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Felix Yussupov

Felix Yussupov (March 23, 1887 - September 27, 1967) also known variously as Prince Felix Yossopov, Prince Felix Iusupov, Prince Felix Youssoupov, or as Feliks, Graf Sumarrokow-Elston, was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and died in Paris, France. He married Princess Irina of Russia. His family was fabulously wealthy, and it was in their Moika Palace (one of many luxurious estates) that he and Grand Duke Dmitri killed Rasputin. The Yussupov family acquired their wealth generations earlier through extensive land grants in Siberia, and they owned a string of profitable mines and fur trading posts.

Felix was raised in opulent excess by his doting mother. He was later known to be bisexual and a transvestite, and some have asserted that he and Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovitch Romanov[?] were lovers as well as fellow-assassins. Felix claimed to have seduced King Edward VII of England while in drag. There is also a strong sense that there was a homoerotic undertone to Felix's fascination with Rasputin. Rasputin, however, was apparently more interested in Irina, and it was on the pretext of a tryst with her that Felix invited him to the Moika Palace on the night he died. Rasputin, in keeping with his mysterious nature, withstood an amazing amount of abuse before finally dying. Reportedly he was repeatedly poisoned, shot half a dozen times and finally drowned in a sack while still struggling.

The assassination of Rasputin quite naturally failed to prevent the Russian Revolution. The Yussupov family fled Russia with some of their great wealth but lived out their lives as emigrees in greatly reduced circumstances.

Some of the financial pain was alleviated when Felix and Irina successfully sued MGM for invasion of privacy and libel in connection with the 1932 film "Rasputin and the Empress". The "libel" was not that the character based on Felix had committed murder, but that the character based on Irina was portrayed as Rasputin's mistress. Felix also was able to sell a pair of Rembrandt paintings from his palace for a signifigant fortune.

Further information can be found in Greg King's "The Man Who Killed Rasputin", Citadel Press, Secaucus, NJ, 1995.

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