Earlier this year, a real estate milestone was achieved in New York City when the most expensive apartment ever— a 6,700-square-foot 10-bedroom on Central Park West—was sold for the kingly sum $88 million, reportedly purchased by billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for his 22-year-old daughter Ekaterina. Real estate agents everywhere wept bitter tears thinking of what their cut might have been on that deal. But there is trouble in the land of 24-karat gold bannisters and diamond-studded ice cubes and rugs made of money, a brewing of discontent from underneath the heirloom eiderdown pillows. There, of course, is a lawsuit.
Dareh Gregorian, writing in the New York Post, explains. Rybolovlev's estranged wife is not happy, and says that, first of all, talk of Ekaterina living in the apartment while she attends school is bunk: She doesn't even go to school in New York. The Post makes the most of that, because, it's true, an $88 million dorm would have to offer more than cinderblock walls and bunk beds and communal bathrooms. You'd think. We really can't know, except from the photos (looks sort of drab to us). But further! If Ekaterina DID go to school in New York, according to Elena Rybolovlev's lawyer, she would not need to live in such fancy-schmancy accommodations. And further to that -- and this is where it gets dark and "war of the Rybolovlevs" -- Elena says her husband, from whom she filed for divorce in 2008, is really just trying to hide his assets from divorce lawyers.
The 100th-richest man in the world hiding assets from his estranged wife!? (Note that this buying of expensive things is not new behavior: Previously he bought Donald Trump's former Palm Beach home for $95 million and part of a soccer team in Monaco. The man is worth more than $9 billion; he apparently has some money to spend.)
This lawsuit proves two things, indisputably. One, rich people do not necessarily have fewer problems. Two, if you want to attempt to hide assets from your estranged wife, the very public purchase of the most expensive apartment ever in New York City might be an inherently flawed way to go about it.
Three: We miss dorm life. It was so cozy.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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