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Billionaire Richard Branson’s Necker Island has long been a paradise for the rich and famous, creating memorable moments on its exclusive beaches.

Kevin Costner and singer Jewel were recently photographed on the island at a tennis fundraiser for the Inspiring Children Foundation, an organization started by Jewel, and, according to the Daily Mail, Branson was the matchmaker.

“Richard is 100 percent responsible for Kevin and Jewel hooking up. She has been a friend of Branson’s for years, and he has been a close friend of Kevin’s since the 1990s,” the outlet’s sources said.

“Richard invited Jewel to hold her charity fundraiser on Necker and, honestly, the hookup happened organically,” the source continued. “They hit it off well, and Jewel seems to be happy about it.”

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The photos, from TMZ, showed Jewel speaking into a microphone and appearing to sit on Costner’s lap with his arms around her waist.

Kevin Costner with Jewel holding mic on his lap

A representative for Branson told Fox News Digital he had no comment. Representatives for Costner and Jewel did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Branson has owned Necker Island since 1979, when he purchased it for $180,000, per Branson’s Virgin website. 

According to the mogul, he “had been madly trying to come up with a way to impress a girl I had fallen for,” so when he learned an island was for sale in the British Virgin Islands, he contacted the Realtor.

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Wide view of Necker Island

“We were still in the early days of Virgin Records, and I by no means had the cash to buy an island,” he continued. “Luckily, the realtor didn’t know this and offered me an all expenses paid trip to see the Islands that weekend. I agreed to go on one condition – if I could bring a guest.” 

Branson was originally quoted $6 million but couldn’t afford it at the time. He wrote that a year later nobody had made an offer, and with Virgin Records doing better, he bought the island for just $180,000 with “the only condition was that I would need to build a resort on the Island within four years.”

The woman Branson was trying to impress was his eventual wife, Joan Templeman. The couple married on the island and have three children.

Joan Templeman and Richard Branson posing together

The 73-year-old has since regularly hosted famous friends on Necker Island, including Harry Styles, Jimmy Fallon, Nick and Vanessa Lachey, Mariah Carey, Kate Moss, Robert DeNiro, Nelson Mandela and Princess Diana.

 

Princess Diana With Prince William And Prince Harry With One Of Her Neices, Frances Shand-kydd on the beach at Necker Island

The late royal visited the island in 1990, spending New Year’s Day on the beach with Princes William and Harry, her mother Frances Shand Kydd and a niece.

Former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama stayed on Necker Island in February 2017.

In a post on Virgin’s website, Branson wrote that he invited the couple to the island for a “complete break” after Obama’s two presidential terms.

Former President Obama kite surfing

Necker Island is susceptible to inclement weather during hurricane season and has faced disaster at least twice.

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In 2011, The Great House on the island burned down, likely caused by a lightning strike during a tropical storm. Twenty guests, including Kate Winslet, fled the house to safety.

“My son Sam and nephew Jack rushed to the house and helped get everyone out, and many thanks to Kate Winslet for helping to carry my 90-year-old mum out of the main house to safety,” Branson wrote at the time of the incident.

His mother, Eve Branson, politely disputed the story in a 2014 interview with The Guardian.

“Oh no! I’m sick of this story,” she jokingly told the outlet. “It was the hurricane of hurricanes, and we were on fire. And we would have all been burnt alive if it wasn’t for my grandsons. It was four or five in the morning, and they went around getting everyone out of bed. I remember saying: ‘I’d better put my mac on’ because I wanted to cover up and Jack [her grandson] saying: ‘No, not right now.’

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Richard Branson with his mom, Eve Branson

“Anyway, I’d just about got outside and the rain was pouring down, and I didn’t have my contact lenses in. But I was making my way out, and Kate and her two children were behind me. Then she just sort of picked me up and took me down four steps and that was it. I’m sorry, I can’t make a story out of it.” 

Winslet did meet her husband, Edward Abel Smith (also known as Ned Rocknroll), Branson’s nephew, during the fire incident.

“I met my husband in a house fire,” Winslet told Entertainment Tonight in 2017. “He was the only dude to have a head torch and a pair of shoes. Everyone else left everything behind. I took a bra and passports and my children.

“So I married him,” she added, laughing. “I was like, ‘I’ll go for the guy with a head torch.'”

Kate Winslet with husband Edward Abel Smith

Necker Island also faced severe damage in 2017 during Hurricane Irma.

“Much of the buildings and vegetation on Necker has been destroyed or badly damaged,” Branson wrote at the time, but his foundation Virgin Unite was already at work to repair the damage.

Now, the island is opening up to the public for the first time.

Guests can reserve individual rooms for the holidays through Dec. 26 for a starting rate of $5,400. Included in the stay are all meals and drinks and water sports equipment for a variety of activities. 

View from the resort of the pool and ocean on Necker Island

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Necker Island will have a no-travel day policy, but there will be special Christmas activities, including a visit from Santa Claus, an after-party with a DJ and an event titled “Get Grinched Beach Olympics,” per People.

Previously, guests had to be a friend of Branson or rent the whole island, which cost $134,500 per night for up to 48 guests in 24 rooms. 

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