An entrepreneur who brought a Playboy model to his luxury apartment fights his ex-wife in court after complaining that a divorce judge handed her millions and left him nothing.
Richard Rothschild and Charmaine de Souza had a 21-year relationship after meeting as a student, getting married in 2005, having two children, and running a thriving telecommunications business in West London.
The couple led a lavish lifestyle, with Mr. Rothschild driving a Lamborghini. They lived together in the UK, where their mutual business was conducted in London, although the couple also enjoyed a multi-million dollar apartment in an exclusive block of flats in Miami Beach.
The couple separated in 2016 and first met in court in 2018 after Mr. Rothschild moved his new girlfriend, American playboy model Sherra Michelle, to the Miami apartment.
Mr. Rothschild does not descend from the well-known Rothschild family who made their fortune in banking, but is said to have been known as Richard Pierzchalo-Piasecki before changing his name to a Companies House record in June 2016.
In December of last year, divorce judge Justice Cohen shared her assets and gave Ms. de Souza, 46, the £ 1.85 million telecommunications company BusinessMobiles.com, based in Park Royal, West London, which had run together, as well as cash and cash Real estate worth almost another £ 1m
Richard Rothschild (left) moved Playboy model Sherra Michelle (right) into the apartment that he once shared with his wife and children after his separation
The 45-year-old Rothschild received the Miami apartment, which the judge had valued at $ 3 million (£ 2.38 million), but which the husband considered far less valuable, so that after the family debt was paid off, he was left with practically nothing would have.
He is now contesting the "unfair" divorce decree before the Court of Appeals, where his lawyers said this week that he "has practically no capital or income".
The former couple waged an earlier judicial war on the apartment in 2018 after Mr. Rothschild moved in with his then girlfriend, Ms. Michelle, and asked Ms. de Souza to jail him for disregarding the court.
This clash exploded after Mr. Rothschild said the Miami Beach property was his own, but a divorce judge in London told him he needed to share it 50/50 with his ex.
He promised to give up the "free possession" of the luxury apartment, to spend thousands of dollars on the repair and to bring it to the rental market.
But instead he stayed there himself and also left his then-girlfriend Miss Michelle, lawyers for his ex said.
The former couple finally resolved their differences on the matter, and a year later, Judge Cohen divided his assets and handed the business over to Ms. De Souza and the entire apartment to Mr. Rothschild.
Charmaine De Souza, 46, before the London Court of Appeal. The judge awarded her £ 1.85m worth of Park Royal's jointly operated mobile phone business in West London and nearly £ 1m worth of cash and real estate
But his lawyer Patrick Chamberlayne QC informed the Court of Appeals that after paying debts, including about £ 300,000 in legal fees for her divorce, the woman's judge's order left £ 1,760,138 in capital, while Mr. Rothschild only left £ 23,938 Received pounds.
And he went on to claim that the situation was actually worse than that for the husband, arguing that the judge overrated the Miami Beach apartment by £ 615,000 and that Mr. Rothschild had left nothing behind from the marriage while his ex got millions.
"There is nothing left for the husband in terms of income or capital, and the wife has the means to meet all of their needs in the form of this business," said the lawyer.
He said the judge withheld "every penny, everything he had achieved in this 21-year marriage" from the husband and left him with no assets or ability to meet his needs.
Mr. Chamberlayne argued that the judge did not take into account Mr. Rothschild's financial needs when allocating the couple's assets, only the needs of his ex-wife.
The "great inequality" in what the former couple ultimately had to do is due to the fact that the judge took into account Mr. Rothschild's "behavior" during the long-standing legal dispute.
Mr. Justice Cohen had criticized some of Rothschild's behaviors as "deplorable" and said he was "vengeful and irrational," Mr. Chamberlayne told the Court of Appeals.
The luxury condominium building in Miami that houses Richard Rothschild's home – the judge estimated this at $ 3 million (£ 2.38 million), but the husband says it is far less worth, so he says the repayment of the family debt has practically nothing
"There is no doubt that the husband presented himself to the judge as an unattractive personality, insensitive, cocky and presumptuous," added the lawyer.
He continued, “The overwhelming impression is that the judge sympathized with the woman's position because of the husband's behavior, and it is not part of this appeal that he was not entitled to do so.
"However, this resulted in him losing sight of the needs of both parties and achieving the final draconian result. All of the net worth and disposable income go to one party and the other party receives nothing permanently."
He added: "This form of large inequality needs to be explained in terms of behavior, and it is not enough for the judge to say in various parts of the judgment, such as" the husband took this upon himself "."
The judge's reasoning for the outcome was that the woman needed the business to generate income to meet her and the needs of the children. It also had to be largely debt free, ”he said.
The result was, in fact, that it would be largely debt-free, with a deal worth £ 1.85m and a net monthly income of £ 18,000 (£ 216,000 a year). The income would also allow her to pay her rent
"However, the husband would … end up with no capital and no income at all."
Mr. Rothschild presented himself to the judge as an unattractive personality, insensitive, high-spirited and presumptuous, said a lawyer
He also claimed that a local real estate agent's assessment indicated that the judge overvalued the apartment, which was the most important asset the husband had taken out of the marriage, by £ 615,000.
"That would lower his capital figure from £ 23,938 to minus £ 591,000," the QC said.
He added: "Given that the husband had practically no capital (£ 23,000) due to a sale of $ 3 million, the judge should have given due consideration to the impact on him if the property had been sold for less. "
Mr. Chamberlayne asked Lord Justice Patten, Lord Justice Moylan and Lord Justice Newey to reverse the divorce judge's order.
But for Mrs. de Souza, Charles Hale QC argued that the judge had done it right.
He said that the different results for Mr. Rothschild and Ms. De Souza could be explained by the fact that the judge took into account their children's needs.
In this case, the judge reserved his decision at the end of a one-day hearing, which is to be held at a later date.
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