Ex-wife enraged as judge awards her ONLY £20million in divorce deal

I am completely with the dear lady on this one! This poor woman’s  shoes are probably worth more than  20 million pounds. How on earth do they expect her to live on such a paltry sum? Shame on the justice system, I say! Shame on you all!


By  Francesca Infante

The wife of tycoon Scot Young has been  awarded a £20million divorce settlement but immediately demanded more, branding  the judgement ‘disgraceful’ and her husband a ‘powerful maniac’.

Michelle Young, 49, accused her estranged  51-year-old husband of hiding his fortune to avoid a divorce settlement,  claiming he was worth billions while he claimed to be bankrupt.

But today a High Court ruled that he is in  fact worth £40 million.

As a result Mrs Young can expect to get a  lump sum of £20 million – substantially less than the £300million she was  seeking.

Outside the court she reacted to the ruling  with fury, saying: ‘It’s disgraceful. I stand by what I said. He’s worth  billions.’

Warring: Scot, left and his estranged wife Michelle, right, pictured arriving at the High Court in London earlier this week, she has always maintained that her husband was hiding his assets
Warring: Scot, left and his estranged wife Michelle, right, pictured arriving at the High Court in London earlier this week, she has always maintained that her husband was hiding his assets
 Warring: Scot, above, and his estranged wife Michelle,  below, pictured arriving at the High Court in London today. She has always  maintained that her husband was hiding his assets

Mrs Young said: ‘Today is a day that should  have come long ago.

‘This has been a desperate struggle for me  and my two daughters, cast adrift seven years ago by a powerful maniac  who  felt he could hide his vast wealth behind his super-rich friends,  blue-chip  institution, and the law enforcement agencies who would rather turn the other  cheek than tackle corruption.

‘This case has uncovered some dark truths  about the Britain we all live in today.

‘This world city is too reliant on  industrial-scale fraud and money  laundering, aided by corrupt lawyers, bankers  and accountants.

‘I doubt the general public would equate  these sort of industries with  drug barons, pimps, and gang lords, but trust me,  the crimes are real.

‘My husband has been allowed to make a  mockery of the justice system for seven years, lying and cheating at every  turn.

‘He has repeatedly failed to disclose how he  lost his money, which led Mr  Justice Moor to draw the inevitable conclusion: he  has hidden a  fortune.’

Mrs Young had been demanding half her  husband’s  assets, maintaining he was worth ‘a few billion at least’ but had  hidden away ‘a vast fortune’ and that she was a victim of ‘fraud’ claiming he  had manipulated his affairs to avoid parting with his fortune.

But her comments today come as Judge Justice  Moor said he believed she was prone to exaggerating some of her claims  concluding: ‘She sees conspiracy  everywhere.’

Unperturbed however Mrs Young vowed to battle  on for what she believes she is owed, she added: ‘Mr Young has clearly played a numbers  game.

‘He looked at the strategy and decided he  would keep more money  through non-disclosure and playing the system, rather  than award me and  my girls the settlement we deserve.

‘Sadly  for us, and for Mr Justice Moor,  it has been impossible to quantify the assets  that he has hidden, which  has resulted in this reduced award.

‘Many people will be watching this and think  it’s a fortune but at the moment all this order is is a piece of  paper.

‘I will need to borrow heavily against  this  award to fund an asset recovery mission, the like of which I doubt  this country  will have seen before.

‘So this isn’t over. Not for me, not for my  two daughters, and not for Mr Young.’

In a statement she continued to rage against  those who she believes colluded with her husband adding: ‘Oh,  and it’s not over for all those  corrupt third parties, bribed and trapped in  “golden handcuffs”, and who also escaped justice in today’s  judgment.

‘Be under no illusions, I will be coming for  you too.’

Life of luxury: Michelle Young pictured on the runway in Barbados with Scot and their daughter after their flight on Concorde, she told the trial they went on four exotic holidays a yearLife of luxury: Michelle Young, pictured on the runway  in Barbados with Scot and their daughter after their flight on Concorde. She  told the trial they went on four exotic holidays a year


Luxury lifestyle: Wood Perry House in Oxfordshire, is just one of the properties belonging to Scott YoungLuxury lifestyle: Wood Perry House in Oxfordshire is  just one of the properties belonging to Scot Young

Asked about his wife’s reaction to the  ruling, Mr Young said: ‘Disgraceful? That was my wife’s quote, was it? No  comment.’

The couple have been at the centre one of the  nation’s most expensive and acrimonious divorce settlements, as Michelle Young  accused her husband of hiding his assets to avoid paying her a huge  sum.

Mr Young claimed he was bankrupt and heavily  indebted after a Russian real estate venture ended in disaster but his wife said  she would only reach a settlement for £300 million plus legal  expenses.

This isn't over: Speaking outside court today Michelle Young said she was furious and branded the judgment 'disgraceful'This isn’t over: Speaking outside court today Michelle  Young said she was furious and branded the judgment ‘disgraceful’


The High Court heard how Mr Young, who is a  friend of X Factor impresario Simon Cowell,  branded her a ‘greedy cow’ and was  jailed for three months earlier  this year after he refused to reveal  information about his finances.

He was said to have created a business  structure called ‘Project Marriage Walk’ to hide assets from his wife as their  marriage hit the rocks.

Today Mr Justice Moor told the court  that  the case had been an ‘extraordinary’ eye-opener even to someone of  his  experience, but that he believed Mr Young over his embittered  wife.

He said: ‘This has been one of the most  complicated financial remedy cases ever seen in the courts. This case has been  quite extraordinary even by the standards of the most bitter matrimonial  breakdowns.

‘Extremely serious allegations have been  bandied around like confetti. Some of  these allegations can only be described  as “wild”.

‘The husband says the family lived beyond its  means but he was not, in any way, a reluctant spender.

‘The wife says that their lifestyle was  luxurious.

‘On her 40th birthday, she says he bought her  a Graff diamond set worth £1million and that her wedding ring also cost  £1million.

‘She said the he would regularly spend up to  £5,000 in restaurants and told her the annual bill for restaurants was  £1m.

‘The husband accepted that the family had a  very expensive lifestyle but denied it was as lavish as the wife  alleged.

‘He said he had only ten watches, the most  expensive of which was worth £70,000.

‘He said that he got the jewellery for the  wife’s 40th birthday from Giraffe, and it cost £150,000.

‘He said the wedding ring cost £50,000. He  denied that the family spent anything like £1million per annum on  restaurants.

‘I have to say that, in relation to this part  of the case, I prefer the evidence of the husband.

‘Regrettably, the wife was exaggerating but  there is no doubt that the expenditure was, by any normal standards, extremely  high.

‘There is no doubt that, following the  separation, the husband continued to maintain the wife and children  generously.

‘The wife’s case is that, in large part, he  was channeling his own hidden resources utilising the help of  friends.

‘The wife gave evidence before me on the  first day of the trial. I do not question in any way her honesty.

‘She has become utterly convinced that her  husband is a liar who has hidden vast resources.

‘She is convinced that the husband engineered  his financial meltdown in the early part of 2006 knowing that his marriage was  to end.

‘She believes this was with the sole purpose  of keeping his assets safe from her claims. She is convinced that, if the  husband once owned a property, he must still own it today.

‘She sees conspiracy everywhere.’

Mrs Young told the trial that she and her  husband lived a ‘luxury marriage’ that would regularly spend up to £5,000 on  meals and out and visited a Raymond Blanc restaurant twice a week.

The family lived in Belgravia and in Miami,  Florida, where they owned three Porsche  cars.

She also claimed her husband had paid between  £2million and £4million for a ‘flash gin-palace’ Sunseeker-type boat, and that  they went on four exotic holidays a year – staying in villas and presidential  suites.

Five star family fun: Scot and Michelle with daughters Sasha and Scarlet on holiday in the Mediterranean in 2000Five star family fun: Scot and Michelle with daughters  Sasha and Scarlet on holiday in the Mediterranean in 2000


She said: ‘We had vast estates, we had staff,  we had a very luxury lifestyle.’

‘We had a chandelier in our drawing room. The  other chandelier sits in the White House … They were valuable  assets.’

But she added her husband was always very  secretive about finance.

‘There was a vast fortune hidden,’ she said.  ‘He used offshore vehicles and  many advisers and accountants to layer these  assets.’

Admitting that he knew Mrs Young would not be  pleased with the outcome of the case, Mr Justice Moor said he hoped both parties  would take the ruling as a chance to move on with their lives.

‘Doing as best I can, I find that he [Mr  Young] still has  £45million hidden from this court.

‘As against that, I must deduct £5million for  his debts, making a net total of £40million.

‘The wife is entitled to half, namely a lump  sum of £20million.

‘I realise the wife will have difficulties in  enforcing my order. I only have two things to say.

‘First, the debt will exist for all time. The  husband will never be free of it.

‘Second, I have rejected all the more  fanciful allegations made against him.

‘I cannot see how he would have complied with  an order for a lump sum of £300million let alone £400million.

‘I hope that he will take the view that he is  better off paying the lower  sum of £20million so that he can then concentrate  on rebuilding his life.’

He also added that he did not believe there  was any need for Mr Young’s high profile friends, Sir Topshop boss Sir Philip  Green and Richard Caring, to be compelled to appear at court.

Both had made substantial loans to Mr Young  at the height of his financial difficulties which his wife was convinced were a  cover for channeling secret money back to him.

He said: ‘I have formed the clear conclusion  that neither of these witnesses should have been required to attend  court.

‘I find that they were required to attend on  the firm instructions of the wife.

Happier times: Bitter divorcees Scot and Michelle Young pictured on their wedding day in 1995Wedding day: Scot and Michelle Young signing a marriage  register in 1995


‘I am not clear if she did so because she  believes, quite erroneously, that they were lying or whether she  just wanted to  embarrass her husband and create even more publicity for  her  case.

‘In any  event, there was no evidence  whatsoever that either gentleman was not  telling the truth. They should not  have been required to attend to give  evidence.’

In January,  Mr Justice Moor imposed a  six-month prison term on Mr Young after  concluding that he had failed to  provide financial information to his  wife in the run up to the trial, and was  therefore in contempt of court.

Over a lengthy hearing the judge has  heard  that the Youngs, who live in London and have two daughters, met in 1986 and  separated in 2006.

But their bitter divorce proceedings have  dragged on for several years and,  according to Mrs Young’s divorce lawyer, run  up a £1.6million bill in her legal fees alone.

The  court heard that Mr Young had offered  his wife a £300million settlement on August 25, 2009, just before he was  declared bankrupt the following year.

The businessman later claimed in court the  offer was ‘an act of lunacy’ and he would have only given her the money if  Ronald Reagan rose from the dead to become US president again, or if ‘Jeremy  Beadle walks through the door’.

But he told a photographer he had offered his  wife £27million.

Dennis Gill said Mr Young told him he would  pay him £2,000 in cash to follow and photograph his wife.

He told the court: ‘Scot then said “between  me and you, mate, I offered her £27million and she refused it, only a greedy cow  would refuse that”.’

Mr Gill then tried to distance himself from  Mr Young’s remarks, claiming he was going deaf, but denied anyone had tried to  make him change his original statement.

‘To the best of my knowledge, I did hear him  say that, but I could have misinterpreted, because of my ears,’ he  explained.

Wronged: Michelle Young has been forced to pursue her estranged husband through the courts for years as he tried to avoid reaching a divorce settlementWronged: Michelle Young has been forced to pursue her  estranged husband through the courts for years, claiming that he tried to avoid  reaching a divorce settlement

Moving on: Scot Young pictured his model and TV presenter girlfriend Noelle RenoMoving on: Scot Young pictured with his model and TV  presenter girlfriend, Noelle Reno


He added that Mrs Young told him that she  lived in a Pimlico bedsit, relying on food hand-outs and charity  shops – but he  had seen her at top nightclubs with celebrities like Donna  Air.

Earlier in the week the court heard that Mr  Young stood to make £2.8billion from Facebook shares.

Mrs Young’s barrister Rex Howling QC  had  produced a Post-it note seized last year from the businessman when  his wife  obtained a court order to search his paperwork.

The scrap of paper cited the Facebook  flotation and a share deal involving Silicon  Valley giant Sean Parker, the  social network’s first president.

‘Will make $4.5 billion,’ it  concluded.

But Mr Young insisted: ‘This is just a random  piece of paper with my scribbling.’

He added: ‘Can I state for the record that I  have never owned shares in Facebook in any shape or form.’

He also received £80million in cash payments  between 2004 and 2009 ‘for which no entries were found in the bank  statements  provided’, the court was told.

Rex Howling QC, for Mrs Young, referred to a  forensic analysis of Mr Young’s bank accounts.

The search had revealed ‘a phenomenal amount  of money’ passing through them.


Addressing Mr Young, he said: ‘There was £134million of cash movement through your  various accounts between January 2004 and October 2009.

‘A total of £80million of payments were made  to Mr Young, for which no entries were found in the bank statements  provided.’

Following the verdict and despite her  client’s anger Catherine Thomas, of Vardags, who represented Mrs Young claimed  the ruling as a victory because the firm has succeeded in proving that Mr Young  was not penniless as he had insisted.

Mrs Thomas said: ‘The verdict sends a strong  message to those across the world seeking to hide their true wealth from their  spouse.’

Culled from dailymail.co.uk

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