Roman Abramovich has today announced he is to separate from his third wife after 10 years of marriage – in a move which could potentially spark the world’s most expensive divorce.
The Russian oligarch, 50, who is worth £7billion, and his magazine editor wife Dasha Zhukova, 36, have ‘amicably’ agreed to part ways, but will continue to work together for their joint businesses and two children.
It comes one week after Abramovich, 50, attended a social event in St Petersburg without Zhukova, as locals took selfies with the billionaire.
Meanwhile, the 36-year-old was seen enjoying herself with wealthy New York socialites and was spotted on a quiet dinner with the boyfriend of supermodel Karlie Kloss – Joshua Kushner.
She spent her birthday in New York with her two children and was photographed not wearing her wedding ring on June 8.
It is not clear at this stage if they have a prenuptial agreement. The daughter of Russian oil magnate Alexander Zhukov, she is extremely wealthy in her own right.
Abramovich’s divorce settlement of £150million with his second wife Irina Vyacheslavovna Malandina in 2007 was the fourth largest break-up bill in the world at the time.
And experts believe he will try to get the divorce settled in Russia to minimise his payout of assets, which includes luxury mansions, yachts and supercars.
While Abramovich has been spotted looking downbeat at recent events, art dealer Daria has been seen giggling and laughing at high-profile receptions in New York in a series of pictures posted online.
Exclusively telling the New York Post’s, Page Six, today they said: ‘After 10 years together, the two of us have made the difficult decision to separate, but we remain close friends, parents and partners in the projects we developed together.
‘We are committed to jointly raising our two children.
We will also continue to work together as co-founders of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow and the New Holland Island cultural center in Saint Petersburg.’
David Leadercramer, a partner at law firm DMH Stallard, told The Sun Online: ‘My belief is that unless there’s been some agreement between them, the likelihood is that they’ll probably get divorced in Russia.
‘We are known as the divorce capital of the world here, so most women try to get divorced here if they can in the case of large wealth.
‘If it was England, she wold get a very considerable sum. She’s been married to him for 10 years, they’ve got two children together. He was was a very wealthy man before he met her and he’s a very wealthy man now.
‘It’s impossible to say what it would be at this stage. I wouldn’t say hundreds of millions, but it’s going to run into a lot of money.’
But the couple kept their wedding a secret for a whole six years.
It was only in a 2014 Wall Street Journal article that the detail of their relationship was let slip.
The publication referred to the couple saying that they, ‘met in 2005 and were married a few years later’.
The couple own homes in London, Moscow, Colorado, the Caribbean and the South of France and Roman also owns some of the world’s biggest yachts.
They have two children, a son, Aaron Alexander, born in 2009 and daughter, Leah Lou, born in 2013. Both children were born in the USA.
Zhukov is Abarmovich’s third wife. Born in Moscow, to a scientist mother and oil trader father, Zhukov moved to US with her mother at the age of 10 when her parents split up.
No trophy wife, she attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, and graduated with honours with degrees in Slavic Studies and Literature.
From a market stall selling dolls to a Chelsea mansion: The VERY different lives of Abramovich’s wives
Dasha isn’t Roman’s first wife, in fact the owner of Chelsea Football club has actually been married twice before and has seven children…
Wife number 1: Olga Yurevna Lysova (1987-1990)
Little is known about Roman’s first wife Olga. The couple married in 1987 but were divorced just three years later in 1990. They did not have any children together.
In 1988 the couple set up a market stall selling dolls – a business which she described as having bought the couple success almost immediately.
And it was a wedding present from Olga’s parents that would help him to make his first investment. They gifted the newlyweds 2,000 rubles – around £1,000 at the time – which he invested and managed to double and then triple the cash within a year.
The couple had five children: Arkadiy, Ilya, Arina, Sofia and Anna but subsequently divorced in 2007 as it was reported in 2006 that Roman already had a close friendship with Dasha, who was then 25.
Much speculation followed as to how much their divorce settlement would be worth with it eventually being reported that Irina had been awarded £155million – the largest settlement in the world.
She was dating former Russian tennis star Marat Safin at the time. The power couple became officially linked in 2007 after Abramovich had divorced.
In February 2009 Zhukov, who previously owned her own fashion label Kova & T, was made editor of avant garde fashion magazine, POP.
However, she got everyone talking when she sensationally quit after just three issues.
Then in 2014 she caused uproar by posing for a photograph, in which the chair she sat in was formed from a black female mannequin, in online fashion publication Buro 24/7.
Both Zhukov and the publication were accused of racism and she later released a statement saying: ‘This photograph, which has been published completely out of context, is of an art work intended specifically as a commentary on gender and racial politics.
‘I utterly abhor racism and would like to apologize to those offended by my participation in this shoot.’
A popular socialite, Zhukov has regularly been seen out and about with some of society and fashion’s finest.
She now runs her own magazine Garage – as well as an arts centre in Russia – which is part-funded by her husband.
The true scale of the Russian oligrach’s wealth has remained a mystery but it is estimated to be between £5billion and £7billion.
According to Forbes 2017 billionaire list, Abramovich’s net worth was $9.2billion (£7.07billion), making him the 12th richest person in Russia, and the 139th richest person in the world.
Abramovich has a vast property in the UK and more than £72million spare cash in 22 bank accounts in Russia.
Most of his property is in Russia, where he has four homes, compared with two in the U.S, three in France, and one in Britain – which includes six flats and a house.
The jewels in his crown are his 557ft £1.5billion super yacht Eclipse, and his £90million Kensington mansion.
He has made his money from property, steel and mining since the collapse of communism in Russia.
In 2012 he was forced to reveal some of his wealth to the Russian authorities.