Fum­ing chef Marco hits back at wife

Daily Mail - - Richard Kay -

THEIR do­mes­tic woes have been sim­mer­ing for years — but the tem­per­a­ture is likely to be at boil­ing point when Marco Pierre White and his es­tranged wife, Mati, meet in the divorce courts next week.

For chef and restau­ra­teur Marco is fu­ri­ous that his wife has been plead­ing poverty in the run-up to the case. She has said: ‘I am in rented ac­com­mo­da­tion, I don’t own any­thing and I can’t af­ford lawyers.’

These claims have up­set the star of Marco’s Kitchen Burnout, who f eels he has been more than gen­er­ous in his fi­nan­cial sup­port since they parted three years ago.

A friend of his tells me: ‘She’s liv­ing in a pent­house apart­ment in Kens­ing­ton, which is cost­ing Marco £5,000 a month in rent. And he’s pay­ing her be­tween £12,000 and £13,000 a month in main­te­nance for her and their daugh­ter, Mirabelle.’

Marco has also pro­vided Mati with an £80,000 Range Rover be­cause ‘he wants a safe car for their daugh­ter to travel in’, ac­cord­ing to my source.

The cou­ple’s teenage sons, Lu­ciano and Marco Ju­nior, live with their fa­ther in Hol­land Park.

Marco, 48, mar­ried Mati, 47, a for­mer bar­maid, in 2000. But their mar­i­tal recipe turned sour and divorce pro­ceed­ings be­gan in 2007. And it has been a bit­ter strug­gle — last year, Marco ob­tained per­mis­sion to take Mati’s so­lic­i­tors, Withers, to court over claims she had in­ter­cepted his mail and seized per­sonal letters on their ad­vice.

Marco feels he is the one who has been hit most by the fi­nan­cial strain of the divorce, com­plain­ing to a friend: ‘I have to work my butt off just to earn the £300,000 a year I need to sup­port my wife.’

Mean­while, White has been on the re­ceiv­ing end of barbed re­marks from fel­low chefs over his pro­mo­tion of turkey farmer Bernard Matthews and Knorr stock cubes.

He has been ac­cused by Ains­ley Har­riott of ‘com­pro­mis­ing his cred­i­bil­ity’ and dis­missed as a ‘me­dia per­son­al­ity’ by Mar­cus Ware­ing.

In re­sponse, Marco says: ‘These peo­ple are des­per­ate for pub­lic­ity. By at­tack­ing me, they are at­tack­ing ev­ery em­ployee of Bernard Matthews, who rely on a small wage.

‘If it’s OK for Ains­ley Har­riott to do wash­ing-up liq­uid ad­verts, then why can’t I sup­port the farm­ing in­dus­try? I just don’t un­der­stand their snob­bery and hypocrisy.’

And point­edly, Marco — who won three Miche­lin stars by the age of 33 — adds: ‘How many Miche­lin stars has Ains­ley won?’

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