Countess divorcing former CEO says $43M just isn't enough
A Swedish countess divorcing a former chief executive said she cannot live on $43 million.
By DAVE COLLINS
The Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. — A Swedish countess divorcing a former chief executive said she cannot live on $43 million.
Marie Douglas-David, 36, a former investment banker, said she has no income and needs her husband, George David, 67, to pay her more than $53,000 a week — more than most U.S. households make in a year — to cover her expenses.
David stepped down last year as chief executive at Hartford-based United Technologies but remains chairman of the board and has an estimated net worth of $329 million. He and his wife accuse each other of extramarital affairs. Their divorce trial started Wednesday.
"I'm just very sad that we are where we are," Douglas-David said. "I hope we resolve this soon so everybody can move on with their lives."
David briefly took the stand Wednesday. Asked if his marriage is irretrievably broken, he answered, "Yes."
David and Douglas-David married in 2002, but the marriage was in trouble by 2004, court papers show. Amid a series of reconciliations, the couple signed a postnuptial agreement in October 2005 that would give her $43 million when they divorce.
Douglas-David wants the agreement invalidated. She accused her husband of coercing her to sign it by preying upon her fears of being divorced and childless. She's asking to be awarded about $100 million in cash and stock, plus $130,000 a month in alimony.
David is asking a judge to uphold the agreement and order Douglas-David to vacate their Park Avenue apartment but keep their properties in Sweden. His attorneys asked for a separate hearing Wednesday on the document's validity, but the judge declined.
Douglas-David has filed court papers showing she has more than $53,800 in weekly expenses, including for maintaining a Park Avenue apartment and three residences in Sweden. Her weekly expenses also include $700 for limousine service, $4,500 for clothes, $1,000 for hair and skin treatments, $1,500 for restaurants and entertainment, and $8,000 for travel.
At that rate, Douglas-David would burn through $43 million in less than 16 years. The Census Bureau estimated that the median U.S. household income in 2007 was slightly more than $50,000.
Anne Dranginis, an attorney for David and a retired Connecticut appellate court judge, predicted Douglas-David will get much less money in the divorce if she doesn't accept the terms of the postnuptial.
In court papers, Douglas-David said she quit her job as an investment banker for Lazard Asset Management to travel and entertain with David, who still earns $1 million a year from United Technologies. While chief executive in 2007, David made nearly $27 million in salary and bonuses.
United Technologies is the parent company of Carrier, which makes air conditioners, and Otis Elevators. It also owns Sikorsky, which makes commercial and military helicopters, and Hamilton Sundstrand, an aerospace manufacturer that makes components for NASA's space program.
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
To which I blanket "Replied All":
A brief perusal of the article below [or above, in this case) and you walk away thinking, "How dare she?" But, if you read it a little closer, you realize the AP (along with the other main stream media) is just picking up on a greater theme espoused by the people we elected to lead us: Class Warfare.
"-more than most U.S. households make in a year-" - This repeated not once, but twice in the article.
" David, who still earns $1 million a year from United Technologies. While chief executive in 2007, David made nearly $27 million in salary and bonuses." - What does this matter?
Finally: "At that rate, Douglas-David would burn through $43 million in less than 16 years. The Census Bureau estimated that the median U.S. household income in 2007 was slightly more than $50,000." - Again, how does this apply to this story other than to stir up class warfare?<br>
A few more things:
If she gets this money, will congress pass a special law to retroactively tax her at a 90% tax rate?
How about subpoenaing her addresses and telephone numbers so they can be published?
If congress can put special stipulations into a bill ensuring massive payouts, then turn around and publically skewer their own hand picked CEO of the company who followed the law (both the existing contracts and special stipulation in the stimulus package), can't they subpoena this couple up to capitol hill and chastise them for their apparent greed?
Who will be next? You? Me? Will it ever be them?
The more stories of greed and excess plays right into the hands of stirring up the masses and creating an environment where congress and the executive branch can do nearly anything they see fit to stop "the unfairness of it all."
They are doing it.
Are you paying attention?