With his iPad on the table at the Italian restaurant where he is a partner, in Barra da Tijuca, businessman Alexandre Accioly can’t contain himself: “Guys, how can anyone be against this? Holy shit, it’s too beautiful.” On the screens appear, in sequence, images of the project that the city of Rio announced as the winner of a tender to revitalize Jardim de Alah, in the south zone of the city.
Open parenthesis. Jardim de Alah is a park built along the canal that connects the beaches of Ipanema and Leblon to Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. With 93,600 square meters and three nice little squares, the place —a jewel, from any perspective: urban, real estate, environmental— is poorly maintained, despite its obvious potential as an urban leisure area. Close parenthesis.
For the next 35 years, Accioly’s company, in partnership with DC Set, Opy and Pepira, members of the Rio + Verde Consortium. The group pledged to invest R$ 85 million in a revitalization that includes parking for 200 cars, installation of around 30 restaurants and a modern market with 16 gastronomic stores, which according to Accioly, “will leave the “ultracool” Mercado da Ribeira, in Lisbon.
Installations by artists such as Raul Mourão and Vik Muniz will adorn the gardens, as seen on the tablet that Accioly shows, with effusive narration in real time: “Look! Look at the elegance of that security cabin. Isn’t it extremely elegant?” businessman, who studied at a public school in Ipanema, did not graduate, does not speak English, but seems to be fully aware that disclosing this information is good, it values him. We are facing a “self made man”. “My wisdom comes from life,” he says.
Despite having the support of a large part of the population (the associations of residents of Ipanema and Leblon are with him and will not open), the project encounters resistance. If the need for urgent improvements to the park is unanimous among locals, the same cannot be said about the details of the concession and the duration of the contract.
“It looks beautiful on paper, but in reality it’s an illusion,” says Karim Morton, president of the Association of Residents and Defenders of Jardim de Alah. “Where have you ever seen taking a park and turning it into a commercial hub? They talk about social inclusion… Imagine the poor guy from Cruzada [Cruzada São Sebastião, conjunto habitacional com mais de 7000 moradores de baixa renda, de frente para o parque] going to shop in this fancy market? It can only be a joke.”
Actors Julia Lemmertz and Mateus Solano are also not liking this story at all and went to the networks to protest. “Unfortunately this green area was put up for sale by the city hall”, he complains. Stopping the actress, “it looks like it’s all or nothing; either the concession for 35 years or the complete abandonment of a historic area; and it’s not like that. The city government has to do its part”, she is indignant.
Between mouthfuls of a goat cheese soufflé, Accioly —who was already branded as dazzled for having his 40th birthday party on Ilha Fiscal (yes, the one at the last Empire ball) on which he spent R$600,000, and also for showing off alongside famous ex-girlfriends like Adriane Galisteu (“Who wouldn’t want to be on the cover of Caras next to a woman like her?”)—, he says he doesn’t care about criticism.
“These people who are hissing only use Jardim de Alah to take the dog to poop”, he jokes, already adding, with traditional megalomania, that the place will house “the best” park for dogs in Brazil. “It’s going to be like Disney for dogs.”
Speaking of Disney, that’s where he went last Tuesday (5). The reason for the trip is the birthday of the youngest daughter, Maria Carolina, 12. “Every year we go, and not even in the middle of all that he manages to stop working”, says Renata Padilha, wife of the entrepreneur for 18 years. “Fortunately, the Wi-Fi there is booming.”
Renata and Alexandre had been dating for six months when he discovered that he was the father of Antônio, son of socialite Astrid Monteiro de Carvalho. The boy, until then, would be the result of the union of Astridinha, as she is called by those closest to her, with São Paulo businessman Marcos Campos.
What raised suspicions about paternity was a photo of her with the baby of just over a year, published in a celebrity magazine. Accioly remembers her phone ringing and, on the other end of the line, Alvaro Garnero, Astrid’s cousin and knowledgeable about the affair between the two, commented: “If you call that there’s an uproar in the family, everyone is saying that the kid is your face”.
A few weeks later, Astrid invites Accioly to lunch. “I thought: Hey, it’s screwed”, recalls the businessman. The two met at D’Amici, an Italian restaurant in Leme, and he remembers “as if it were yesterday” what she said to him as soon as they sat down at the table. “Let’s get straight to the point. Antônio is your son.” Then she showed portraits of the boy.
Accioly was impressed. “I thought: It’s really my son” The basic DNA test to prove what was obvious to both of them had been scheduled by Astrid for right after coffee at D’Amici. He didn’t want to. “I asked for time, it was a lot of information to process”. The test was carried out later and confirmed what the entire Monteiro de Carvalho family, the most traditional surname in Rio, already knew.
Accioly and Astridinha’s son entered the history of Rio de Janeiro’s wealth. And Renata? Where was Renata? “He told me about the baby and I said, ‘Congratulations, but bye. I’m not getting into this,'” she recalls. She took her time, but she gave in to Accioly’s “back to me” pleas. “He was persistent, he ran a long way behind,” she says, with a hint of pride. Today Renata also considers herself Antônio’s mother. “He’s a prince and I think he looks like me physically,” she says.
As soon as he returns from Disney with Renata and Maria Carolina (Antonio did not want to go this time), Alexandre will resume his other major project for the city — and no less controversial than that of Jardim de Alah. Founded in 1938, the very traditional Roxy cinema, an art deco gem in Copacabana, was leased for 20 years by him and Dody Sirena (also his partner at the park).
The place will become a nightclub for tourists — a “dinner show” with tickets for R$480, which includes a full dinner and a musical show afterwards. Ticket sales start in October and the opening is scheduled for March 2024.
The stage, at ground level, “like in Hollywood”, will have special lighting and an LED screen measuring 30 meters wide and eight meters high. The images he displays on the iPad show samba parades, the boi bumbá festival and other cultural events in the country.
As he was a partner of Sargentelli (the one with the mulatto girls, when it was still considered OK to use that term) at the Oba Oba concert hall, in Lagoa, possible performances by stereotypical Brazilian women immediately come to mind, literally sambando para gringo ver. “No, guys, for the love of God. The musical direction is by Pretinho da Serrinha”, he says, citing the musician as an ISO 9000 certification seal (which, given his resume, in a way he is.)
Now imagine the reaction of the residents of Copacabana and the almost 45,000 elderly people in the neighborhood (according to the latest IBGE census) when they learned that they had lost the last street cinema in the region for good? And more: that it will become a concert hall for tourists? Controversy in sight.
Accioly laughs, shakes her amber stone bracelet (against negative energy) and guarantees that the new Roxy “is for tourists, but of course cariocas go too. I bet whole families go.”
“This guy is very confident”, counters lawyer Guilherme Corrêa, 51, one of the members of the “Save the Roxy” movement, a group that tried, in vain, to keep it functioning as a cinema. “Which carioca, which Brazilian tourist, is going to spend R$1,500 to go with his family to see a bundalelê show?”, he asks, indignant.
Eduardo Paes, in turn, is an enthusiast of Accioly’s ideas, whom he considers “a carioca to the last hair, daring and in love with Rio”. In a message sent via WhatsApp in the early hours of the morning, at 3:24 am, the sleepless mayor also says that the city “owes a lot” to the businessman.
Carrying out two large and controversial projects at the same time, in addition to managing the QualiStage concert hall (formerly Metropolitan), the Noites Cariocas event, in Morro da Urca, the Casa Tua restaurant, where this interview was held, and the 75 Body Tech spread across the city and throughout Brazil were a way that Accioly says he found to feel alive at the age of 61, after “two serious beatings” he took.
The first of them, in 2017, when he was cited in the denunciation of Henrique Valladares, former director of Odebrecht, in Operation Lava Jato. He accused him of being the financial operator of a scheme to embezzle money from Aécio Neves that involved an account of Accioly in Singapore.
“I was devastated, the guy who talked about Singapore traveled,” he says. “Maybe he wanted to hit Aécio. I was unfairly bombed”. In November 2022, the Federal Supreme Court (STF) filed the complaint by the Attorney General’s Office against Aécio and also against Accioly. “It was an ecstasy, it was a lot of injustice”, recalls Renata, the woman that the businessman says is “a saint” and “the passion” of his life.
From the second blow, Accioly says he’s recovering. In the pandemic, he closed 103 gyms. “I lost two thirds of my customers and stopped paying taxes and rent, of course. I just didn’t stop paying employees”, he says, who also saw an image crisis in the business with the episode of aggression by Pernambuco businessman Thiago Brennand to a student inside the BT at the Iguatemi mall.
In the meantime, between Lava Jato and the crisis at Body Tech, Accioly also fell out with Gero Fasano, of whom he was a partner in four restaurants in the city, with a 40% stake. The relationship lasted 18 years. “I was the one who brought the Fasano brand to Rio, but we had disagreements and decided to end the partnership”, he summarizes. wanted by SheetGero preferred not to speak out.
I am Frederick Tuttle, who works in 247 News Agency as an author and mostly cover entertainment news. I have worked in this industry for 10 years and have gained a lot of experience. I am a very hard worker and always strive to get the best out of my work. I am also very passionate about my work and always try to keep up with the latest news and trends.