London: A Russian oligarch is facing the world’s most expensive divorce after his wife demanded 3.8 billion pounds as settlement from him.
Dmitry Rybolovlev, 43, a mining magnate ranked as Russia’s 10th richest man, is locked in a bitter divorce case with Elena, his wife of 23 years and the mother of his two daughters, the Telegraph reported.
At stake are a 72 million pounds motor yacht currently moored off the Italian coast and a string of lavish properties from London to Singapore, including a 62 million pounds mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, bought from Donald Trump.
Rybolovlev’s assets also include an art collection by Picasso, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Monet.
In court papers, Elena, also 43, has accused her husband of serial infidelity and of carousing on the couple’s yacht with a number of other women. She is said to be “sick to the back teeth of his fondness for other women”.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Elena, who runs a cultural foundation near Geneva, have indicated that she is looking for assets and cash worth close to 3.8 billion pounds, or half the wealth that Rybolovlev has accrued since they were married in 1987.
Although Forbes magazine estimated earlier this year that her husband was worth about 5.6 billion pounds, she believes that he is worth a lot more and has hidden much of his wealth in offshore accounts.
If her claim proves successful, it would be the most expensive divorce in history, outstripping Rupert Murdoch’s 1.1 billion pounds divorce from Anna, his wife of 32 years.
Rybolovlev is vigorously contesting his wife’s claims, saying that she signed a document in 2005 that limited any divorce settlement to just over 60 million pounds.
He also maintains that he no longer owns many of the assets to which she is laying claim.