A former supermodel has been awarded a €62m cash settlement in a High Court divorce money battle with her Saudi billionaire ex-husband.

Christina Estrada, 54, was fighting for €230m from international businessman Sheikh Walid Juffali, 61, to meet her “reasonable needs”.

Her lawyers said the total settlement she is to receive, taking into account her own assets, is in the region of €88m.

She rejected an offer which, added to her own assets, would have given her some €43m to live on.

Her lawyers said that the award of approximately £75 million (sterling) is “by more than £50m the largest needs award ever made by an English court”.

Ms Estrada said in a statement: “I am very grateful for today’s ruling.

“I have lived in the United Kingdom since 1988 and am thankful for access to the British courts.”

Thanking her legal team for their help, she said: “I never wanted to be here. I always wanted to resolve the matter amicably.

“This process has been incredibly bruising and distressing.

“Walid and I were happily married for 12 years and have a beautiful daughter together.

“He took both a second wife and divorced me without my knowledge.

“His use of diplomatic immunity to try and prevent me from access to a legally binding settlement set a worrying precedent.

“Having grown up in a middle-class family and having enjoyed a successful career until my marriage, I am fully aware that the spectacular life Walid and I led was immensely fortunate and rarefied. And I fully understand how this can be perceived in the wider world.

“My focus now is to support my daughter and move forward with our lives. For her sake and the sake of our wider family, I hope we can resolve matters sensibly.”

Ms Estrada was intensively cross-examined in court on her needs, including her claim that she requires Stg£1m a year for clothes, including £40,000 for fur coats, £109,000 for haute couture dresses and £21,000 for shoes.

She told family judge Mrs Justice Roberts: “‘I am Christina Estrada. I was a top, international model. I have lived this life. This is what I am accustomed to.”

She said of her 13-year marriage: “It is difficult to convey the extraordinary level of luxury and opulence we were fortunate enough to enjoy.”

Although her final award fell short of her stratospheric target, Justin Warshaw QC, appearing for Dr Juffali, said: “Fifty-three million to a lady who has £20m (in her own assets) is an astonishing amount of money.”


Lifestyle

Cork author Conal Creedon tells Richard Fitzpatrick about some of his influences, from characters in his family’s shop to Ian Dury and Jim JarmuschCulture That Made Me: Conal Creedon on showbands, punk rock and playing the saw

A new thriller on Netflix is already causing a stir, and JK Rowling has set the internet alight with chapters of her fairytale, writes Des O’DriscollOnline Entertainment Tips: Snowpiercer, JK Rowling's new tale, and two films on Repeal

She's been sorting out Cork people for ages likeAsk Audrey: Normal People is basically a Maeve Binchy novel with mobile phones

Every evening, volunteers set out on bikes from Penny Dinners, delivering food and supplies to Cork’s homeless community. Donal O’Keeffe accompanied the Knight Riders on their rounds.Knight Riders bike around Cork city to deliver food to the homeless for Cork Penny Dinners

More From The Irish Examiner