A TV personality is facing a £300,000 divorce battle following the death of her former husband.
Trinny Woodall, most commonly known for presenting BBC’s “What Not to Wear”, appeared in court after the trustee in ex-partner Johnny Elichaoff’s bankruptcy had claimed that she should have been paying her husband maintenance after their marriage ended.
Having divorced in 2009, the couple’s original settlement stipulated that Mr Elichaoff should pay the TV star £24,000 a year in maintenance as well as repay the £1.4 million that she had lent him over the course of their 10-year marriage.
But it was later revealed that Mr Elichaoff had declared bankruptcy shortly before the divorce was ratified, putting an end to the pair’s settlement earlier this year.
And in a turn of events, creditors, who are owed almost £300,000 by Mr Elichaoff’s estate, claim that Ms Woodall should have been ordered to make payments to the former Tears for Fears manager as the wealthiest of the pair.
The trustee, Ian Robert, will pursue Ms Woodall through the courts to try and secure the funds, as well as claim any legal bills incurred.
A spokesperson for Ms Woodall said: “This is a nightmare for an innocent spouse who received nothing on divorce, yet years later is sued by a trustee in bankruptcy, asserting an unheard-of claim to spousal rights of her deceased ex-husband.”
Ms Woodall’s barrister said the trustee had no standing in law to bring a “personal claim” on behalf of Mr Elichaoff.
She said that the trustee’s claim was “factually outrageous” and targeted “a single mother who received no property from her husband either during the marriage or afterwards, and who has alone provided for their child”.
“My client had a five-year-old daughter and she was entirely responsible for the pastoral and financial care of that daughter,” the barrister told the High Court.
“The husband was a drug addict and these debts have been accrued post-separation. As it is, that man never made a further contribution to his wife and never repaid the £1.4m.”
The case continues.