Bride of Wildenstein must pay for plastic surgery

Click to follow
JOCELYNE Wildenstein, whose addiction to plastic surgery has famously wrought havoc with her face, will have to pay for her own obsession in future.

That was the verdict of a US judge, ending the bitter divorce battle between her and her wealthy but publicity-shy art collector husband, Alec Wildenstein. "The wife shall be responsible for all elective plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures and shall be responsible for their cost," said Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Marilyn Diamond.

Mrs Wildenstein may have to pay for her own scalpel work, but she will get a slice of her husband's money, in the form of $2.4m maintenance a year and the town house in New York's Upper East Side where she caught her husband in bed last September with his teenage girlfriend. He will also have to throw in the 150-year-old chateau outside Paris, and a 66,000- acre ranch in Kenya that comes 55 artificial lakes.

Mr Wildenstein need not feel too much out of pocket. His father, Daniel, is reputed to be the richest art dealer in the world, the judge said, with art galleries in New York, Paris and Tokyo.

Mrs Wildenstein, on the other hand, will have to cut back, and not just on those facial experiments that have given rise to such cruel jibes as "Bride of Wildenstein" (she prefers to think her stretched skin, wide- apart eyes and inflated lips look feline). Her new allowance, which works out at about $140,000 a month, would scarcely cover the cost of a single haute couture dress from the Paris fashion shows she loves to attend. The judge said she used to spend about $10m a year on jewellery at Cartier.

Mr Wildenstein fought his wife's financial demands, saying he only earned $175,000 a year as his father's personal assistant, and owned no real property. He said the couple's houses were owned by his 80-year-old father.

The judge said Mr Wildenstein had never indicated that his wife spent too much, aside from opposing what he called "her bizarre psychological proclivity to have continuing plastic surgery and hair transplants and tattooing, which has submitted us to public ridicule".

Leading article, page 22