Reported by Liku Zelleke
The record for the world’s costliest divorce has been set by the separation of Russian billionaire Dimitry Rybolovlev and his wife Elena. A judge in Geneva has decided to award the wife a precise amount of 4,020,555,987.20 Swiss francs ($4,491,238,459.19 USD) according to media reports.
The ruling dictates that Rybolovlev, who resides in Monaco, should hand over half of the property deeds to their former homes in Cologny, a posh part of Geneva. He must also give her antique furniture and jewelry. He also lost custody of their 13-year-old daughter, Anna.
Rybolovlev’s wealth is estimated to be around $8.8 billion. He made his fortune in the potassium industry and, according to Forbes, is the world’s 147th richest man.
The divorce proceedings were initiated in 2008 by Elena in Geneva, where she lives. She asked for, and won a, freeze on part of her husband’s assets. It was applied on his majority ownership of the French football club AS Monaco, a stake in Bank of Cyprus worth $295 million and a home in Palm Beach, Florida, which had been purchased from Donald Trump and was worth $95 million.
She proceeded to sue her husband in the United States, accusing him of trying to shield the Florida home from the divorce proceedings. She also added a Manhattan penthouse that had been purchased for $88 million – at the time, the highest price ever paid for an apartment in the city – to the claims.
She also said that Rybolovlev had used marital property to purchase other assets through a variety of trusts and limited liability companies in the hope that she would not be able to lay claims to them.
Mr. Rybolovlev had gotten married in Cyprus and had been together for 23 years before they decided to separate.
Their divorce settlement beats the previous record settlement of $2.5 billion that was held when Alec Wildenstein and his ex-wife Jocelyne separated.