Salma Hayek's husband, billionaire fashion CEO François-Henri Pinault, is in the middle of a big-money child support dispute with his ex-girlfriend Linda Evangelista and the accusations are flying.
In Manhattan family court Thursday, Pinault — who fathered a son, Augustin, with the Canadian supermodel following a brief relationship in 2006 — testified that the duration of his relationship with Evangelista, 46, was "about seven days" before she became pregnant and he was "not involved in the decision of having the baby," according to E! News. When his lawyer asked if Evangelista "took steps" to become pregnant, Pinault, 49, responded, "Well, she can answer that, but I guess." And as far as a financial arrangement for the child, there wasn't one. "She didn't ask. I didn't offer," he told the court. "There were no requests." However, when Evangelista did ask for money in 2011, he "accepted in 20 minutes."
Evangelista's lawyer, who is trying to secure monthly child support payments for his client, told the judge that Pinault was initially happy when Evangelista discovered she was pregnant, but soon changed his mind and asked her to "terminate the pregnancy," according to the website. As far as the financials, the attorney said Pinault made it clear from the get-go that he would not give Evangelista money for their child. Pinault and Hayek's daughter, Valentina, also become a topic with Evangelista's lawyer saying that while the money spent on the 4-year-old girl shouldn't be "the benchmark" for what Pinault provides for Augustin, it should be taken into account in the judge's decision.
There is a lot of money at stake, perhaps the largest support order ever in the history of family court. Evangelista —who at the peak of her career said she and her catwalking colleagues "don't wake up for less than $10,000 a day" — is seeking a reported $46,000 a month in support for the 5-year-old boy, including an around-the-clock nanny and retired police detectives to protect him and drive him wherever he needs to go. (She said that monetary figure is exaggerated by the press.) The judge already shot down the $7,500 Evangelista was seeking for monthly "vacation" expenses, but is considering the rest because the child is the son of an internationally-known billionaire, who is the CEO of luxury goods firm PPR, which owns Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, a French department store, and other high-income assets.
Pinault, who has two children with his first wife, started dating actress Hayek, 45, soon after his relationship with Evangelista ended. They became engaged in early 2007 and had Valentina in September of that year. A year later they broke off their engagement but then reconciled and were married on Valentine's Day in 2009. As for Evangelista, early in her career she was married to an Elite modeling exec, then had a long-term relationship with actor Kyle MacLachlan. When she gave birth to Augustin in 2006, she didn't name his biological father and kept mum on the topic until her initial legal filing for child support last year. In 1999, she and her then-boyfriend, French footballer Fabien Barthez, suffered a tragic loss when she experienced a stillbirth in the sixth month of her pregnancy.
Last year when a judge previously questioned the model's need for full-time nannies, asking how often she worked, she replied: "When I work, it can be a 16-hour day. 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."
The hearing is expected to continue through Tuesday, with Evangelista testifying today.
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