Ghosn scandal: A man who was not remembered in the Nissan scandal

Theo Leggett
BBC News Business correspondent

Image source, Dee Kelly
Caption for the image

Greg Kelly (ex-director Nissan) with Dee

Former top Nissan executive’s wife says husband was “collateral harm” in dispute with Carlos Ghosn.

Greg Kelly, his ex-boss, was also arrested in Tokyo on November 2018.

Both men were indicted for financial crimes.

Kelly is now facing a potential jail sentence, though Mr Ghosn managed to escape from Japan quite dramatically.

‘Very dedicated’

Dee Kelly says that the past three years have been devastating for her and their families.

Carlos Ghosn had been a prominent Japanese businessman at the time of his arrest. Greg Kelly was much less well-known.

However, he served as a representative director and was also a member on the Nissan board.

Dee says, “He dedicated 30 years his life to this company.”

He was extremely dedicated. He did not want fame or fortune. He also didn’t desire power.

Celebrity Flight

Two men, Carlos Ghosn and David Gossia, flew to Japan in November 2018 with the intention of attending an urgent board meeting. They were instead detained, Carlos Ghosn’s in Carlos Ghosn’s case in the midst of a lot of public attention.

These men were accused of financial crimes in connection to the alleged under reporting of the Chairman’s compensation.

  • Carlos Ghosn: A downfall for the God of Cars
  • Ghosn: My hardest decision in my whole life was the one to leave.
  • Ghosn, ex-Nissan boss: How I managed to escape Japan with a small box

One year later, Ghosn fled to Lebanon in his box hidden on board a private aircraft. His flight, like his arrest made headlines all over the globe.

He held a chaotic press conference in which he claimed that Nissan employees conspired to bring down his success, as part of efforts to reverse plans for the Japanese company’s merger with its French partner Renault.

Nissan refutes these allegations.

Greg Kelly, however, was able to move on from the scandal once all the fuss had passed.

He is currently in Japan. This year, he was accused of financial misconduct.

Dee Kelly said that although he was allowed to leave on bail, his time in Japan had a significant impact on them both.

She explains that when you are young and lose three years of life it is sad.

“When you reach 62, it’s hard to see the future. It’s pretty heartbreaking.

Greg and I believe that our most precious thing is our family. We haven’t been able for over two years to visit our children or grandchildren.


Dee spent recent time in Washington trying to get her husband political and diplomatic support.

She explains, “I feel he has been forgotten by many people especially in media.”

Carlos Ghosn was not only one of the most well-known executives in the automobile industry, but also in every industry when he was taken into custody.

“I think he would be the one to beat.” [Greg Kelly]It is collateral damage. He is left behind.

She believes her husband’s trial is being conducted by proxy for his ex-boss.

She says, “I believe the escape of Mr Ghosn embarrased people in Japan — and Greg’s there.”

“We went through many days and weeks of testimony. Greg was not mentioned at all – that was pretty fascinating since Greg was the defendant in court.”

In a few months, he is likely to be convicted. He should be imprisoned for at least two years, according to the prosecution.


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