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In high asset divorce, ex-wife paints her own version of artwork

According to the old saying, "All is fair in love and war,' though most draw a line at deception. There are times when one may believe that any actions are justified during a high asset divorce. Kentucky residents who are preparing for a possibly contentious dissolution of their marriages may seek the guidance of experienced professionals.

A divorce between renowned Wall Street investor Bill Gross and his then-wife purportedly involved an artful deception on the part of the former Mrs. Gross. The couple owned an extensive collection of fine art that was supposedly appraised by a representative from the Sotheby's auction house. Unbeknown to Mr. Gross, his former spouse had removed a painting by Picasso and replaced it with a replica she had painted herself.

By her account, she was given permission via email to remove from the couple's home any of the art or belongings that she desired. However, she apparently did not inform him that she had taken the painting known as "Le Repos," which is expected to be sold for an estimated $35 million. Several months later, the couple decided who would be granted ownership of the piece over a coin flip. The wife won the toss but did not mention that the painting in their home was a forgery.

Gross was informed of the deception, and it was brought up during the divorce trial. At that time, the wife also admitted to taking another piece of art without his knowledge. He had previously admired her ability to replicate famous paintings which they displayed in their home. It is unknown whether the wife was penalized by the court for her actions.

A high asset divorce may often involve intense disputes over jointly owned assets. At these times, it may be difficult to arrive at an amicable and equitable settlement agreement. Kentucky residents who are struggling to resolve these heated disputes may be best served by consulting with a knowledgeable family law attorney.

Source: nypost.com, "Wife got prized Picasso painting in divorce, hangs fake version anyway", Carleton English View, May 11, 2018

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