Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011 | 9:29 a.m.
It’s not one of his incredible illusions -- it’s the real thing! Mindfreak superstar Criss Angel is engaged. It was a magical proposal with a $300,000 ring on a sun-kissed beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, just a few days ago.
Vegas DeLuxe has exclusively confirmed that while on vacation from his Cirque du Soleil show Believe at the Luxor, Criss went on bended knee to ask his beautiful girlfriend Sandra Gonzalez to marry him -- and when she agreed slipped an amazing platinum ring holding a perfect square, princess-cut, colorless pure diamond onto her ring finger.
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On cue as Criss had secretly orchestrated, the sky above their private, 11,000-square-foot luxury villa at the Palmilla Hotel lit up in an amazing fireworks show.
Thanks to longtime good friends at the resort and in Cabo, I was able to pull off my own trickery and piece the entire story together before Criss and Sandra returned home to Las Vegas -- I even secured this set of exclusive photos from the photographers at the jet-set Mexican hideaway. Special thanks to good friends at SolCaboFotexMx/TVT for the exclusive copyright photos.
When I checked in with Criss, he told me that he had wanted to keep everything private but confirmed the engagement: “You’ve got the story first.”
I actually should have guessed something was afoot when Criss and Sandra posed exclusively for contributing photographer Tom Donoghue at the launch of his Magic Broadcasting Network MagicPlace.com at Bare Pool Lounge at the Mirage last month. I reported the details of their serious romance that night.
My spywitnesses in Cabo told me that The Magician of the Century began the romantic adventure by secretly flying a group of 13 members of Sandra’s family to the Mexican resort twin towns. They included her mother, father, two brothers, sister and a nephew.
“She wasn’t expecting the proposal or the surprise arrival of her family as the fireworks exploded. It was all a total surprise to her, but she was thrilled they were all there to celebrate with the two of them,” one of my friends staying in the same property emailed me. I travel to Cabo every year on my travels and fortunately have made some great contacts who that helped shed light on this exclusive story.
“It started just as a romantic sunset dinner on the beach close to the crashing waves. They walked along rose petals that had been scattered on the sand to an intimate table for two with a guitarist playing a discreet distance away. They stayed barefoot when they got to the table he’d arranged surrounded by a circle of flaming torches.
“At the beginning, it just looked like a romantic holiday dinner, but at dessert there were two hearts made from chocolate and cookies, and that’s where he’d hidden the ring to surprise her.”
I had to call New York to track down Idayne Kaye, the designer at Kravit Jewelers, who has made all of Criss’s jewelry over the years. I was able to confirm that the engagement ring is a 5-plus-carat princess cut stone mounted on an exclusively designed platinum ring, and the total weight of both are 9 1/2 carats valued at more than $300,000.
Another friend in Cabo told me: “It was the perfect, most beautiful night for a marriage proposal. He got down on bended knee and told her how much she meant to him and that he wanted to spend his life with her and that she completed his life. ... He then said simply, ‘Will you marry me?’ And she said an immediate ‘yes.’
“Her family hidden nearby promptly appeared as the fireworks went off, and afterward Criss telephoned his mother and brothers to let them know he was officially engaged. He’ll spend Christmas with them back East taking Sandra with him, as [his family] couldn’t get to Mexico in time.”
I am reliably told that no wedding date has been set yet, but maybe in a year’s time. Criss and Sandra met four years ago when one of Mindfreak’s casting agents discovered her at Fashion Show mall and invited her to appear in several episodes of the hit A&E series.
“Sandra is an incredible person but very reserved and has no interest in being in the limelight. She’s very happy chilling away from that showbiz spotlight,” one of her friends said.
To celebrate their engagement, Las Vegas-born Sandra insisted on going with Criss to an orphanage there, which looks after 30 children. The couple trekked to a Costco store -- where I do my shopping when in a Cabo villa at Palmilla -- and they loaded up minivans and four flatbed trucks with food and toiletries to give to the Casa Hogar orphans.
Another spywitness at the mega-store told me: “Criss bought a ton of ham, tuna, milk and cereal so they’d have that instead of the normal beans and rice that the boys have been living off of for the past 2 months due to the lack of resources. He spent thousands of dollars all told on tons of water, shampoos, toothpaste and toys until the trucks were loaded. It caused a wonderful commotion in the store, and then in the parking lot, and it made headlines in our local newspaper here with photos.”
The romantic buzz around Palmilla was so enthusiastic and infectious that another couple there promptly decided to follow suit 24 hours later.
“What a wonderful way to celebrate an engagement,” one of them told me.
Criss remained tight-lipped when I asked him for all the intimate details. He said simply for the record: “This is a very special time for us both. We feel so blessed to have each other and are truly very happy and excited. Sandra is the purest form of love and gives my life a whole new meaning.”
Congratulations to Criss and Sandra, and champagne wishes for many years of happiness together!
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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