Saturday, July 18, 2009

Countess gets $72m in divorce

Ms Marie Douglas-David arrives at Hartford Family Court for her divorce trial from United Technologies Chairman George David on July 13. -- PHOTO: AP

HARTFORD (Connecticut) - THE chairman of United Technologies ended his marriage - and a highly publicised divorce trial - on Friday by giving his Swedish countess ex-wife a settlement agreement worth about US$50 million (S$72.52 million).

George David and Marie Douglas-David signed the pact in Hartford Family Court, drawing an end to a rancorous trial that featured days of testimony about lavish gifts, their jet-setting lifestyles and detailed accusations of infidelity.

The couple married in 2002 in Greenwich and signed a postnuptial agreement in 2005 that awarded 37-year-old Ms Douglas-David the equivalent of US$43 million if the couple split.

But for months now she has been using a high-profile legal team, including New York celebrity divorce lawyer William Beslow, to bargain for about US$99 million from Mr David's US$329 million fortune.

Trial hearings started in March and resumed on Monday before Judge Stephen Frazzini.

Settlement talks began on Tuesday night after a particularly difficult day on the stand for Mr David, who was grilled about Ms Douglas-David's attempts to repair the torn marriage while he was carrying out a relationship with girlfriend Wendy Touton. The sides had unsuccessfully sought to reach a settlement outside of court on several previous occasions.

The settlement gives Ms Douglas-David, a Swedish countess and former Wall Street analyst, a US$42.5 million portfolio plus US$6.5 million and some personal property. -- AP

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