Court awards model $68 million from Saudi ex-husband
Money talksMoney talks

Court awards model $68 million from Saudi ex-husband

There have been pricier divorce settlements in Britain, but none with as big a payment for the ex-spouse’s living costs

Christina Estrada (YouTube screen cap)
Christina Estrada (YouTube screen cap)

LONDON (AP) — An English court awarded an American model 53 million pounds ($68 million) on Friday in a divorce settlement with a wealthy Saudi businessman.

Christina Estrada went to The High Court in London after Sheikh Walid Juffali took a second wife and divorced her under Islamic law in 2014. Estrada sought 196 million pounds to meet her “reasonable needs” — including 1 million pounds a year for clothes.

After a five-day hearing, Justice Jennifer Roberts gave her a lesser sum, but her lawyers say it is by far the largest “needs award” ever made by an English court, dwarfing the 2008 divorce in which former Beatle Paul McCartney handed over 24 million pounds to ex-wife Heather Mills.

There have been pricier divorce settlements in Britain, but none with as big a “needs award” — a payment for the ex-spouse’s living costs.

Estrada, 54, who lives in Britain, said “the spectacular life Walid and I led was immensely fortunate and rarefied.”

“I fully understand how this can be perceived in the wider world,” she said.

Her claim included a request for 40,000 pounds toward fur coats and 21,000 pounds for shoes every year.

The former Pirelli calendar model argued that she was entitled to an amount which would allow her to maintain her ultra-wealthy lifestyle, five cars and luxury homes in London and Beverly Hills.

Juffali, who is 61 and suffering from terminal cancer, said in a written statement that his wealth amounts to 113.8 million pounds, not the billions estimated by Estrada’s lawyers. He added that he was planning to leave his fortune to his children, including his teenage daughter with Estrada.

Juffali’s lawyers called the amount “astonishing” and that anything more “would drive this case into fantasy territory.” Juffali was ordered to pay the full amount by July 29.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more: