One of Britain's longest and most bitter divorce battles ended on
Friday with a High Court judge branding a well-connected millionaire
"a liar" and his ex-wife "a conspiracy theorist."
Far from being "penniless and hopelessly bankrupt", as he had claimed,
Scot Young, 51, was worth 40m pounds ($65m) and his estranged wife
Michelle Young, 49, should get half of it, judge Philip Moor ruled.
"This case has been quite extraordinary even by the standards of the
most bitter of matrimonial breakdowns," Moor wrote in his ruling,
noting that it had taken over six years and 65 court hearings to come
The case has made headlines in Britain because of the size of the
claims and the fact that Scot Young has enjoyed financial help from
high-profile friends including Philip Green, the billionaire owner of
the Topshop retail chain.
Michelle has run up legal bills of 6.5m pounds, while Scot has served
six months in jail for failing to provide full and frank disclosure of
The pair were married for 17 years until 2006 and enjoyed a lavish
lifestyle of mansions, jet-setting holidays and gifts of diamond
jewellery, funded by Scot's investments in property, technology and
It all fell apart when the marriage broke down, coincided with what
the husband described as a total meltdown of his business empire that
left him "penniless and hopelessly bankrupt" with unpaid debts of 28m
The judge said it was impossible to know the full truth of his
financial position due to "the significant number of lies told by the
husband to so many people over such a long period."