French President Nicolas Sarkozy has a little brother in New York.
He’s 41; he’s a big gun at the Carlyle Group; and he says he’s probably more a New Yorker than a Parisian.
However, in Olivier Sarkozy’s opinion, this does not mean that his French pre-nup should simply be thrown out the window because he’s getting divorced in the U.S.
His wife, however, does.
Yesterday, Charlotte Sarkozy argued in a Manhattan court that since her and her soon-to-be ex-husband are technically New Yorkers, New York law – not French law – should be applied to their divorce proceedings, the New York Post reports.
She wants the pre-nup voided because:
- The couple wasn’t even married in France; they got hitched in Nantucket.
- The wedding they had in France afterward was “a fake marriage” and had no legal effect in France.
- When Olivier returned to France in 1997 to sign the agreement, he “had not been in France for some 20 years” (in fact, his passport had been confiscated!)
Olivier, who is head of Global Financial Services at the Carlyle Group and who has made a lot of cash in banking since he was first married, wants to make sure the couple’s assets don’t get split down the middle, as is usually the case in New York.
He originally signed the pre-nup because Charlotte’s wealthy family asked him to do so.
But now that he’s come into his own, Olivier wants to keep what he earned. Before Carlyle, Olivier was Global Co-Head of the Financial Institutions Group at UBS, and also worked at Credit Suisse for 11 years.
Under French law, the multi-million dollar marital estate – including a stellar modern art collection and real estate including an $11 million Upper East Side home – as well as various bank accounts, “would go to whichever spouse currently has legal title to it.”
Olivier… admits they currently have more ties to New York than Paris but insists that shouldn’t affect the prenup. [His lawyer] maintained that where the couple was living and where they were married wasn’t important — they signed the deal in France, and French law should apply.
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