Businessman Scot Young told the High Court this week that the does not have enough money to pay his rent.
The property dealer insisted the £4,000 monthly rent for his London flat is paid for by a friend and he relies on other friends to fund his lifestyle after going bankrupt with debts running into the millions.
Mr Young’s estranged wife Michelle, meanwhile, claims he has hidden wealth abroad and is worth “a few billion” at least.
The courtroom confrontation is the latest stage in a divorce dispute which has been running since the couple split up seven years ago They have two daughters.
Mr Young, now 51, told the court:
“I am basically not the man I was. I have been very successful in the past. I would like to think that I could be successful in the future.”
“I have got nothing to hide.”
Asked why he could not move to a cheaper flat and give some of the money he receives from friends to his wife to help settle outstanding maintenance liabilities, he claimed that the friends would not want him to because she had sold “inaccurate stories” to the press and “a lot of people are very unhappy” with her.
Earlier this year, Mr Young was jailed for contempt of court after failing to produce court-ordered financial information.
The case continues and is expected to last the rest of the month.