“What the Sultan is supporting for his tiny island nation is what Saudi Arabia — one of our closest allies — has been doing for decades,” he says.

“Robin was in London on business when I left,” she writes.

“I didn’t even get to say goodbye.” In the palace, none of the girls was ever exposed to news about Brunei, and the media there is state-run.

“He seemed like a little boy looking for his father’s approval.” Her payment came in jewels, shopping sprees and stacks of cash, which she’d change to US dollars in Singapore.

She stashed the bills in two money belts, wore her jewelry and slugged Jack Daniel’s as she smuggled her haul through US customs.

In transit, she was no high-class hooker — just another slightly drunk conspicuous consumer.

Over three years, Lauren went back and forth to Brunei for months on end, leaving when the Prince had finally tired of her.“I’m trying to think of a place that’s duller,” Australian writer Charles James told Fortune in 1999.“Maybe a British village in midwinter.” In one way, the brothers adhere to Islamic law: As prescribed, each has several wives and families.Last week, celebrities including Jay Leno, Ellen De Generes, Sharon Osbourne, Richard Branson and Clive Davis united for an unlikely cause: a boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel, because its owner, the Sultan of Brunei, recently announced the implementation of Sharia law in his tiny South Asian nation.“Theory states that Allah’s law is cruel and unfair,” said Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, “but Allah himself has said that his law is indeed fair.” Under Sharia law, the following is considered criminal behavior, punishable by fines, jail, amputation of limbs, public flogging or death by stoning: absence from Friday prayer services; becoming pregnant out of wedlock; wearing indecent clothing, and for women, refusal to wear a hijab; employing a non-Muslim baby sitter; the use of the word “Allah” by Christians and the discussion of faith by any non-Muslims; publicly eating or drinking during Ramadan; theft; homosexuality; and adultery.Oil is the source of all wealth, and when Shell began pumping in the 1970s, Brunei soon became known as “the Shellfare state.” In 2012, Forbes magazine ranked Brunei the fifth-richest nation in the world.