Elle Macpherson's billionaire husband in $100m lawsuit over deadly helicopter crash

Documents claim the supermodel allegedly urged the widow of a man killed by the crash in the Bahamas, to take a payout

A lawsuit brought against the billionaire husband of Elle Macpherson has alleged the supermodel attempted to persuade a grieving widow to release the real estate magnate from liability for a deadly helicopter crash.

According to a copy of the $100million lawsuit filed at Miami Federal District Court and published on the New York Post's website, Ms Macpherson allegedly urged the widow of attorney Lance Valdez, Daria Valdez, to take a payout.

The lawsuit alleges Ms Macpherson's husband, Jeffrey Soffer, was flying the helicopter despite not having a license when it crashed in the Bahamas in November 2012. A licensed pilot was on board the aircraft but not at the controls, it was claimed. Mr Soffer, who owns Miami's Fontainebleau Hotel, and four others survived the crash while Mr Valdez, 48, was killed. Ms Macpherson was not involved.

Co-defendants Daniel and Paula Riordan, as well as Alex Krys, were on board helicopter, the lawsuit said, and conspired with Mr Soffer and the pilot to conceal who was in control.

The lawsuit reportedly claimed a $2million release from the helicopter insurers was secured, but in order to access the money Mrs Valdez would have to sign an agreement that would have released the insurance carrier “and the other passengers of the helicopter”, which included Mr Soffer, who could have been held personally liable for damages.

It stated: “Soffer induced his then girlfriend and now wife, Elle Macpherson [also a friend of Daria's] to call Charles Holzer, another close family friend of both Lance and Daria, and told him that Soffer was annoyed about Daria's delay in signing the release, telling Holzer that 'Soffer doesn't have to do this you know'.”

Mr Soffer's lawyer, Bob Martinez, told the Associated Press in an email statement the lawsuit had no merit. “Mr Soffer denies all the allegations of wrongdoing contained in the complaint,” the statement said. It added he was very sympathetic to the widow and the children “for their grave loss” and he “still mourns deeply the death of his good friend Lance Valdez”.

Shortly before Jeffrey Soffer's alleged crash in the Bahamas, the lawsuit says he flew over a golf course “and pointed out his house and yacht” before encountered turbulence.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk