Supermodel Linda Evangelista wants her boy to get at least $46,000 a month for child support
Evangelista says her preschooler son needs armed bodyguards and his own drive
By Barbara Ross AND Bill Hutchinson / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, April 30, 2012, 11:36 PM
Cover of Vogue's August 2006 edition with a pregnant and 41-year-old Linda Evangelista. The modeling industry is supposed to be all about who's young, who's hot and who's next. Her and other supermodels, now in their 30s and 40s, are not disappearing from the scene.
The millionaire model and her boy’s billionaire father, François-Henri Pinault, are set to have a Manhattan Family Court faceoff beginning Thursday over what threatens to shatter the record for child support.
If Evangelista gets her way, her son, Augie, will not have to wake up a single day without raking in roughly $1,500 from daddy.
In total, he would net $807,000 in benefits per year.
“She’s in for a big surprise. I wouldn’t be counting the money yet,” said famed Manhattan divorce lawyer Raoul Felder, predicting her pie-in-the-sky payday will get shot down.
Felder and other lawyers specializing in New York family law said that when determining child support, judges have to consider how much it reasonably costs to care for a child.
“Most of the time, there are formulas for this. There’s no windfall in child support,” said Felder, explaining the decision will not be based on Pinault’s bulging bank account.
Pinault, 49, is chief executive of PPR, the conglomerate that owns Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci and Bottega Veneta. He owns luxury homes in Paris and Los Angeles, has a collection of at least 60 fancy watches and is heir to an $11.5 billion family estate that includes the Christie’s auction house, the Château-Latour vineyard in Bordeaux and the French premiere league football team Stade Rennais.
He’s also married to glamorous movie star Salma Hayek.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto
But Pinault is balking at meeting Evangelista’s child-support demands, arguing they’re excessive even for someone dubbed the “King of Luxury.”
Evangelista is countering that their preschooler needs armed bodyguards and his own driver.
“I need to protect him,” Evangelista told Love magazine in February.
Scoffing at critics who say her court case is just a ploy for publicity, she insisted, “I never, ever used my son for publicity.”
Quizzing her about her son’s need for around-the-clock nannies, a judge asked Evangelista in family court last year how many hours she worked per week.
“When I work, it can be a 16-hour day,” she answered defensively. “On days when I do not work, I am working on my image. I have to hit the gym. I have beauty appointments. I have to work toward my next job and maintaining my image, just like an athlete.”
She’s also demanding Pinault provide her son a home on par with the $13 million California mansion he put in a trust for his and Hayek’s 4-year-old daughter, Valentina.
Legal experts said the amount is not set by how much the noncustodial parent, in this case is Pinault, can afford. However, judges also consider factors like how other offspring live.
If a judge sides with Evangelista, Pinault will surpass hip-hop mogul Sean (P. Diddy) Combs as the state’s king of child support.
Combs has forked over the most child support of anyone in the state since 2005, when he was ordered to pay roughly $19,000 a month to Misa Hylton Brim, the mother of his son, Justin.
This will mark the first child-support battle involving the ultrarich in Manhattan since billionaire Ron Perelman and his millionaire ex-wife Patricia Duff duked it out in 1999. Perelman was ordered to pay $12,000 a month to their daughter, Caleigh.
Evangelista, 46, whose flawless face has graced over 600 magazine covers, is worth about $8 million. She earned $1.8 million last year modeling sunglasses for Chanel and serving as the face of L’Oreal Paris.
She lives in a stunning penthouse in Chelsea and keeps a second apartment near her son’s school on the upper East Side for playdates.
Up until last summer, Evangelista had been dating billionaire Peter Morton, co-founder of the Hard Rock Cafe.
Soon after splitting with Morton, she filed her case against Pinault, claiming he had never paid her a dime in child support.
Since then, Pinault has been paying undisclosed child support for Augie and financing his health care and education. But Evangelista says it’s not enough.
In an interview last year with the French edition of Elle magazine, Pinault defended himself against the perception that he had been a deadbeat dad.
“At every possible opportunity he has participated in my family life whether in France or the United States,” he said of Augie, who under French law stands to inherit one-quarter of his father’s estate.
“He is totally integrated within my family,” Pinault said.
Pinault and Evangelista dated from September 2005 until January 2006. She was pregnant with their son when Pinault began dating Hayek in April 2006.
Evangelista kept the name of her son’s father secret until she revealed Pinault’s name in court papers last August.
Since then, she and Pinault have been unable to negotiate a deal to avoid a trial, now expected to last four days.
Pinault, an amateur magician, is hoping Aaronson displays the same type of courtroom magic he exhibited for Smith, whose ex-wife was forced to stick to a prenup agreement entitling her to only $750,000 of his $25 million fortune.