Behind every powerful man stands a woman. Now the wife of Andrej Babiš, former finance minister and one of the leading businessmen in the Czech Republic, Monika is also very busy. In addition to caring for two adolescent children, she devotes herself to charity and the construction and opening of a hotel and restaurant. Nevertheless, she found time for an interview with Luxury Prague Life, in which she confided why she and her children have had security detail for over ten years.
Before Andrej entered politics, we lived almost normally, like every other family. We spent much more time together than we do now. We went on vacation with the children every year and devoted ourselves to them. People in the streets and restaurants didn’t recognise us, didn’t point at us or want to take photos. The media let us live in peace. That all has changed. The kids have to read lies about their father in the media, which hurts them terribly. They are proud of their father, but they would prefer if he wasn’t in politics.
I don’t know if I can use that expression. I’m always myself everywhere, but I feel more at peace abroad.
I don’t know if I can give anybody advice. I found my own path, I am raising my children and working. I have something to fulfil me, and I don’t just wait at home for my husband to come home from work and tell me what’s next. I am simply independent.
I don’t know. I am interested in what he does, I follow his debates, read articles, watch news channels, and when he’s in the mood we discuss his problems. I want him to know that he has support at home and I believe it really helps him sometimes.
I enjoyed the wedding immensely. I’m glad everything turned out as it did. I’m happy that our guests enjoyed the wedding, and I still hear praise, even from people who weren’t there but only heard about it. I was also delighted by Andrej, who kept the promise he gave me before the wedding. He switched off his work rhythm and really enjoyed it.
We want to go to Bora Bora, but we don’t have dates yet. I am waiting to see what happens after the elections, but my hopes aren’t high.
Because of the kids.
You know, right before the elections I leave him entirely alone. I know it’s very difficult for him, he comes home late and I can see that he’s tired. Sometimes he’s irritable because of it all. Sometime I can sense that he need support, so I naturally give him that.
In April, Andrej and I went to the seaside for a few days without the kids and we really enjoyed it. We rested, Andrej played tennis again after a long while, and we laughed with friends.
I scold him and tell him to rest at least a bit. He can reply after vacation. He is just as entitled to it as anybody else.
We really don’t. (laughs)
Excuse me, but I don’t want to comment on that. It’s politics and everybody is entitled to their own opinion.
As a wife, I regret it 100 percent. As a citizen of the Czech Republic I do not. And of course I wish him success.
Sometimes we do. I definitely wouldn’t manage and I wouldn’t want to experience it. It is a hard battle, alone against everybody. He has to keep persuading everybody, defending himself, explaining.
I don’t know exactly what he told you, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t tell me everything, just to keep me calm. My children and I have had security detail for about 11 years, ever since I was assaulted by a man with a gun on the parking lot in front of Kika at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Since then, I’ve got used to it, although it took about a year.
Fortunately not. Somebody occasionally points at our daughter, but nothing serious. Our son is totally cool in puberty, he doesn’t care. (laughs)
My daughter is 17 and my son is 13, so we are choosing a university and going through puberty again. Vivien is does show-jumping, while Frederik competes on a jet surf and plays tennis. The children talk to be about everything and sometimes it’s really quite fun. (laughs)
We are opening the new Paloma restaurant and boutique hotel in Průhonice. I’ve been working on the entire project for about two years. I design and furnish the interiors, and I also invented and created the entire hotel. The restaurant is almost identical to the Paloma in Mougins, France. So I am definitely not bored. I get up with the kids at 6:30 am and usually leave around 9 o’clock. I work all day, have meeting and get home at various times. Sometimes in the evening, if there is a lot to do.
I co-decide who to give money to and how much. I am a member of the administrative board. We mainly help single parents, handicapped and ill people, seniors. We support the development of children from socially excluded families, and we have several sports centres for children across the country. We support firefighters, we buy equipment for hospitals and announce various grants. It’s a fairly wide scope, but I’m glad that we have helped so many people over the years.
Yes, we do.
I hate mopping and vacuuming, but I enjoy ironing.
Yes, we really look at every request we receive, individually and in great detail. But even our resources are not unlimited, so we have to choose carefully. Then it’s wonderful, when for instance we meet the people who received money from us, and they are all happy and telling us how much we’ve made their life easier.
About a month ago… I flew to Milan for two days.
I like massages, that is pampering for me. Otherwise, I don’t overdo it. I get my hair done by Marty Tyl at New You and my facials at Sokolovna. But certainly not too often. I’ve been using La Prairie creams for about 20 years. I plan to devote more time to my children and myself as soon as we open Paloma.
I’m sure there are, but I don’t think it’s a reason to be jealous. On the contrary, I’m proud of him. I try to keep looking as good as possible, to be pleasant, and above all to be myself. That’s how he knows me and I think that’s how he likes me.