Developer Harry Macklowe Cries Broke as Divorce Proceeds
The wealthy developer Harry Macklowe reports that he is now broke as he enters a fierce divorce battle with his soon-to-be ex-wife.
According to The Post, “Linda is calling his bluff, saying at the opening day of their divorce trial that his debts are based on the fact that he hasn't paid taxes since 1983. Macklowe, 80, has listed his personal net worth as negative $400 million, largely from deferred capital gains taxes related to the 2008 sale of the General Motors building in midtown Manhattan for $2.9 billion.”
Linda's attorney John Teitler said, “Mr. Macklowe himself knows these types of gains are never actually realized by real estate developers.”
In Manhattan Supreme Court, during his opening statement, Teitler said, “This is a case study in divorce accounting 101.” He continued saying that the real estate tycoon has been “paying [a French girlfriend's] expenses, providing her with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash as well as lavish gifts– and that's just what we know about.”
The couple was married for over half a century, a remarkable 58 years. Macklowe has listed his marital assets as $1.3 billion in the divorce case. This number mainly accounts for the giant art collection and many homes that the couple shares, including a unit in the Plaza Hotel valued at $100 million.
The 79-year-old Linda requested that this apartment and all the art work be awarded to her by the judge.
Her lawyer Teitler said, “Mrs. Macklowe believed they would stay married for the rest of their lives. She did not expect this divorce let alone at age 80.”
Teitler's remarks were said to be “detached from reality,” by Peter Bronstein, Harry Macklowe's attorney. He said that the differed capital gains taxes of his client are “a real liability.”
Bronstein stated, “There's no reason why half the marital assets should be taken by the wife and the husband should be left with all the liabilities.”
On Wednesday morning, September 6, Linda was the first to take the witness stand. She took the opportunity to tearfully explain why their art collection should go to her.
She said, “Harry grew up in the suburbs and I met him through a friend and he really didn't know that much about the art world and the New York art world.”
She added, “What attracted him to me was the world I moved in with my friends and the interests we had.”
“This is a case study in divorce accounting 101.”
From left to right: Harry Macklowe, his soon-to-be ex-wife Linda, and his son Billy.