Seventeen Illinoisans have made the latest Forbes 400 list of the nation’s richest people; among them, hedge-fund billionaire Ken Griffin, who is at the center of a contentious divorce battle.
Ken Griffin, founder of Citadel LLC., one of the largest hedge-fund firms in the industry, filed for divorce from his wife, Anne Dias Griffin in July, citing irreconcilable differences. At stake are billions of dollars and custody of their three children.
The filings in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois Tuesday, provide a glimpse into the high-stakes divorce. Records show that Anne Dias Griffin asked a Chicago court to throw out her premarital agreement, which would limit her to a measly 1% of Mr. Griffin’s net worth, instead of potentially billions of dollars.
Ms. Griffin alleges that she was forced to sign a premarital document just three hours before her wedding rehearsal dinner. According to the filings, three days prior to the wedding, the couple had an intense argument over the signing of the prenuptials and Ken became “angry, violent and intimidating” destroying a piece of furniture. The next day the couple saw a psychologist, where Anne was told “to give in to [Ken’s] demands”, not realizing Mr. Griffin’s prior relationship with the medical professional. Apparently, she eventually acquiesced, but now her attorneys allege the agreement is not valid because Ms. Griffin was not informed of Mr. Griffin’s relationship with the psychologist and, therefore, was “unduly influenced” as a result.
Ms. Griffin, a successful hedge fund manager herself, has asked for sole custody of the couples three children and permission to move them from Chicago to New York, while maintaining the Chicago residence. The couple has been residing separately for about two years, roughly following the birth of their youngest child.
In response to Anne Dias Griffin’s statements, lawyers from Mr. Griffin’s camp are calling the latest developments in the case “salacious and untrue”. Their statement said, “Ken will respond to Anne’s allegations on the merits, move this process forward, and protect his close relationship with the children.” They added, “It is sad that Anne continues to make inflammatory statements purely for her own gain, and in an effort to attract publicity to what should be a private matter.”
Source: WSJ.com, “Citadel Founder Ken Griffin’s Divorce Could Cost Billions”, by Rob Copeland, September 3, 2014