A British judge has ordered a British billionaire to pay his ex-wife $137 million after accusing him of “reprehensible” behavior during their divorce.
Sir Frederick Barclay, 86, was accused of selling a luxury yacht and using the proceeds “for his own use” by Justice Cohen of the High Court in London, who ruled that he had violated existing orders in his divorce proceedings with estranged wife Lady Hiroko, 77.
Sir Frederick Barclay owns the Telegraph in the United Kingdom, among many other media properties, as well as holdings in shipping and retail.
Sir Fredrick and Lady Hiroko had been married for 34 years when they divorced, citing “unreasonable conduct” as the reason for their split. They soon became entangled in a tumultuous divorce fight.
Lady Hiroko had asked for a divorce settlement of $167 million.
In his ruling, Justice Cohen was harsh on the billionaire, accusing him of consistently failing to comply with orders to produce documents and answer questions, further delaying the settlement.
“The main accusation I levelled at (Sir Frederick) concerned his handling of instructions for the processing of documents and responses to questions,” he explained.
“Those orders were issued expressly in the sense of (him) attempting to claim that loan notes to which he was entitled, and which constituted the vast majority of his income, were unlikely to be honored, in whole or in part, due to an alleged lack of liquidity in the underlying family businesses.”
He said his orders were “intended to monitor the sale and use of the proceeds,” but Sir Frederick obviously disobeyed them by selling his yacht and wasting the proceeds.
“The act was reprehensible to me,” he said.
Justice Cohen also issued a divorce decree.
The ‘Barclay Brothers,’ Sir Frederick and his twin brother Sir David, are two of the most prominent British businessmen in the UK. Sir David passed away in January at the age of 86.
Prior to his death, the couple was valued at over $9 billion by the Sunday Times Rich List.
- Sir Fredrick and Lady Hiroko Barclay: PA Images via Getty Images