Ex-model wins 53 million pounds in divorce from Saudi billionaire

  • AFP, London
  • Updated: Jul 09, 2016 10:25 IST
Former model Christina Estrada, centre, speaks to the media outside London’s high court after she was awarded a 53 million pounds cash settlement in a divorce battle. (AFP)

A British court awarded a 53-million pounds (Rs 460 crore) divorce settlement to a former model who had demanded 196 million pounds from her Saudi billionaire husband — including 1 million pounds a year just for clothes.

Lawyers for US national Christina Estrada, 54, said the total settlement amounted to 75 million pounds, including the value of her existing assets.

She had asked for 196 million pounds from 61-year-old husband Sheikh Walid Juffali but thanked the court after the ruling.

“I am fully aware that the spectacular life Walid and I led was immensely fortunate and rarefied. And I fully understand how this can be perceived in the wider world,” she said in a statement.

In hearings, during which she was cross-examined on her material needs, she told the court: “I was a top international model. I have lived this life. This is what I am accustomed to”.

She said she needed 60 million pounds for a home in London, 4.4 million pounds for a country house in Henley-on-Thames as well as 495,000 pounds for five cars.

Her clothing budget included an annual 40,000 pounds for fur coats, 109,000 pounds for haute couture dresses, and 21,000 pounds for shoes.

Juffali is terminally ill with cancer and undergoing treatment in Switzerland. He divorced Estrada under Islamic law without her knowledge and married a 25-year-old Lebanese model in 2012.

London is known as the divorce capital of the world and is particularly attractive for wives because awards are higher than in other parts of the world.

Thousands of wealthy Chinese, Russians, Americans and Europeans, many of whom work in the City of London financial district or own property in Britain, end their marriages before English judges.

Late Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky reportedly paid up to 220 million pounds to his ex-wife Galina Besharova in 2011.

Jamie Cooper-Hohn, the estranged wife of a London financier, was awarded 337 million pounds in 2014.

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