A High Court in London on Friday awarded Christina Estrada, a former supermodel, 75 million pounds settlement from her Saudi billionaire ex-husband after one of the highest-stakes divorce battles of its kind.
According to the U.K Daily Mail, former Pirelli calendar model split from her businessman husband Sheikh Juffali after 13 years of marriage.
Estrada wanted 196 million pounds from businessman Juffali to meet her ‘reasonable needs’, which included two luxury houses, a huge clothes budget and five cars. The 54-year-old model had earlier rejected a settlement offer which would have given her about 37 million pounds to live on.
She was awarded a 53 million pounds cash settlement at London’s High Court with lawyers saying the payout was worth 75 million pounds when assets she had already been given were taken into account. The awards means Ms Estrada, who already had a home in Beverly Hills, would get 2.5 million pounds to spend each year as well as 18 million pounds to buy a lavish property in London.
The cash payout works out at more than 4.4 million pounds for every year of her 12-year marriage to 61-year-old Juffali. The case astonished many after Ms Estrada claimed her ‘needs’ included one million pounds for clothes, 40,000 pounds for fur coats, 109,000 pounds for haute couture dresses and 21,000 pounds for shoes every year.
She also said she needed enough from her ex-husband to afford a luxury home in London worth about 60 million pounds, and a 4.4 million pounds house in the country at Henley.
Besides, she also demanded for 495,000 pounds for five cars, three in London and two in the U.S.
Her lawyers said on Friday that the award she received today was “by more than 50 million pounds the largest needs award ever made by an English court’’.
The Judge Mrs Justice Roberts, in her ruling, said that she could not accept that Ms Estrada needed 60 million pounds of a home in central London ‘or anything approaching that sum’.
“I am entirely satisfied that she can acquire a very comfortable home with a sum of 18 million pounds. “It will not be on the same scale as the entertaining she has done before, but a claim anchored to needs cannot, in my judgment, ever justify unbridled spending, whatever the marital standards of living. “At the end of the day, I am satisfied that with a net annual budget of 2.5 million pounds, the applicant (Ms Estrada) can meet her reasonable needs,” the Judge ruled.
After the judge’s ruling, Ms Estrada said: “I am very grateful for today’s ruling’’.
“I have lived in the United Kingdom since 1988 and am thankful for access to the British courts. “I never wanted to be here. I always wanted to resolve the matter amicably.
“This process has been incredibly bruising and distressing.“Walid and I were happily married for 12 years and have a beautiful daughter together. “He took both a second wife and divorced me without my knowledge,’’ she lamented.
Her lawyers estimated her ex-husband is worth 8 billion pounds. But Juffali, who has had three wives, said in a written statement that was a grossly exaggerated ‘fantasy’ figure and put his net worth at about 113.8 million pounds. Juffali, who is terminally ill with cancer and undergoing treatment in Switzerland, could not attend court proceedings.
He said in his statement that he had left the vast majority of his wealth to his three eldest children, including his daughter with Ms Estrada. (NAN)