Polish Heiress Battered to Death, Boyfriend Arrested

Fugitive playboy Griffin arrested in the murder of Kinga Legg.Manchester Evening News
(L)Kinga Legg and Ian Griffin. Griffin has been arrested as a suspect in the murder of Kinga Legg.

The father of a Polish heiress whose dead body was found battered and left in a bathtub in a Paris hotel has finally spoken about his daughter's untimely death.

"She was always smiling, pleasant, full of ideas," said Jan Wolf, breaking down in tears while speaking to ABC News on the phone about his daughter, Kinga Legg. Wolf, who lives in the Polish town of Opatowek, went on to say, "She helped a lot of people locally [in Poland.]"

Legg's tycoon boyfriend, Ian Griffin, a former male model, was arrested on suspicion of her murder and appeared at the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, but he refused to consent to extradition to France. District Judge Daphne Wickham ordered an extradition hearing for June 10, according to the London Times.

Griffin, 40, is said to like the fast living, fast-car lifestyle -- and women. At one point, he claimed to be worth over $50 million and once ran a string of businesses including a chain of tanning salons, according to the Times. Griffin reportedly mingled with soap stars and pop music celebrities, until losing his fortune with a failed business deal and filing for bankruptcy in 2006.

Polish-born Legg and her British boyfriend were seen as a glamorous, flamboyant couple- whose relationship was described as "turbulent" by friends who spoke to the media.

The professional couple's champagne lifestyle included, according to the Daily Mail, a rented $5 million mansion just outside of London, a customized Mercedes car worth over $100,000, and Legg had just booked a $2 million Mediterranean yacht called Overdraft to sail on for a month, at a cost of almost $10,000 per day.

The former model turned tycoon resumed his high living after he and Legg began their relationship about three years ago; they were a fixture on the social scene in Cheshire, England, where Legg was described as "vivacious and popular", according to the Daily Mail.

Legg's fortune came from the family-owned tomato exportation business called Vegex; it was originally a local plant in Poland which she inherited from her father and grandfather. She expanded the tomato business to the international market: United Kingdom, Sweden and France.

During her relationship with Griffin she was still married but separated from British-born Peter Legg, a career civil servant in England. The union ended after two years, but her business thrived as did her social life.

Reports Say Couple Had a Tempestuous Relationship

According to the Daily Mail, Kinga Legg wanted to marry Griffin and his eye for the ladies reportedly led to tension in their relationship. At one point in the past year, Legg reportedly went for Griffin with a knife after hearing that he had cheated on her with a former girlfriend, according to media reports.

The tall, stunning blonde checked into the exclusive Le Bristol Hotel in Paris last week, alone, and Griffin joined her the next day at the hotel. The two were drinking large amounts of champagne and some speculate that they may have gotten into a heated argument.

The Daily Mail interviewed Griffin's former girlfriend, Tracy Baker, who claims that he called her the night of the murder, very upset, to tell her what had happened.

"Ian and Kinga used to clash frequently, and whenever they did he always used to ring me," Baker said. She went on to describe to the newspaper the phone call Griffin made while still in the suite at the Le Bristol Hotel in Paris.

Baker said that Ian Griffin did not tell her that Legg was dead but only that they had a massive fight and that "…he had fought back in self-defense after Kinga turned on him with a stun gun disguised as lipstick. He said he had cuts all over his arms and bruises all over his legs…. I don't know what happened in Paris but I know he is not a violent or an aggressive man."

ABC News tried to contact Baker, but she could not be reached for comment.

Stun guns disguised as a stick of lipstick are illegal in the United Kingdom; if Kinga Legg bought one, she may purchased it while she was in Paris, according to the Daily Mail. These devices are marketed as a self defense weapon for women to hide in their handbags and they can be found on the Internet for as little as $50. Advertisements claim they "pack a shock of 350,000 volts, around seven times as much as tasers used by police."

"Kinga was a tough cookie…she also had a fierce temper after she had a few drinks," one friend told the Daily Mail. "She could be violent and she was known to lash out at [Ian.]." Other reports say that the couple both had bouts of depression and were known to be heavy drinkers. Some say that they were using antidepressants and sleeping pills.

The Last Night at the Hotel

Whatever happened last Tuesday night is still unclear. And the Hotel Le Bristol refused to comment to ABC News.

According to media reports, Griffin calmly left the hotel in his Porsche 911 after he had hung a "Do Not Disturb" sign on their suite door. Legg's body was found only hours later. Griffin was then on the run. The Daily Mail reported that he escaped French police who were looking for him and he made it back to the United Kingdom. He allegedly went back to the Surrey mansion he shared with Legg to pick up cash or jewelry.

ABC News has learned that Griffin also went to the Shepperton Marina just outside of London to collect his 18-foot speedboat Madog which was being outfitted for ocean use. He was told that the speedboat was not yet seaworthy, so he attempted, unsuccessfully, to purchase a new cruiser from the marina.

Shepperton Marina employee Ben Clark saw Griffin emerge from a taxi at around 2 p.m. wearing a green T-shirt, blue-jeans and a brown beanie hat. Clark said Griffin walked "quite briskly" from the taxi, past the office windows and to the boat accessory shop next door. Although Griffin did not have access to any boat, he did purchase navigation accessories and then returned to the taxi 20 minutes later and left the marina.

The tycoon apparently dumped his Porsche near his parents' home and went to hide in the woods in Cheshire, using a tent. There the police apparently swooped in on him and arrested him there.