The wife of an extremely wealthy property developer in New York City has reportedly turned down a divorce settlement worth $1 billion.
The 79 year-old real estate mogul was apparently willing to give his wife half of his $2 billion (£1.6 billion) fortune in order to bring their marriage to an end last year. They had been married for 58 years but the wife filed for divorce after she discovered his affair with a 62 year-old French woman. He had apparently been keeping the woman, a museum director, at one of his developments for as long as two years.
Following the latest hearing at Manhattan Civil Court, the husband told members of the press that he planned to remarry “as soon as this divorce is over”. In a clearly jovial mood, he also began telling a series of husband-and-wife jokes, complaining that his wife never appreciated his brand of comedy.
Meanwhile the wife and her legal team refused to offer any comments about the case.
During the hearing, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Laura Drager urged both sides to “move this forward expeditiously”. The Judge also asked the wife to provide a list of the information she believed would help determine the value of her husband’s assets.
Among the property the husband has helped to develop in New York is the iconic residential skyscraper 432 Park Avenue. The 1,396 foot tall building contains over 100 apartments and overlooks Central Park.
In 2014, another US billionaire paid almost £1 billion to his former wife as part of a financial settlement. The following year his ex-wife tried to appeal against the final sum but was unsuccessful because she had already cashed the $975 million cheque he gave her. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that this meant she had accepted the payment and forfeited her right to appeal against it.