The son of billionaire George Soros thinks the answer to his messy divorce battle over a $22 million art collection is black and white.
Robert Soros wants to liquidate everything and move on, his lawyers said Wednesday in opening statements of the sparring spouses’ Manhattan trial.
“If the parties cannot agree on the value of the property then the property should be divided according to the contract and sold off,” said Alan Feigenbaum, a lawyer for Robert Soros, referring to the former couple’s prenuptial agreement.
“What is the purpose of introducing testimony of alleged contribution? None of that is relevant,” the lawyer said.
But lawyers for Soros’ estranged wife Melissa argued the pre-nuptial agreement doesn’t specify how the artwork should be divided.
“They want that the joint property be sold because the prenuptial says X, Y and Z,” said Bernard Clair, Melissa Soros’ lawyer. “But the prenuptial does not specifically address how the parties should divide up their property.”
She called the demand for a mass sale an attempt to “re-write” the prenup.
The pricey pieces include Christopher Wool’s “Fool” and Jeff Koons’ “The Empire State of Scotch, Dewar’s.”
Clair argued the art collection should be divided among the two parties based on sentimental value and preference.
Clair did not specify which works of art Melissa Soros wanted to keep.
As the lawyers talked, Robert and Melissa sat silently in their seats, avoiding eye contact.
“This is going to go on for months,” Melissa Soros groaned as she stepped out of the courtroom during a break.
Robert Soros is president of the $26 billion Soros Fund Management. He filed for divorce in May 2014. The couple has two adult children.
Robert Soros initially claimed the disputed art belonged to him alone because his name was on the bills of sale.
A lower court previously ruled in his favor but an appeals court overturned the ruling.
Melissa Soros has maintained they acquired the paintings together so she is entitled to half their value.
Robert’s estimated net worth tops $350 million, according to reports.