Monday 26 September 2016

'Money cannot buy you love,' millionaire at centre of costly divorce battle tells judge

By Brian Farmer

Published 14/05/2015 | 18:18

Ekaterina Fields arrives at High Court in London for a hearing in her multi-million pound cash dispute with her estranged lawyer husband, Richard. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Ekaterina Fields arrives at High Court in London for a hearing in her multi-million pound cash dispute with her estranged lawyer husband, Richard. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

A millionaire American lawyer embroiled in a High Court cash fight with his fifth wife told a judge today that "money cannot buy you love".

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Richard Fields, 59, admitted being "generous" to women and a hearing in London had been told of gifts including a diamond ring, Porsche cars and a shopping spree at Saks Fifth Avenue.

But Mr Fields told Mr Justice Holman: "I know that money cannot buy you love."

Mr Fields and estranged wife Ekaterina Fields - a 42-year-old Russian former beauty queen - are fighting over who gets what at a public hearing in the Family Division of the High Court.

Read more: Former beauty queen denies marrying for money in multi-million pound divorce

Mr Justice Holman has been told that the couple were married for about a decade, have two children and disagree over the division of assets worth around £6 million.

Ekaterina Fields arrives at High Court in London for a hearing in her multi-million pound cash dispute with her estranged lawyer husband, Richard. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Ekaterina Fields arrives at High Court in London for a hearing in her multi-million pound cash dispute with her estranged lawyer husband, Richard. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The judge has also heard that the dispute could cost the couple more than £1 million in legal bills.

Lawyers have said Mrs Fields, who has told reporters outside court that she is a model and a former Miss World University, has been married twice and Mr Fields five times.

Mr Fields told Mr Justice Holman that he had been unhappy with Mrs Fields and had been "exiled to the sofa".

"I feel horrible that our relationship has come to this point," he said.

"I have spent years sleeping on the sofa. There were other things and I don't want to talk about them in public."

He added: "My decision to divorce my wife was the result of a long unhappy relationship in which I felt abused."

Mr Fields said relationships were "complicated".

"I care deeply about her," he said. "She is the mother of my children."

He added: "Today I want her to be peaceful so she can have a happy life."

Mr Fields said that Mrs Fields had previously been married to a wealthy banker.

Read more: Wife in costly divorce battle tells judge: 'I won't work... but I will try to find a new husband'

Mrs Fields earlier told the court that she did not intend to work in future.

She said she was a ''very good wife'' and she would try to find a new husband.

Mrs Fields - who says she has a business studies degree and has worked as a personal assistant and tried real estate brokerage and diamond trading - was questioned by a barrister representing Mr Fields.

Stephen Trowell QC asked her: ''Do you intend to work at all after today?''

Mrs Fields replied ''No. I intend to make attempts at making money ... It is unclear at this point how I would succeed.''

She added: ''I am a very good wife. I will try to find a husband.''

Mrs Fields has denied marrying Mr Fields for money.

A barrister representing her said Mr Fields had portrayed her as a "gold digger".

Lewis Marks QC told the judge: ''It is the husband's case that my client married him for his money and he indulged her throughout.''

Mrs Fields said: ''It was not at all the dynamic of the relationship.''

The judge later called a halt to the court fight between Ekaterina and Richard Fields in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the couple to reach a settlement.

Mr Justice Holman warned the couple that some of the evidence emerging would fill "columns" of newsprint.

He stopped the hearing and suggested that Mr and Mrs Fields and their legal teams talk outside court and try to reach agreement.

But lawyers returned about 30 minutes later, said it had not been possible to settle differences and the hearing continued.

The judge had urged a settlement at the start of the hearing.

He told Mrs Fields how "awful" divorce court fights were and explained that the "boxing match" would be staged in public.

"I warned how destructive all this could be," Mr Justice Holman added today. "It is just terrible."

He added: "I have done everything I possibly can to try and prevent this case going on like this."

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