Judge urges couple to stop ‘boxing match’ divorce proceedings and settle their differences as legal costs have soared to £1million
Ekaterina Parfenova, 42, beauty queen and actress and her husband Richard Fields, 59, an international lawyer based in Miami married in 2002 and have two children. The couple divorced in March 2013, however Decree Absolute is yet to be pronounced as they have been in dispute over Mr Fields’ £6million fortune. Miss Parfenova has been married twice and Mr Fields have been married five times, and between them they have already ran up an estimated £1million in legal costs.
Mr Justice Holman said he was driven to ‘despair’ at the lack of cooperation of the parties and issued a desperate plea for them to settle the case outside of the court. Mr Justice Holman went on to describe the former couple’s behaviour to that of a boxing match stating the fact they had spent £1million pounds was ‘very very unedifying’. Despite the judge’s remarks, the ten-day trial has gone ahead.
One of the key issues between Miss Parfenova and Mr Fields is the question of where Ms Parfenova and their two children will live. Miss Parfenova is seeking a £2.6million share of their estimated £6million assets and an annual payment of up to £750,000. This payment is said to include mortgage payments for a £5.5million flat near Kensington Palace. Miss Parfenova has stated that she feels that this is ‘appropriate’ to her needs. Mr Fields has offered to pay Miss Parfenova £2.2million and payments of £230,000 a year and suggested that she live in a £2million home in Battersea in South West London, where properties are less expensive.
This is the first case of its kind to be heard in open court in London and during the 4th day of the hearing Mr Fields gave evidence stating that Miss Partenova asked him to ‘give her £500,000 before she left her former husband for him’. Mr Fields went on to state that he complied with the request as he was ‘madly in love’.
During final speeches, Mr Marks QC, Counsel for Miss Parfenova took the opportunity in the High Court to suggest that both his client and Mr Fields ‘are not rich people’ and that there was not enough money for them to continue living the standard of life they once had. He also made reference to the fact that they would have to ‘cut their cloth’ adding that it had been agreed that Miss Parfenova’s hopes of buying a £5.5m home were unrealistic.
The judge is expected to reserve his decision until next month.