Ex-model's divorce payment stymied by husband's death


Former Pirelli model Christina Estrada will have to wait for her £53 million divorce settlement because her ex-husband died days before the deadline for paying her expired.

Saudi billionaire Dr Walid Juffali had been ordered by the High Court to hand over the cash by July 29th. But nine days before this date, he died of lung cancer, and the money never appeared.

Yesterday, a High Court hearing told by Saudi lawyer Abdullah Nassief that Dr Juffali's family wanted more time.

"I am not dealing with a situation where the door has been slammed shut," said Mrs Justice Roberts. "I hope we will get this sorted out without the need for further litigation."

The delay, though, raises the possibility that Ms Estrada, 54, will have to sue her own 13-year-old daughter, along with her two stepdaughters, to get the money she's owed.

Two years before his death, Dr Juffali used Sharia law to transfer most of his Saudi assets to his three daughters. However, it's believed that he had enough property in London to cover the cost of Ms Estrada's settlement.

The divorce was a particularly acrimonious one, stemming from Dr Juffali's second marriage - legal under Saudi law - to a Lebanese television presenter 32 years his junior in 2012.

Ms Estrada initially demanded an even bigger settlement - £196.5 million - along with £116,000 a year for handbags and £83,000 for cocktail dresses.

Meanwhile, Dr Juffali tried to claim diplomatic immunity after being appointed as St Lucia's permanent representative to the International Maritime Organisation.

There will now be another hearing in October.

Divorce is rarely easy at the best of times, but death can complicate matters considerably. Recently, we reported on the case of Mari Vindis, who was in the process of divorcing her husband when he died unexpectedly.

She filed divorce papers two months before his death, and was expecting a £6 million payout - only to discover that he'd rewritten his will, leaving the vast majority of his wealth to the couple's two children. Ms Vindis was left just £36,000.

She's now in the process of asking the High Court to honour the divorce terms; her daughters, like Ms Estrada's daughter, are said to be sympathetic.

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Celebs who have suffered financially after divorce
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Celebs who have suffered financially after divorce
In 2009, after a bitter divorce battle, Cleese was forced to give his third wife £8 million in cash and assets - including a £2 million Holland Park house and half a beach house in Santa Barbara. He must also pay significant alimony. He didn't run up debts during the process, but has sold a number of assets - including paintings and props, and has been on a world tour with his one man show: 'How to Finance your Divorce'.
He said in September last year that he was 'downsizing' his life, selling his ranch in Napa and returning to TV where the pay is steadier. According to Fox News he added: "Divorce is expensive. I used to joke they were going to call it 'all the money', but they changed it to 'alimony'.
The Gossip Girl actress filed for bankruptcy this year. One major contributing factor was an enormous legal bill from her divorce and custody battle with her ex-husband. Her German husband had been deported, and the divorce lawyer ruled that the couple should spend equal time with the children. Because her husband could not enter the US, he ruled that they should live with their father and Rutherford should travel to visit them. She told E!News she had "spent every penny. Every penny from Gossip Girl, my pension, my stocks has been spent fighting for my children."
One of the oddest celebrity divorce settlements was in the late 1970s when Marvin Gaye was ordered to record a new album and pay the royalties to his ex-wife. The album is called Here My Dear and includes songs such as "You can leave, but it's going to cost you'. The cost of the divorce was one of a number of factors that drove him to bankruptcy in 1979.
The Sopranos actress (who played Dr Jennifer Melfi) filed for bankruptcy in 1999. She had spent five years fighting a custody battle with her ex, Harvey Keitel, and despite getting custody of her daughter, she told the New York Times she was left $2 million in debt to the lawyers in her bankruptcy and custody cases.

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