Divorce battle strands Russian billionaire’s $540 million yacht in Dubai

Updated 12 April 2018

Divorce battle strands Russian billionaire’s $540 million yacht in Dubai

DUBAI: A custody battle in one of the world’s costliest divorces is playing out in Dubai with the former spouses fighting for control over a $540 million yacht temporarily seized by the Gulf emirate this year.

Court documents show that the family trust of Russian billionaire Farkad Akhmedov won the right of appeal on Tuesday against the impounding of the nine-decker Luna that boasts two helipads and the world’s largest swimming pool on a superyacht.

The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) Courts allowed the trust, Straight Establishment, to appeal for the release of the vessel by Dubai authorities, according to the documents seen by Reuters.

A British court ruled that Akhmedov, an oil and gas tycoon, now owes 453.6 million sterling ($567 million) to his ex-wife Tatiana Mikhavilovna Akhmedova, according to the UK court papers — in what British newspapers described as one of the world’s costliest divorces.

Forbes estimates Akhmedov’s net worth is $1.4 billion. In August, the US Treasury Department put him on a list of sanctioned Russian state-owned companies and so-called “oligarchs,” identified as close to President Vladimir Putin.

Agents acting on behalf of the British courts petitioned the DIFC Courts to take control of the yacht, Dubai newspaper Gulf News reported, as parties working for Akhmedova had been searching for her husband’s assets globally so she could get payments as part of the settlement.


Meghan’s father accuses daughter of ‘cheapening’ UK’s royal family

Updated 19 January 2020

Meghan’s father accuses daughter of ‘cheapening’ UK’s royal family

  • Thomas Markle, who is estranged from his daughter, said he believed Meghan was tossing away “every girl’s dream”
  • Thomas Markle described the royal family as “one of the greatest long-living institutions ever”

LONDON: Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, has accused his daughter of “cheapening” the British royal family, in part of an interview released a day after Buckingham Palace said Prince Harry and his wife would no longer be working members of the monarchy.
The palace announced on Saturday that the couple would no longer use their “Royal Highness” titles and would pay their own way in life. The monarchy had been thrown into turmoil earlier this month when Harry, 35, and his American former actress wife announced that they wanted to reduce their official duties and spend more time in North America.
Thomas Markle, who is estranged from his daughter, told Channel 5 news in a documentary that he believed Meghan, 38, was tossing away “every girl’s dream.”
“It’s disappointing because she actually got every girl’s dream. Every young girl wants to become a princess and she got that and now she’s tossing that away, for, it looks like she’s tossing that away for money,” Markle said.
The interview was filmed after the couple’s announcement that they would step back as senior members of the royal family. Channel 5 released part of the interview on Sunday and said the full documentary would air “in the coming weeks.”
Thomas Markle described the royal family as “one of the greatest long-living institutions ever,” saying that when Meghan married Harry in May 2018 they took an obligation “to be part of the royals and to represent the royals.”
“This is like one of the greatest long-living institutions ever,” he said. “They are destroying it, they are cheapening it, they’re making it shabby ... They are turning it into a Walmart with a crown of it now. It is something that is ridiculous, they shouldn’t be doing this.”
Thomas Markle and his daughter have been estranged since her marriage to Harry.
Earlier this month, the Mail on Sunday newspaper submitted its defense to court action by Meghan over the publication of a private letter she sent to her father.
Thomas Markle said he did not expect Meghan to get in contact.
“I can’t see her reaching out to me, especially now ... or Harry for that matter, but I think both of them are turning into lost souls at this point,” he said.
“I don’t know what they’re looking for. I don’t think they know what they are looking for.”