WORLD Di­vorce could net wife bil­lions

Townsville Bulletin - - WORLD -

A SPLIT be­tween a Rus­sian bil­lion­aire and dar­ling of the art world was never go­ing to in­volve small change.

But Chelsea foot­ball club owner Ro­man Abramovich and his wife, gal­lerist and fash­ion edi­tor Dasha Zhukova, are set to raise eye­brows with a set­tle­ment that could in­volve bil­lions af­ter an­nounc­ing their split.

Mr Abramovich and Ms Zhukova said they had sep­a­rated af­ter a decade to­gether.

“Af­ter 10 years to­gether, the two of us have made the dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to sep­a­rate, but we re­main close friends, par­ents, and part­ners in the projects we de­vel­oped to­gether,” they said. “We are com­mit­ted to jointly rais­ing our two chil­dren.”

Mr Abramovich is es­ti­mated to be worth $ 11.7 bil­lion and is fa­mous for his high- pro­file as­sets in­clud­ing Chelsea and a string of lux­ury prop­er­ties, cars and yachts.

He has re­port­edly spent more than $ 1.5 bil­lion on “toys and homes” in­clud­ing ones in the Caribbean, Colorado and the south of France.

Ms Zhukova, 36, is the daugh­ter of Rus­sian oli­garch Alexan­der Zhukov and has been lauded by the New York fash­ion and arts scene for her dar­ing projects.

Mr Abramovich and Ms Zhukova were mar­ried in se­cret nine years ago and have two chil­dren to­gether.

No de­tails of the set­tle­ment have been re­leased.

The split could be a costly enterprise for Mr Abramovich as Ms Zhukova is his third wife. He pre­vi­ously di­vorced Irina Ma­lan­d­ina in 2007 af­ter a 16year mar­riage. They have five chil­dren to­gether.

That set­tle­ment was re­ported to in­clude $ 1.65 bil­lion in cash and four homes in what was de­scribed at the time as the “world’s costli­est di­vorce”.

Mr Abramovich’s first mar­riage was from 1987 to 1991 with Olga Lysova.

Mr Abramovich’s bi­og­ra­pher, Chris Hutchins, said at the time he di­vorced Ms Ma­lan­d­ina, the bil­lion­aire was told by close friend and Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin to “get his act cleaned up”.

“He sees Abramovich as some­thing of an am­bas­sador for Rus­sia and made it clear Abramovich should set­tle his per­sonal affairs,” Mr Hutchins said.

“Abramovich tends to do what Putin tells him, in busi­ness and in his per­sonal life, and Putin’s in­ter­ven­tion would cer­tainly have in­flu­enced his de­ci­sion to grant his wife an un­con­tested di­vorce.”

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