A “shoe-in” divorce from Monaco to Manhattan

Photo: nyphotographic.com
Photo: nyphotographic.com

A wealthy socialite wants a Manhattan judge to move her divorce hearing from Monaco to New York so she won’t risk losing any expensive gifts received from her husband since they married in Hong Kong in 2008. Tracey Hejailan-Amon could lose $70 million that her estranged husband, Swiss businessman Maurice Alain Amon, whose family-owned company Sicpa, according to WSJ, produces “security inks for most of the world’s bank notes, as well as passports and lottery scratch cards”, gave her during their eight-year union, her lawyers have claimed.

The “gifts” Hejailan-Amon received include a $15 million Fifth Avenue apartment, jewellery, cars, art and furnishings – all of which the 47-year-old would keep if the case were tried in New York.

She’d also have a shot at half of a $25 million art collection, which includes work by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Damien Hirst, the couple built during their marriage, according to the New York Post.

Hejailan-Amon doesn’t file taxes, vote or have a driver’s licence in New York – but she still wants the benefit of the state’s generous “equitable distribution” law. Her lawyer, Judd Burstein, argued at a recent Manhattan Supreme Court appearance that the former couple has homes in France, Monaco, Switzerland and New York – and Hejailan-Amon visited her Manhattan pad so often that it should be considered her legal residence.

Amon’s attorney, Peter Bronstein, called the spurned spouse a “gold digger” who is demanding $235,000 in monthly alimony on top of the gifts. Mr Amon, 64, maintains that since his ex-wife kept her treasure trove of shoes in Monaco, that’s where their home was.

“If we prevail, as I believe we will, Mr Amon will find himself in a New York divorce case, where he stands to lose perhaps $100 million more than what a Monaco court might order,” Burstein said. The judge said she would rule on the matter within 60 days.