Russian tycoon faces ‘biggest divorce settlement in history’ over wife’s $6bn demand

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

MOSCOW - Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who is also the 79th richest person in the world, is fighting what could end up being the biggest divorce settlement in history, but he wants to keep proceedings secret.

Rybolovlev’s wife Elena is reportedly demanding 6 billion dollars from the man known as the ‘fertilizer king’ for a fortune amassed in potash mining that made him the world’s 79th richest person.

According to the Daily Mail, Rybolovlev might sue any media outlet that reports the case because it is being heard by a Geneva civil court, where privacy restrictions are tighter than for criminal or commercial proceedings.

“What we have done is a general sprinkling of the press landscape,” Anne Reiser, a Geneva lawyer who wrote to Swiss and international media on Rybolovlev’s behalf last week, said, adding that printing details about a divorce case could be a criminal offence in Switzerland.

The fact that Rybolovlev, who made his billions with the Uralkali mining company, was recently named one of the richest people on the planet by Forbes magazine and made headlines when he bought Donald Trump’s Palm Beach mansion for 100 million pounds does not justify stories about his divorce, according to Reiser.

“In case you have planned to do it, please refrain. That’s all. And there is a please. If by any chance you are going to print anything about my client, then you are formally put on notice that my client reserves his right, maybe, to do something about it, with any legal action that would be necessary,’ she added.

However, Manuel Bianchi della Porta, a practicing lawyer at Geneva firm BCCC, questioned the purpose of the letter saying that Swiss courts recognise that some cases are of public interest and therefore deserve to be covered by the media, though the wealth of the parties involved would not itself be sufficient grounds to limit their right to privacy, the paper said. (ANI)

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