In what could become the biggest divorce settlement ever in history, a Swiss court has ordered Russian billionaire, Dmitry Rybolovlev, to pay more than $4.5 billion to his ex-wife, Elena Rybolovleva of Geneva. Both the owner of the French soccer club AS Monaco and his ex-wife are aged 47.
Divorce proceedings began in 2008. At that time Forbes estimated his worth at $12.8 billion. His fortune from potash mining once made him the world’s 79th richest person. Initially his wife demanded $6 billion from the man known as the “fertilizer king.” He is now ranked 147th on the Forbes list of billionaires, with an estimated fortune of $8.8 billion.
Additional Divorce Settlement Rulings
Additionally, the judgment granted his ex-wife property worth 130.5 million francs ($146 million) in property in Gstaad, Switzerland, as well as two other pieces of real estate in the ultra-wealthy area of Geneva known as Cologny. She was also awarded custody of their 13-year-old daughter, Anna. The couple also has an adult daughter, Ekaterina.
“Most Expensive Divorce in History”
Elena’s lawyer Marc Bonnant called it “the most expensive divorce in history,” an unheard-of amount for Switzerland and for Russian oligarchs. Rybolovlev’s lawyer said that the judgment’s cash order was likely to be whittled down in coming appeals.
Statements Made by the Divorce Settlement Lawyers
A separate statement by Bonnant and two other lawyers called the judgment “a complete victory” for her and said the ruling demonstrated that “no one — not even a Russian tycoon who put his fabulous fortune into legal structures such as trusts and offshore companies — is above the law.” Rybolovlev’s lawyer suggested the opposite. He praised the judgment for “confirming both the validity of the trusts created by Mr. Rybolovlev and the validity of the asset transfer to them that occurred long before his wife initiated divorce proceedings.”
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