Billionaire developer Mr Harry Macklowe, who is divorcing his wife after 60 years of marriage (picture left) to spend his ‘golden years’ with his much younger French girlfriend (picture right), claims his real-estate holdings have shrunk in value by some 95%.
In what has become one of the most bitter divorce trials New York has seen, Harry and Linda Macklowe are battling it out in court over his rumored $2bn fortune. In one of the more entertaining statements, Mr Macklowe yesterday claimed that his real estate holding were worth $23 million now, even though he claimed just two years ago, when asking for a loan from the bank to finance an upcoming deal, they were worth $550 million.
Ms Linda Macklowe’s lawyer, Mr John Teitler, therefore, asked the developer during cross-examination Wednesday: “The total amount of commercial real estate that you certified to the banks was $548.9 million and the position that you’re taking in this lawsuit is that your total commercial real estate is worth $23 million, is that correct?”
Mr Macklowe responded: “That’s correct.”
His statement of assets also failed to mention the couple’s vast art collection, which is thought to be worth in excess of $1billion. Mr Macklowe also owns a condominium in the Plaza Hotel whose value is estimated to be at $100 million.
And, lastly, as if that weren't enough, the couple owns a $41 million racing yacht as well as two mansions in the Hamptons.
Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Ms Laura Drager, who is overseeing the procedure, didn’t seem all too surprised: “It’s not uncommon in matrimonial cases that a spouse says I have no money and yet shortly before the divorce action starts submits a statement to a landlord that says, oh, yeah, I have plenty of money you should give me an apartment.”
80-year-old Mr Macklowe has built his career on investing in risky real estate deals. One of his most famous moves was the purchase and subsequent sale of the GM building.