A FAMILY DIVIDED
YOU South Africa|5 August 2021
When her ex refused to pay out her settlement, this Russian divorcée decided to sue their vengeful son
CARLA COETZEE
THEY seemed to have it all: two kids, luxury mansions, a superyacht, a private jet, an extensive art collection and enough money to buy whatever else they wanted.

Yet when they appeared in the London High Court, the judge described the Akhmedov family as one of the unhappiest to ever have appeared in her courtroom.

For five years Tatiana Akhmedova has been locked in a messy legal battle with her billionaire ex-husband, Farkhad Akhmedov. In 2016 she was awarded an astronomical settlement where she’d get a little less than half of the Russian businessman’s £1 billion (then R17bn) estate.

The court ruled Tatiana, who lives in London, is entitled to £453m (R7,7bn) – one of the biggest divorce payouts in history. But her ex-husband refused to hand over a single rouble and kept his money, and himself, far away from the UK where the ruling was made.

Tatiana (48) claims he hid millions in assets and companies around the globe. Farkhad (66) also transferred cash and assets to their son, which he masked as gifts, to avoid paying her the money.

For years she’s tried to recover what’s rightfully hers. At one stage she even tried to seize his £340m (now R6,8bn) superyacht, Luna. The yacht – built for Farkhad’s close friend Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea football club – has 10 VIP cabins and a 20m swimming pool.

But going up against Farkhad, an oligarch and ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin, was like bringing a knife to a gunfight. Having run out of options, she decided to sue their son.

Temur Akhmedov was “his father’s lieutenant” in a scheme to conceal the fortune, she said in court papers. Tatiana wanted the court to compel him to pay her. But Temur (27) refused, claiming his mother is a gold-digger.

She “doesn’t deserve a penny” because his parents divorced 20 years earlier after she had an affair with one of his friends, he says.

But at the end of it all, Temur was the legal loser when he was ordered to pay £75m (R1,5bn) to his mother.

Tatiana was “a victim of a series of schemes designed to put every penny of the husband’s wealth beyond her reach”, the judge said.

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