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Image / Editorial

Priciest Divorce Ever?


by Jeanne Sutton
22nd May 2014

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Madge and Guy? Estimated cost was allegedly about €50 million pounds

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Is this the largest divorce settlement in history?

What would you do with $4.5 billion? How does one even contemplate having that amount of money? Should you buy an almost uninsurable Bugatti Veyron just for the sake of it? Elena Rybolovleva is about to find out. Earlier this week a Swiss court ordered her ex-husband, Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev to cough up the massive sum as it granted the twenty-six years married couple a divorce. In Swiss law the spouse is entitled to half the fortune their wife or husband made during the marriage. God bless the Swiss.

Elena also got herself some property in Gstaad, Switzerland worth $146 million and two other properties in Geneva’s wealthiest neighbourhood. The former-couple are both aged 47 and have two children, a teenager who Elena retains custody of and an adult daughter, Ekaterina. Ekaterina found herself in an awkward position throughout the divorce as her father maintained a Manhattan apartment he bought was for her education. Elena’s team accused him of scuppering funds to stop his wife getting her hands on his money as Ekaterina was actually attending university in Boston. Island buying blitzes, soccer teams, some estates in Florida, Will Smith’s Hawaiian abode? Rybolovlev had quite the expand-that-portfolio-stat legal strategy. The ?fertilizer king? oligarch, so called because his fortune stems from potash mining, also moved funds offshore to Cyprus.

Divorce proceedings kicked off in 2008 amid accusations of rampant infidelity. However when the pay-off is this good, we’ll take all the Russian-tycoon-caused heartbreak we can get. Elena’s lawyer Marc Bonnant claims this to be ?the most expensive divorce in history? so we guess fair play to Marc and Elena. Mr Rybolovlev’s lawyers are demurely mentioning the inevitable appeals courts but we think Elena is cracking open the champagne regardless. Dmitry meanwhile is looking at his entry as the 147th international billionaire in Forbes and getting ready for some changes.

Before the appeals kick in fall into a Wikipedia whirlpool and remember the couples that secured themselves a place in the divorce court of fame.

Jeanne Sutton @jeannedesutun

Cover image via Etsy.