ditzy’ Mrs Siegel told Janet Shamlian on the Today show that she would jump at the chance to do it all over again and her only regret was not wearing enough make-up.
‘What I would do different if I had known so many millions of people would be seeing it is I would have worn more makeup,’ the buxom blonde explained.
Mrs Siegel, who won the Miss Florida beauty title in the 1990s, said that once her dream home is complete she would like to launch her own reality show.
Meanwhile Mr Siegel, 77, the founder of Westgate Resorts, a real estate and timeshare business which employs thousands of people across the U.S., said he has no interest in getting back in front of the camera.
He is now intent on finishing work on his sprawling mansion which has been under construction for more than five years, after the financial crisis and recession delayed progress.
As well as 30 bedrooms, the home will have 23 bathrooms with spectacular views over Lake Butler, about 20 miles outside Orlando.
All 23 full bathrooms will have full-sized hot tubs, and 160 triple-pane windows and Brazilian mahogany French-style doors promise plenty of light.
The hand-built windows for the house cost more than £2million and bespoke materials have been sourced from all over the world.
On the entertainment front a roller rink, children’s theatre, bowling alley, three swimming pools and two tennis courts will be installed.
And outside a large boat house, formal gardens, a one-storey gatehouse and an underground garage with enough space for 20 cars will complete the palatial look.
The property was called Versailles as the entrance was inspired by the Palace of Versailles.
‘We never sought out to build the biggest house in America. it’s just what kind of happened,’ Mrs Siegel, who has a team of nannies to help her look after brood, aged from seven to 18, explained.
Although the half-finished property was put on the market last July for $65million, the Siegels say that they are not going to sell it and work has now recommenced.
‘We’re finishing it to actually finish it. but we do want to live in there,’ Mrs Siegel added.
The Queen of Versailles, a film by Lauren Greenfield which grossed more than $2million, won numerous awards including the U.S. Directing Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.