'A financial and emotional disaster' - Irish woman wins divorce court fight with Iranian businessman
An Irish woman has won a London divorce court fight with her wealthy estranged Iranian husband.
Businessman Mehrdad Radseresht (72) says Barbara Spain-Radseresht (49) agreed to a divorce when they lived in the Middle East more than seven years ago.
The couple, who met through work in 1990 and married in Tehran two years later, ran successful businesses together.
Mrs Spain-Radseresht, who comes from Dublin and now lives in London, said she was "completely unaware" of the alleged divorce in Dubai and says she is entitled to a fair share of a marital fortune running into tens of millions of pounds.
The mother-of-three said she only found out about it a year ago when she made a separate divorce application.
On Friday, Mr Justice Cohen rejected Mr Radseresht's claim that they reached a settlement in September 2009 after Mrs Spain-Radseresht was unfaithful and that the divorce was entitled to recognition in this jurisdiction.
Mrs Spain-Radseresht said she signed whatever documents were put in front of her because she was feeling guilty about the affair.
The judge said one of the documents was in a language she did not understand and she was given no explanation or opportunity to seek advice.
He ruled that the divorce should not be recognised because of the lack of notice and ability to participate.
The judge said that after 2009, the divorce was not mentioned to their children or friends, hotel bookings and financial transactions were made as husband and wife and Mr Radseresht even presented her to the vice-president of Iran as his "wife".
"All of this is inconsistent with what the husband says was their now-divorced status."
He added: "This case has been a financial and emotional disaster for the parties and the children.
"It has been obvious throughout that the parties have found it very difficult.
"I have not found that either party has the monopoly of truth or virtue.
"I am sure they both care deeply for their children, who have been so affected by these proceedings, and I urge them as strongly as I can to sit down and mediate their remaining differences so they can cease this battle and the whole family can benefit."