Court ruling due in ex-supermodel's divorce money battle with Saudi billionaire


A former supermodel is to find out how much she has been awarded in a High Court divorce money battle with her Saudi billionaire ex-husband.

Christina Estrada, 54, wants £196 million from international businessman Sheikh Walid Juffali, 61, to meet her "reasonable needs".

She rejected an offer which, added to her own assets, would have given her some £37 million to live on.

A judge is ruling on her case on Friday.

Ms Estrada was cross-examined in court on her needs, including her claim that she requires £1 million a year for clothes, as well as £40,000 for fur coats, £109,000 for haute couture dresses and £21,000 for shoes every year.

She told family judge Mrs Justice Roberts, sitting in London: "I am Christina Estrada. I was a top, international model. I have lived this life. This is what I am accustomed to."

She said of her 13-year marriage: "It is difficult to convey the extraordinary level of luxury and opulence we were fortunate enough to enjoy."

The Pirelli calendar girl argued in the witness box that she was entitled to an amount which would allow her to seek to maintain her ultra-wealthy lifestyle.

Ms Estrada said she needed enough from her ex-husband to afford a luxury home in London worth about £60 million, a £4.4 million house in the country at Henley, as well as £495,000 for five cars - three in London and two in the US.

Her lawyers estimate her ex-husband is worth £8 billion. But Dr Juffali, who has had three wives, said in a written statement that was a grossly exaggerated "fantasy" figure and put his net worth at about £113.8 million.

He could not attend court because of serious illness.

He said in his statement that he had left the vast majority of his wealth to his three eldest children, including his daughter with Ms Estrada, now a teenager, who cannot be identified.

A US citizen who has based herself in the UK for over two decades, Ms Estrada lives at Bishopsgate House, the matrimonial home bordering Windsor Great Park, which is set in 33 acres of land and has been estimated to be worth £22 million to £60 million. She also has a London flat.

The sheikh, who is terminally ill with cancer and undergoing treatment in Switzerland, divorced Ms Estrada in Saudi Arabia in 2014 under Islamic law without her knowledge.

Marriage troubles surfaced after Dr Juffali's decision in 2012 to marry a 25-year-old Lebanese model, the mother of his two youngest children, while still married to Ms Estrada. Muslim culture allows more than one wife.

Ms Estrada obtained leave under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 to apply for financial relief in England because she could not bring a case in Saudi Arabia.

Lawyers for Dr Juffali told the judge he had been generous to Ms Estrada and bought her a luxurious house in Beverly Hills and was largely responsible for her already being "a very wealthy woman" with assets of over £20 million, sufficient to meet the needs of any 54-year-old woman.

The court heard he was willing to go further and offer her £17 million cash and the use of a luxurious £6.5 million home in London, in their daughter's name, for the next five years while meeting all associated costs.