A WEALTHY entrepreneur “left with nothing” in his divorce settlement after moving his Playboy model lover into his plush Miami apartment is now challenging the “unfair” ruling in court.
Richard Rothschild, 45, had a 21-year relationship with Charmaine de Souza, marrying in 2005, and separating in 2016.
The couple, who have two children, ran a successful telecommunications business in London.
The pair led a lavish lifestyle, with Mr Rothschild driving a Lamborghini, and together bought a $2 million condo in Miami.
When they split, the millionaire businessman continued to stay at the beach property with new girlfriend Playboy model Sherra Michelle despite being ordered to leave and threatened with a prison sentence in a legal dispute with his ex-wife.
After a long-running dispute, in December last year, divorce judge Mr Justice Cohen divided their wealth, awarding Ms de Souza, 46, their £1.85m business they had run together, plus cash and properties worth almost another £1m.
He was given the Miami condo, which the judge valued at $3 million (£2.38m).
However he argued it was worth significantly less and was effectively left with nothing after paying off debts including around £300,000 in legal fees.
Mr Rothschild, 45, was formerly known as Richard Pierzchalo-Piasecki but changed his name in 2016. He is not part of the famous Rothschild family, who made a fortune in banking.
His lawyer, Patrick Chamberlayne QC, told the Court of Appeal: “The husband is left with nothing income wise or capital wise and the wife is left with the means to meet all her needs in the form of this business.
“The outcome was indeed that she would be largely debt-free, with a business worth £1.85m, and £18,000 per month net income (£216,000 a year). The income would also enable her to pay her rent.
“The husband, however, would end up…with, in effect, no capital at all, and no income.”
He argued that the Miami flat had been overvalued by £615,000.
“That would take his capital figure down from £23,938 to minus £591,000”, he said.
Mr Chamberlayne said the judge had “lost sight” of his client’s needs because Mr Rothschild had presented himself as an “unattractive personality, insensitive, over-confident and overbearing”.
The judge had made statements like “the husband has brought this on himself”, he explained.
He went on: “The overwhelming impression is that the judge sympathised with the wife’s position due to the husband’s behaviour, and it is no part of this appeal that he was not entitled to do so.
“However, that caused him to lose sight of considering both parties’ needs, and to reach the ultimate draconian outcome – all the net assets and available income go to one party, permanently, and the other party gets nothing, permanently.”
He urged Lord Justice Patten, Lord Justice Moylan and Lord Justice Newey to overturn the divorce judge’s ruling.
Charles Hale QC, acting for Ms de Souza, rejected Mr Rothschild’s claims.
The trial continues.