Former Pirelli calendar model, Christina Estrada, seeks a lump sum of almost £200 million arguing that her lifestyle during the marriage should be maintained. Mrs Estrada and her ex-husband, Saudi billionaire Walid Juffali have been embroiled in bitter divorce proceedings since 2014. The supermodel ended her marriage when she discovered that her husband had secretly married a 22 year old woman just days following her 50th birthday. It transpired that Mr Juffali divorced his wife in Saudi Arabia without her knowledge back in 2014. Ms Estrada subsequently sought financial relief proceedings in England because she was unable to bring a case in Saudi Arabia. The couple are yet to reach any form of settlement, with the supermodel claiming that she was unable to manage with only one butler and two maids back in the beginning of 2016.
More recently, Ms Estrada launched a further claim of £196 million against her ex-husband which, if granted, will be among the largest divorce settlements in British legal history. Ms Estrada claims that this is a reflection of their lifestyle when they were together. The couple lived a massively extravagant lifestyle during their marriage with birthday celebrations and gifts worth millions of dollars. On the supermodel’s 50th birthday, the billionaire organised a three day celebration with over 200 guests and the fireworks alone cost over a million dollars. For their tenth anniversary in 2011, the supermodel described to the court how her husband had hired out a top London bar and organised the installation of a piano and a rose petal pathway to their table serving a ten course meal complete with a ten tier cake.
Mr Juffali acquired his wealth from the oil industry worth an estimated £4 billion, although his ex-wife suggests that his total assets are worth double at £8 billion. Ms Estrada claims that the amount she seeks of £196 million is justified to meet her reasonable needs taking into account their standard of living. This is far higher than the offer made by the oil tycoon of some £37 million, which Ms Estrada considers inadequate to meet her needs.
The amount sought by the supermodel is to achieve a ‘clean break’ thus if accepted, would result in Mr Juffali exiting the marriage without any obligation for spousal maintenance.
With a relatively long marriage of 13 years and one child together, this is one case where the outcome is not so clear. Mr Juffali stands to lose far greater than the amount his ex-wife is seeking if it is found that his wealth is closer to the figure she asserts. The proceedings are being heard in the High Court in London and the case continues….
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