The Story of 'All the Money in the World,' and Why a Wealthy Industrialist Wouldn't Pay Grandson's Ransom

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John Paul Getty may have been one of the richest men in the world, but when the billionaire’s 16-year-old grandson was kidnapped, he refused at first to fork over a dime in ransom to the Italian organized crime group that abducted the teen. 

The kidnapping of John Paul Getty III in 1973 made headlines around the globe and is now depicted in the film, All the Money in the World, staring Christopher Plummer as the wealthy industrialist. 

Plummer replaced Kevin Spacey last month amid numerous allegations of sexual misconduct. 

The oil tycoon's lawyer is played by Timothy Hutton who provided background info of the film at its Los Angeles premiere. 

“Everyone was on an allowance and it was up to him solely whether or not the ransom was going to be paid," Hutton told Inside Edition. "He declined to pay it."

Only when the kidnappers cut off the boy's ear did his grandfather agree to pay, but only as much as he could deduct from his taxes, which was $2.2 million. The remainder of the ransom — $700,000 — was deemed a loan the teenager had to pay back with 4 percent interest. 

The grandson was eventually released. 

But less than a decade later, John Paul Getty III's life took a tragic turn when he overdosed and suffered a stroke at just 24 years of age. He spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair, and died in 2011. 

His son, Balthazar Getty, is an actor best known for his role in TV’s Brothers and Sisters.  


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