Romance novelist marries Larry

Photo tag: 04-03-57

Sorry ladies, he’s taken. Larry Ellison, the flamboyant billionaire co-founder and chief executive officer of Oracle Corp., has wedded romance novelist Melanie Craft. It is his fourth marriage, and the first for Craft.

Ellison, 59, and Craft, 35, were married late last year in Woodside, Calif., at the billionaire’s 45-acre Japanese-style estate. According to the Associated Press, Ellison’s best friend, Apple Computer Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, and Ellison’s 17-year-old daughter and 21-year-old son, were among the friends and relatives who attended the ceremony.

The couple had been engaged for several years, Oracle spokeswoman Jennifer Glass confirmed. She declined further comment.

CBS Corp.’s MarketWatch Web site broke the news of the wedding in early January. It came a day after Ellison delegated the duties of chairman at Oracle to Jeff Henley, the company’s long-time chief financial officer (CFO), who will give up that job when a new CFO has been named.

Craft grew up in Pittsburgh, according to her Web site. Her first book, “A Hard-Hearted Man,” began as a school project, landed in a drawer and was forgotten, but was published in 1998. Her second novel, “Trust Me,” was released in November, according to her Web site.

A third book, “Man Trouble,” due out in May, features an egomaniac billionaire playboy named Jake Berenger whose business has lost its lustre because of his bad-boy image, according to a description of the book on Craft’s Web site. Naturally, Jake is saved by the love of romance author Molly Shaw, who tries to pull off the seduction of the century by posing as the ideal wife for the billionaire.

Craft says she and Mr. E. are not the models for the characters, but somehow that’s not very convincing. Things get really steamy in Chapter 14, when Jake bursts into Molly’s boardroom and performs a hostile takeover.

A part in “Man Trouble” in which the writer moves in with the billionaire and goes through a make-over and media training is based on her own life, Craft wrote on her Web site.

Ellison is the world’s sixth-richest man, with a net worth of US$16.6 billion, according to Forbes magazine. Ellison is known for his passion for sailing, fast cars and airplanes as well as his constant readiness to bad-mouth Oracle’s competition.