Supermodel Linda Evangelista will meet the wealthy father of her five-year-old son in court this week in a bid to get $46,000 (Rs 25 lakh) a month in child support — an amount that would shatter records if granted.
Evangelista gave birth to her son Augie when his father, French billionaire François-Henri Pinault, was dating Hollywood actress Salma Hayek. The couple now has a daughter, Valentina.
The model claims Pinault should give their son more than $1,500 a day (Rs 80,000) for childcare and armed guards for his protection.
The case, which has come to a Manhattan family court, as the former couple has been unable to agree on a deal, is expected to last four days.
When she brought the claim in August last year, 46-year-old Evangelista said the money would cover around-the-clock childcare and armed chauffeurs to take care of her son.
“I need to protect him,” said Evangelista.
Last year a judge questioned the model’s need for full-time nannies, asking how often she worked.
“When I work, it can be a 16-hour day,” she said. “On days when I do not work, I am working on my image. I have to hit the gym. I have beauty appointments. I have to work toward my next job and maintaining my image, just like an athlete.”
Evangelista is also demanding Pinault give her son a home similar to the million dollar California mansion he put in a trust for his and Hayek’s daughter.
But Manhattan divorce lawyer Raoul Felder said the eye-watering payout was unlikely. He pointed out that judges consider how much it costs to care for a child, rather than the wealth of the parents.
“She’s in for a big surprise. I wouldn’t be counting the money yet,” he said.
Pinault is chief executive of PPR, the conglomerate that owns Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci and Bottega Veneta and owns homes in Paris and Los Angeles.
His family estate includes the Christie’s auction house, the Château-Latour vineyard in Bordeaux and the French premiere league football team Stade Rennais.
Despite this wealth, he has argued his former girlfriend’s demands are excessive.
Despite the case, Evangelista is not so hard up herself, earning millions from high-profile modelling campaigns, cosmetic contracts and cover shoots.
Daddy day care
If a judge grants the amount, Pinault will overtake hip-hop star P Diddy in the highest payout for child care.
In 2005, Diddy was ordered to pay $19,000 (Rs 10 lakh) a month to Misa Hylton Brim, the mother of his son.