Wealthy French property developer Didier Thiry has been ordered to pay his ex-wife nearly £17 million.
Alisa Thiry, a former model and fashion editor, claimed her former husband had failed to comply with the terms of a prenuptial agreement that had specified that each party be left in the same financial circumstances they had been in before the marriage if divorce occurred.
The agreement was drawn up to “to define the property that each [member of the couple] owns at the time this Agreement is executed and to agree that that property shall remain each party’s separate property through the marriage and beyond.”
The pair married in 2006 after meeting on the Caribbean island of St Barts. It was the second marriage for both parties. At the time, Mrs Thiry was considerably wealthier than her new husband, having received a £32 million divorce settlement from first husband Stephen Marks, co-founder of retailer French Connection.
They split seven years later. Mrs Thiry issued divorce proceedings in May of last year.
At the High Court, Judge Sir Peter Singer considered opposing applications concerning the couple’s financial settlement. One major concern was a controversial £13.8 million loan made by a company belonging to Mrs Thiry to a company owned by her husband. She claims this loan has not been paid back.
Earlier this year, her former husband was sentenced to four months in prison for failing to comply with a court ruling ordering him to disclose information regarding this loan. He did not attend that hearing and has remained in Belgium where he now lives.
In a judgement highly critical of Mr Thiry, Sir Peter Singer ordered the developer to pay Mrs Thiry €21,486,028 (£16,836,227); plus a possible additional payment of £500,000 to fund her defence against any future legal action by the husband.
Such an award would be, the Judge claimed, “restorative justice rather than any exercise of redistributive discretion”.
Mr Thiry was also ordered to pay his former wife’s legal bills of more than £456,000.
Mrs Thiry described the divorce as “a difficult and painful experience”, adding that she did not “wish to make any public statement denigrating my former husbands, one of whom is the father of my children and with whom I worked successfully for several years following my career as a fashion editor.”
Read the full judgement here.
Photo of Gustavia on St Barts by Germanramos via Wikipedia