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Former model wins £53m in divorce

A former model has been awarded £53 million in her divorce from a Saudi billionaire.

When her own assets are included, Christina Estrada’s total settlement is estimated to be around £75 million in what her legal team have called the “largest needs award ever made by an English court” but is less than the sum she had originally sought.

The 54 year-old was once a calendar model for Pirelli and has lived in the UK since 1988. She rejected an initial settlement offer which would have given her a total of £37 million, including properties in London and Beverley Hills.

This award marks the end of a lengthy legal dispute between the former couple. They had been married for 12 years until Sheikh Walid Juffali divorced her in Saudi Arabia under Islamic law without her knowledge. He then tried to use his status as a diplomat to avoid any divorce proceedings in England but this defence was rejected by the High Court.

After the settlement was reached, Ms Estrada said that while she was thankful for the ruling she “always wanted to resolve the matter amicably”. The entire process was “incredibly bruising and distressing”, she added.

Ms Estrada claimed she was “fully aware that the spectacular life [she] led was immensely fortunate and rarefied” while she was married and could understand how people in the wider world would perceive the award. However she insisted that her “focus now is to support my daughter and move forward with our lives”.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Andrew says:

    Was there ever a case that cried out louder for binding prenups and non-discretionary Calderbanks?

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