Brian Myerson-Wife-Ingrid Demands-$18,000,000 Payoff!!

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Ingrid Myerson: Ms Myerson, 48, said she knew nothing of his affair or the child until she confronted him four years ago. Their marriage ended when she divorced him last year Photo:

By Richard Edwards

7:00AM BST 12 May 2009

Mr Myerson, a leading financier, said that he had a secret second family in a house around the corner from his then wife, Ingrid and their three children in Hampstead, north west London.

However, he said that he was “an extremely good and caring husband” and in a withering attack, argued that his ex-wife deserves a fraction of the £11.2 million she received.

Mr Myerson, 50, who runs an international investment fund, was married for 26 years, but said that his mistress, Clare Denby, was an effective “common-law wife” who he would see almost every day.

At one stage he even carried off the deceit by taking both families on holiday to the same beach resort in South Africa.

He told his teenage sons about his other family, but kept it from their mother.

Ms Myerson, 48, said she knew nothing of his affair or the child until she confronted him four years ago. Their marriage ended when she divorced him last year, citing adultery, and Mr Myerson agreed to pay her 43 per cent of his £25.8 million fortune.Brian Myerson Divorce Claim

However, he has since claimed that his remaining £14.6 million – mostly held in shares – has been wiped out in the recession. The Court of Appeal dismissed his challenge.

In an interview yesterday he said he was “unrepentant” about his double life.

“As far as I’m concerned, I have done nothing wrong, in fact, I look upon myself as having been a good husband to Ingrid,” Mr Myerson said.

“Like many men, I’ve had a number of extra-marital affairs, but since 1998 Clare and I have been together – effectively as common-law man and wife – in a relationship that existed in parallel with my marriage.

“I never told Ingrid about Clare, but I was an extremely good and caring husband, providing Ingrid with a wonderful lifestyle, even though I had another life.

Mr Myerson disclosed that Miss Denby had a saying that 5pm to 7pm every day was “mistress hour”.

“I met Clare every day,” he said. “I would leave my family home in Hampstead and visit Clare on my way to work in the City, and again on my way home. Clare would also come to the City and we’d have lunch together.”

He drew comparisons between himself and Sir James Goldsmith, the former billionaire known for his polyamorous relationships. “Jimmy Goldsmith was controversial but an amazing man, because the one thing you can say about him is that every one of his families was properly cared for. You get married men who have children with mistresses and pretend they never happened. That’s disgraceful. I might be an old-fashioned male chauvinist but I believe men should look after all their children and the women they are involved with in a traditional way.”

Mr Myerson is returning to the High Court to attempt to defer a payment of £2 million he still owes his ex-wife and the transfer of a beach house into her name.

Asked if he is now seriously short of money because of the recession he said “Oh, I still have a little bit” and admitted that he still travels by private jet and hires a suite at the five-star Connaught Hotel off Park Lane when he comes to London.

THE STORY CONTINUES:

Could the credit crunch get you out of paying that pesky divorce settlement? That’s the teaser before London’s Court of Appeal after Brian Myerson, a fund manager in the city, asked a panel of judges Wednesday to nix the $15.2 million agreement reached last March with his ex-wife Ingrid. The reason: turmoil in the markets has effectively wiped out his share of the couple’s spoils. A ruling in Myerson’s favor could see a tide of wealthy divorcees heading back to court in search of sweeter deals.

When the couple’s $36 million in assets were divvied up last year after more than a quarter century of marriage, 50-year-old Myerson got 57% of the loot. Ingrid Myerson walked away with the rest. So in return for paying his ex-wife $13.1 million in cash, and handing over a $2.1 million beach house in South Africa, Brian Myerson kept hold of stock in Principle Capital Holdings (PCH), his investment company, worth more than $20.1 million at the time.

Problem is, shares in PCH worth 292 pence a year ago are fetching only 20 pence right now. That’s left Myerson’s stake in the firm worth a measly $2.7 million. Should Myerson be made to pay the $3.5 million in cash he still owes his former wife, she’ll have landed 105% of the couple’s assets, Myerson’s lawyers argued in court Wednesday, and he’ll be left hundreds of thousands of dollars in the red. “The freefall in the value of the shares has completely changed the basis on which the case was settled,” argued Martin Pointer, Brian Myerson’s lawyer.

On the face of it, though, Myerson’s chances of re-negotiating the deal look slim. “The whole deal with these clean-break settlements is people know where they stand after they’re done,” says Julian Lipson, head of the family law team at London law firm Withers. Exceptions might be made if one party lies about their assets, or if “in very short succession after the order has been made, a completely unforeseeable change renders the basis of the agreement wrong,” Lipson says. Otherwise, “a final order is a final order. And that’s that.”

Arguing that today’s financial market chaos came out of nowhere will be key to Myerson’s case. While Pointer, his lawyer, claimed in court recent events were indeed “unforeseeable and unforeseen”, Nicholas Mostyn, representing Myerson’s ex-wife, hit back that “the present downturn was totally foreseeable and indeed well under way” at the time of the couple’s settlement a year ago. Moreover, Mostyn argued, as a fund manager, Brian Myerson knew as well as anyone that shares can go up as well as well as down. “He agreed in exchange for having a majority of the assets to assume the risk,” Mostyn argued. “It is too late now for him to try and unpick that deal.”

One thing the judges on this case might want to consider: the potential for a ruling in Brian Myerson’s favor to open the floodgates for similar claims. “As much as the court says ‘we look at every single case on its own facts’, in reality, if this case were decided in [Brian Myerson's] favor it would be a foot in the door for everyone else,” says Lipson. That could create a volume of cases courts might struggle to handle. Claims wouldn’t just center on the plunging markets; divorcees left with property worth less than they’d been led to believe, for instance, might also seek redress. Until the ruling, divorced London bankers will live in hope.

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