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Lugner bags Bond

Danish model Brigitte Nielsen and "James Bond" star Sir Roger Moore will accompany an Austrian entrepreneur at this year’s Vienna Opera Ball.

Richard Lugner announced yesterday (Weds) that Nielsen – who won the latest edition of Germany’s version of "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!" (Ich bin ein Star – Holt mich hier raus!) – and Moore agreed to join him, his girlfriend and daughter at the bash set to take place on 16 February.

The announcement comes on the heels of rumours that Lugner may attend the event without a celebrity by his side for the first time in 20 years due to complications in sorting out a contract with an Oscar laureate. The boss of Vienna’s Lugner City – one of the most popular shopping centres of the Austrian capital – previously attended the ball with actress Sophia Loren, singer Grace Jones and model Carmen Electra.

Lugner, 79, was accompanied last year by Ruby Rubacuori who allegedly had an affair with former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The businessman invited the erotic dancer after American actress Bo Derek cancelled her attendance. Lugner contacted Derek after being offered to get "Ocean’s Eleven" star George Clooney to attend the Opera Ball with him. Lugner angered Austrian movie fans by denying the deal. He said: "There will be already two other men in my box with me and my girlfriend. I need a female star guest."

The Lugner City manager’s night at the opera 2010 was stricken by difficulties too. Lugner initially agreed with Lindsay Lohan about coming to Vienna. He was forced to rearrange things at the last minute when the Hollywood starlet missed her flight. Lugner eventually persuaded infamously foul-mouthed TV casting show juror Dieter Bohlen to accompany him. The Viennese entrepreneur found it hard to hide his disappointment about not having a female celebrity by his side.

Moore – who travels the world to promote the activities of UNICEF – came to Austria many times, most recently in 2010. Nielsen was married to "Rocky" star Sylvester Stallone between 1985 and 1987. Her links to Austria are affairs with both the country’s most famous actor and its most successful singer. Nielsen, 48, had a fling with Arnold Schwarzenegger while shooting "Red Sonja" in 1984 before dating Falco three years later. Their collaboration "Body Next to Body" topped the Japanese charts but the late Austrian rapper ("Rock Me Amadeus") said in retrospect: "I never wanted to hit the charts with her. I only wanted to bed her."

Lugner, whose girlfriend is 57 years his junior, started inviting international showbiz stars to the Viennese Opera Ball 20 years ago. The outspoken businessman never revealed how much he paid his personal guests but reports have it that some celebs raked in nearly 100,000 Euros for a few days in Vienna which usually included signing autographs at the Lugner City.

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