'Queen of Versailles' star to host yard sale for less fortunate

by Benjamin Solomon /  / Updated 
David Siegel, CEO of Orlando-based Westgate Resorts and his wife Jackie during a portrait session at their house on April 15, 2009 in Windermere, Flor...
David Siegel, chief executive of Orlando-based Westgate Resorts, and his wife Jackie are pictured together on April 15, 2009 at their house in Windermere, Fla.Today

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Even the Queen of Versailles knows you can’t eat cake if you can’t afford to buy cake.

Jackie Siegel, the wife of time-share mogul David Siegel and a star of Lauren Greenfield’s 2012 documentary “The Queen of Versailles” about the couple’s quest to build the largest house in America, plans to host a special yard sale on Saturday. The philanthropic event will take place at the charity thrift store she started in 2010 in Ocoee, Fla., when her family was forced to downsize in the wake of the Great Recession.

"The main reason that I'm doing this is because I know Black Friday is coming up and the holidays," Siegel, a former Miss Florida, told the Orlando Sentinel. "Hopefully, we can get big enough that I can help more people in need."

Greenfield’s documentary followed the Siegels’ attempts to build the country’s largest home during the 2008 economic collapse, which devastated their time-share empire Westgate Resorts. The film, a critical darling last year, gave Siegel a moment in the public eye despite her husband’s suit against Greenfield and the film’s distributors for defamation.

Earlier this year, the couple announced they had paid off their loans and resumed construction on their 30-bedroom, 17th century-inspired palace, dubbed "Versailles." They are aiming to have it completed by 2015.

At Saturday’s yard sale, Siegel and her eight children won’t be selling goods on their 90,000-square-foot residential property in Windermere, Fla. Instead, Siegel has invited families in need and employees of her husband’s Westgate Resorts to sell their used goods in the parking lot of the “upscale” Thrift-Mart in Ocoee at no charge. (Booths normally cost $25.)

Siegel told the Sentinel that she’ll be in attendance at the event, signing autographs and helping scout for a local beauty pageant she’s trying to get turned into a reality TV show. 

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