Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest’s Paris make-out marred by mystery

Max Corstorphan
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Andrew Forrest with reported to be Moroccan Energy Minister Leila Benali, sharing a kiss. Unknown
Andrew Forrest with reported to be Moroccan Energy Minister Leila Benali, sharing a kiss. Unknown Credit: Unknown/Daily Mail

A denial and a decline to comment. That is the murky situation that has overshadowed romance for an Australian bachelor after a Paris pash.

Over the weekend, pictures of Fortescue chair Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest were published showing the mining magnate enjoying a moment of passion with a mystery woman on the streets of Paris.

Mr Forrest has by all accounts been single since he and then partner Nicole Forrest announced their separation in July 2023.

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Mr and Mrs Forrest were Australia’s richest couple, behind Australia’s wealthiest person Gina Rinehart, but have now slipped further down the rankings in this year’s AFR Rich List following their separation.

Ms Forrest is now Australia’s seventh richest person with an estimated fortune of $16.92b. Mr Forrest is Australia’s eighth richest person with an estimated worth of $16.76b.

So when images of the billionaire bachelor’s first documented public pash hit the headlines, it sent tongues wagging.

Andrew Forrest with reported to be Moroccan Energy Minister Leila Benali, sharing a kiss. Unknown
Andrew Forrest with reported to be Moroccan Energy Minister Leila Benali, sharing a kiss. Unknown Credit: Unknown/Daily Mail

Speculation over the identity of the mystery woman photographed mid-pash has led to several reports all including just one potential name, Leila Benali.

Mr Forrest and Ms Benali are said to have met on a number of occasions.

Ms Benali, the Moroccan energy minister welcomed Mr Forrest and a Fortescue delegation in the capital of Morocco in February of this year. In January, the pair also reportedly bumped into each other in Davos, a town in the Swiss Alps.

It is understood that Ms Benali was in Paris on the date of the kiss after visiting France on official business.

Ms Benali has fiercely denied that she is the woman photographed kissing Mr Forrest and has indicated she may launch defamation proceedings against those claiming the images were her.

Moroccan Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development Dr Leila Benali speaking at the UNEA-6 in February 2024
Moroccan Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development Dr Leila Benali speaking at the UNEA-6 in February 2024 Credit: Linkedin

The statement, according to Moroccan World News, described the rumours as an “offensive publication” and an “attempt to defame her” by vengeful interest groups opposed to her push to make Morocco a self-sufficient green energy powerhouse.

In it, the ministry lamented the news was circulated without “verification of its credibility by some national pages and media platforms.”

As for Mr Forrest, his team has maintained a steady line, declining to comment due to privacy reasons.

Mr Forrest is believed to be a single man and is completely free to enjoy moments of passion in the city of love. However, questions have been raised due to Fortescue’s recent increased activity in Morocco and with state-owned OCP Group.

In April, Fortescue announced a joint venture with OCP Group that would see them supply green hydrogen, ammonia and fertilisers both domestically and throughout Europe.

It is understood that this project has been worked on over the past two years.

On Thursday, The Daily Telegraph published claims that some Fortescue staffers had been aware of the chairman being romantically involved with a Moroccan minister for some time.

The Nightly asked Fortescue if they could comment on those claims, however again, they declined to comment for privacy reasons.

The media team could not clarify if a personal relationship existed or if a relationship between a chair and a minister would need to be declared.

Other potential identities of the mystery woman are yet to be added to the swirling speculation.

So, with one denial and numerous declines to comment for privacy reasons, it appears we are no closer to digging up the truth and confirming the identity of the mystery woman Forrest pashed.

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