A property developer whose wife left him for the footballer Cesc Fabregas has accused British judges of favouring “badly behaved” wives as he expressed exasperation over his divorce settlement.
Daniella Senaan split with her husband 11 months after she was photographed on holiday with the footballer. Left: the Belgravia flat Photo: Xclusive/Heathcliff O’Malley
Elie Taktouk, who had two children with Daniella Semaan during 12 years of marriage, was livid when the courts allowed the former Arsenal player to buy Mr Taktouk’s former family home in London. He claimed the price was £2 million less than its true value.
The property was put up for sale as part of the divorce proceedings. Mr Taktouk had wanted to sell it for £7.5 million, but had to accept £5.5 million from a company set up by Fabregas.
“They are not interested if you are right or wrong,” Mr Taktouk said. “They are just trying to protect the woman. They protect the badly behaved ones, not the well behaved ones who are dedicated to their work, family or life — they don’t get anything. It’s the one who sits at home all day [who is favoured].”
Miss Semaan, 38, who is Lebanese, split from her husband in 2011, months after she was seen on holiday with the Barcelona player. She had a baby with Fabregas in April.
The High Court ordered Mr Taktouk to sell the couple’s Grade II-listed flat in Belgravia to provide £1.4 million for his ex-wife to buy a home.
The sale of the property was put into Miss Semaan’s hands and she accepted an offer of £5.5 million from Fabregas.
Elie Taktouk (WENN.com)
Mr Taktouk tried to block the sale, saying he had interested parties willing to pay £7.5 million, but in July the Court of Appeal rejected the application.
Speaking for the first time since the ruling, Mr Taktouk, 38, told the Evening Standard that the court told him how to sell the house and at what price.
“It’s a gross injustice that the system has done and will continue to do with everyone,” he said. “I would like to tell people to be careful what they get into and take the necessary precautions.
“As much as I respect the system, the family courts in our country are appalling. It’s not about justice, it’s about what’s convenient.”
During their divorce hearing Miss Semaan claimed that Fabregas, 26, was not as wealthy as people believed and she needed to sell their marital home so they could divide the assets to pay her living expenses. At a High Court hearing Mr Justice Coleridge ruled that the Belgravia flat should be sold and Miss Semaan awarded £1.4 million.
Stephen Lyon, for Mr Taktouk, previously told the Court of Appeal: “Mr Fabregas, we say, is quite clearly a resource of far greater significance than the wife let on in the course of her evidence.”
Mr Taktouk indicated that he objected to providing funds for his ex-wife to buy a home when she had started a new life with a man who earns £5 million a year.
During the hearing in July, Miss Semaan denied that Fabregas had bought the flat so she could carry on living in it. She said the footballer intended to rent it out as an investment.
She said she was planning to move to Spain, but Appeal Court judge Mr Justice Floyd said that: “If the sale goes through to Mr Fabregas there will be a real possibility that the children will remain in the flat, in their home, and that remains a powerful factor in favour of allowing the sale to go ahead.”
SOURCE: The Telegraph