Sarah Pursglove and Robert Oesterlund had called in Azadeh Banai to transform their penthouse suite. But the designer and Mr Oesterlund, 43, soon fell for each other, destroying his 14-year marriage to Miss Pursglove. The 46-year-old has now opened divorce proceedings – seeking £150million half their fortune.
According to court papers, they have properties worth £25million located in Monaco, the Bahamas, the US, Finland and Wales, where Miss Pursglove was born. The Toronto penthouse, which is worth £20million more, is the most expensive ever sold in Canada. Their 165ft yacht Déjà Vu is worth the same amount and they keep a 12-man team to crew the craft and their other two boats.
The couple made their fortune in internet advertising, going from just one company in 2001 to a 40-firm empire. They hired personal trainers and private tutors for their two daughters and travelled the world on their yacht and by private jet.
It is a long way from Miss Pursglove’s beginnings in the former council house in Caernarvon, north Wales, that she shared with her mother Janice and sister Daphne.She left school at 16 to pursue her love of photography and ended up working on a cruise ship.
In 1996 she met Mr Oesterlund, a Finnish flower-seller, and they married two years later. She says they struggled financially until they hit gold with the internet advertising business in Florida. But their life together collapsed in 2011 when Miss Banai was brought in to design their 9,038 sq ft suite at the top of the 55-storey Four Seasons hotel.
Mr Oesterlund moved in with the younger woman and asked for a divorce on Christmas Eve 2012. Court papers show the case has become ugly at times with Miss Pursglove’s lawyers claiming Mr Oesterlund called her a ‘Welsh b****,’ ‘ugly’ and a ‘hooker’ in their children’s presence. The divorce battle has been waged in courts in Canada and the US with Miss Pursglove claiming her estranged husband had tried to hide funds in the Cook Islands.
He says they are jointly worth only £2million.Experts say the case, which is in its early stages and reportedly involves nine lawyers, could rumble on for several years.The biggest divorce settlement is thought to have been Alec Wildenstein’s, whose ex-wife Jocelyn picked up £1.5billion.