Three rich women (Slavica Ecclestone, Deborah Madoff, Marie Douglas David), 3 high profile divorces: Who will make out like a bandit?

Marie Douglas in Red with her society pals 
We all know that money can’t buy love, but can it buy happiness? This December, high profile marriages have been crumbling left and right, (to wit, Madonna and Guy Ritchie, Slavica and Bernie Ecclestone, Marie Douglas David and George David and Deborah Madoff and Andrew Madoff).
So many ultra wealthy couples must be feeling a bit blue this holiday season. With all the money in their coffers I wonder how these wives are making do without their husbands this year? Let’s take each one in turn:
The Marie Douglas David Divorce       
Marie as we have posted in at least 3 other posts so far, is a Swedish countess who is married to the former CEO and current chairman of the board of United Technologies Corporation (UTC) George David. At issue in that marriage is approximately $400,000,000.00 networth of Mr. David, and a challenge by Ms. Douglas to the post nuptial agreement she signed that would net her $43,000,000 of that – roughly 10% of her husbands total worth.
Marie has also asked for about $53,000 in spousal support while the divorce is pending, attorney’s fees (we just did a post on that) and a few other things. She reportedly got a little bit under $1 million ($978,000) in play dough from George a week back, I guess to keep her pretty and quiet. Will she have to pay the attorney’s fees from that? Probably, if the court does not issue a separate order for George to pay her high profile (EXPENSIVE) lawyers…
Marie has said that she is still very much in love with her husband, and that she wants a divorce because he is controlling, locks her out of one of their residences, and does not spend enough time in bed making her happy. He also forces her to sign promissory notes (even when she spends money on him!) and he gives her jewelry but retains ownership in about $3 million worth of them (can you fathom this?)  
How will Marie make do without George this holiday season? Well, she has her friends like Mia Matthews and Kim Heirston as pictured above. But she may feel like it’s not enough. She may feel like she needs more. Marie is a thirty-something woman in the prime of her life. Everybody knows that women in their 30s are pretty…how should I say this?… They are pretty “frisky”, to say the least. And George David, a very accomplished and competent business man, is 66 years old, meaning he’s not all that frisky anymore. I mean, he looks to be in excellent shape, I’m sure he works out. It appears that he has a pretty hard body, and a flat, taut tummy, which is good. But he’s sixty-six. And she is thirty-six. I am certain there were some issues there. Know what I mean?
Interestingly, Marie and George David did not have children. This is curious because it is not as if Marie was a career woman. True, she used to work at Lazard Asset Management (that is where they met) and seems to have been a career woman pre-marriage. But for the past six years she has been a homemaker. That gave her more than ample time to get her taut little abdomen filled up with George’s little spawns – especially given that she sounds like she was a typically frisky thirty-something. Know what I mean? But I have not heard of any children between them. So I doubt strongly they ever procreated. That tells me a lot. I draw a lot of conclusions there.
But, so, how is Marie making out this December? Well, we know her mother Birgitta is in town and has accompanied her daughter to court, and has spoken to the press. Birgitta allegedly said that George is controlling, and that her daughter has had a “terrible time with him.” So, Marie has support. And she may even get a fun present under the Christmas tree this year. I am sure she spent it at her penthouse at 740 Park Avenue where she and George own a stunning second home. Now that the divorce is underway, nothing stops her from being a cougar if she wants to. I mean, I wouldn’t recommend it, because it could make George agree to give her less, (whereas if she didn’t date anyone he might settle with her for a bit more than the $43 mill he promised in the post nup), but technically, if she starts dating someone now, it shouldn’t be an issue. If I were her, I wouldn’t do it, though. I would wait till we signed a stipulation of settlement…
The Deborah Madoff Divorce                                                                                Deborah Madoff is a complete mystery at this point. Nobody seems to know much about her. It doesn’t surprise me that she is keeping an ultra low profile now that her husband and her father are caught up in the biggest securities fraud that Wall Street has ever seen. 
But to be fair, prior to the scandal, the Madoffs seemed to lead a quiet, respectable life that included philanthropic causes and nonprofit organizations with charitable giving as their premise. Debbie and Andy even had a foundation, The Deborah and Andrew Madoff Foundation into which they threw millions in tax exempt dollars.
Deborah had a long term marriage, having married Andrew at 24 and remaining 17 years in the marriage. She described herself as a “homemaker” when she made contributions to political campaigns and she seemed to do that with some degree of regularity.  But there is no indication of what she is demanding from Andrew with this divorce. I read on the New York Post, and few other places that they have been “separated” for about a year. If that is so, then the Madoffs will probably be going for an “uncontested” divorce. A divorce by separation in New York is the closest we get to a “no fault divorce” in this state.
The curious thing is that when I searched the court’s website for an active case involving a “Deborah Madoff” and an “Andrew Madoff” I came up with zilch. This is weird. If they are in fact filing for divorce, the case should be up on the board. So either the Post got it wrong, or some glitch occurred at the Court house that resulted in the case not showing up on the roster of cases. Are the Madoff’s really getting a divorce? Or is this all rumor and speculation?
Do the Madoffs have kids? Not even that has been reported on in the Media so I can’t say for sure. My guess is that they do, though. I mean, after seventeen years of marriage (with Debbie being a “homemaker”) I would be stunned to learn that no children resulted. I don’t want to say that nobody stays married that long without having kids, because that is stupid. But given their age when they married, and the fact that she described herself as a “homemaker” I am pretty sure there are at least two kids floating around out there.
In which case, this holiday, Debbie won’t be as lonely, as say, Marie Douglas might be. She has her children to keep her company. She also reportedly has an “amicable” relationship with Andrew. And I am certain she has many friends and family around her. It is Andrew who is likely to feel uneasy at this time. He is not on speaking terms with either of his parents- Ruth and Bernard Madoff following his father’s arrest for investment securities fraud and the “big giant ponzi scheme” lie that he perpetrated against investors. Andrew and his brother Mark were the ones to turn their father in to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. So I am sure that is not an easy thing on the conscience of a child having to do something like that to the father. Andrew must be pretty depressed this Christmas. Hopefully, whichever woman he’s seeing – whether his wife Deborah, or as I heard in the grapevine, a woman named Catherine Hooper – I hope he finds some Christmas cheer this year.
How will Deborah make out at the end of the day with this divorce? It’s anybody’s guess. I hear Andrew’s dad owns a villa in the South of France, that looked something like this
I cannot confirm or deny the veracity of that. I also hear Bernie Madoff has shares in a gulfstream jet. And owns a yacht, art work and real estate. What did Andrew own? Who knows? Deborah can only get what Andrew owns, not what her father in law owns. They way things are going, he may very well not own a heck of a lot and whatever is left will probably be frozen by the government.
In which case, post holiday, Deborah may find that she walks away from the marriage (if they are truly getting a divorce) with nothing but the clothes on her back. But she won’t exactly be destitute or living on Section 8. She has a degree from Duke University. I am sure her  career prospects are pretty strong. She’s only 41.
Slavica Ecclestone Divorce
Slavica Ecclestone is the 50 year old Croatian beauty and former fashion model who is married to English Billionaire Bernie Ecclestone. In November, while he was away traveling in, I believe, Brazil, Slavica moved out of their posh Kensington town house and through her PR agency, announced that she is filing for divorce. Bernie apparently did not see it coming and is quoted as telling the reporters, “I did not know she had a PR agency. I will have to find out.”
I think of all the three women, Slavica is probably having the merriest Christmas. First of all, her husband wants her back and has vowed to “fight the divorce.” The Ecclestones have been married the longest, 24 years, and they have two gorgeous daughters, Tamara and Petra (the English Paris Hilton) Ecclestone. Although, I believe the are both over the age of 21, so it’s not as if Slavica will be getting child support for them. But they seem like a warm, loving family who plays together and laughs together. So one way or another, Slavica is having a merry little Christmas, I am sure.
BTW: Slavica and Bernie do not have a prenup. But more noteworthy, Mr. Ecclestone has reportedly put the lion’s share of his $3.7 billion dollar fortune in his wife’s name in offshore trusts. It was a way to “minimize” his taxes, and I guess the fact that he was married to this woman for 24 years gave him a sense of permanency and certainty that, say, George David did not have with Marie Douglas. But now that Slavica has filed for divorce, Bernie is naturally feeling very nervous. Certainly, he loves his wife, but some are suggesting that a part of the reason he was quoted as recently as December 15, 2008 saying, “I will fight this divorce I do not want a divorce,” is because if he does get a divorce, he may forfeit a significant chunk of his money, which he knowingly and willfully locked up in off shore trusts, outside the jurisdiction of the English Court.
I have to say, of all three women, my money is on Slavica Ecclestone. Not only is her husband’s networth several million times greater than Marie David’s and Deborah Madoff’s hubby, but her hubby has already put nearly $2.7 billion in her name in offshore trusts. Plus she has 2 beautiful, loving daughters. She’s still young enough to be a cougar, and her man, Bernie Ecclestone, is fighting to keep her as his queen. Check out a previous post here: